Seahawks Quick Hits: What ended Seattle’s undefeated streak
The Seahawks’ franchise-best five-game winning streak to start a regular season has ended after a 37-34 overtime loss in Arizona against the Cardinals.
Seattle was in the driver’s seat for the entire game, but Arizona got its first lead of the game when it mattered most, with Zane Gonzalez’s 48-yard field goal winning the game in overtime.
There’s a lot to get to from a game that the Seahawks really should have won, so let’s get down to it.
Three killer penalties
Three penalties in the second half and overtime sunk the Seahawks in a bad way – not that the loss was only because of those three plays, but they played key roles.
The first was a third-and-5 play that looked like an incomplete pass for the Cardinals, giving the Seahawks the ball back. Instead, a questionable personal foul was called on linebacker Bobby Wagner for a big hit delivered to the intended receiver. Arizona kept the ball and scored a touchdown to make it 27-24 rather than giving the ball back and being down 10.
The next big one was by Benson Mayowa, who was flagged both for being offsides (penalty was declined) and for unsportsmanlike conduct for using blockers on the field-goal attempt as leverage to try and leap the pile. The penalty kept that drive alive, and rather than Seattle getting the ball back up 34-27, the Cardinals scored another touchdown and made it 34-31.
And the final one was on offense. What looked like a brilliant play call to give DK Metcalf the ball in space on third-and-10 for the game-winning touchdown instead was called back as David Moore was called for holding. The score was nullified, the game continued, Russell Wilson would throw his third pick of the game and the Cardinals would go down to get the game-winning field goal.
After halftime, the offense stunk
People are going to point to the 37 points the Cardinals put up and say that the game was lost due to the defense. That group played poorly and didn’t do enough to win (more later), but Seattle’s offense was awful after halftime.
The Seahawks scored 27 in the first half. From halftime to the end of overtime? Seven points.
Five of Seattle’s six first half possessions resulted in points. From halftime on, the Seahawks threw two interceptions and punted three times while scoring just once. The Cardinals, meanwhile, scored two touchdowns and two field goals after trailing 27-17 at halftime.
Wilson had his worst game of the year overall. He had some great throws and some nice runs, but each of his three interceptions were ugly.
In the red zone, he floated a ball to Chris Carson that nearly resulted in a pick-six. He then overthrew his intended target and allowed Patrick Peterson to record an easy interception in the end zone in the second half. And in overtime, Wilson and Tyler Lockett weren’t on the same page, allowing Arizona rookie Isaiah Simmons to record a pick while Lockett wasn’t looking Wilson’s way.
A lot of sloppiness on that side of the ball in the second half, which was surprising after an electric first half and a week off last week.
Holy lack of a pass rush, Batman
Hey, remember when we talked about the Seahawks’ lack of a pass rush, oh, I don’t know, every game of the season so far? Well, believe it or not, they outdid themselves this time.
I know I’ve said this before, but it’s for sure true this time: This was the worst pass rush the Seahawks have had this season.
This defense didn’t touch Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray all game aside from his running plays. I’m serious! The Seahawks did not record one quarterback hit, let alone a sack. And it’s not like the Cardinals were running the ball a ton or anything like that. Murray passed 48 times and had other dropbacks where he took off.
Star safety Jamal Adams should be back next week, but will they want to blitz him and risk getting burned in the secondary again? Unclear, but this pass rush needs reinforcements. It can’t get the job done right now, especially with Bruce Irvin out for the year. Mayowa is the only one getting anything close to consistent pressure.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider will likely be picking up his phone this week. Clay Matthews is still a free agent. Schneider could also call the Bengals and see what it would take to get Carlos Dunlap, or the Washington Football Team to inquire about Ryan Kerrigan.
At least in other games you had some pressures, had some QB hits, but against the Cardinals and a second-year quarterback behind a not great offensive line? Brutal showing.
DK Metcalf’s weird game
After dominating the league for five games, DK Metcalf played second fiddle to Lockett, who had three touchdowns and a career-high 200 yards receiving. But it was strange to see Metcalf get just five targets for only 23 yards (yes, the called back score hurts the stat line).
All that would have been forgotten quick if the Seahawks had won because Metcalf made maybe the play of the game.
On Wilson’s first pick – the floater intended for Carson – Arizona safety Budda Baker read it, jumped the route and was off to the races. Looked like your typical long pick-six. But Metcalf is huge, fast, scary, and a long strider. He tracked down Baker, who ran his 40-yard dash in the 4.40s at the NFL Scouting Combine, and saved the score.
DK METCALF ISN'T HUMANpic.twitter.com/BOSPhZutKR
— PFF (@PFF) October 26, 2020
The pick still got the Cardinals a set of downs inside Seattle’s 10-yard line, but the defense held and stopped Arizona on fourth down. Metcalf saved not only a touchdown, but any points at all. If Seattle had held on, it would have been the story of the game.
But instead, it’s a footnote. It was a great play, but still, with everything else that happened for the Seahawks that game, Metcalf’s incredible drive and desire to stop Baker won’t be remembered like it should be.