Seahawks hang on to beat Cards 28-21 after Carlos Dunlap’s clinching sack

Nov 19, 2020, 6:06 PM | Updated: 10:00 pm

Everything was shaping up to be a replay of the Seahawks’ Week 7 overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals late in their rematch on Thursday night. But there was a difference for Seattle.

Carlos Dunlap.

Seahawks 28, Arizona 21: Hawks turn back clock | Quick Hits | 710 reacts

The Seahawks’ big midseason trade addition came through when it mattered most, sacking Cardinals quarter Kyler Murray on fourth-and-10 from the Seattle 27 with 38 seconds left to clinch a huge 28-21 Seahawks win in the first game at the newly-renamed Lumen Field.

It was the second sack of the game for Dunlap, which illustrates just how important he was to Seattle’s victory. After all, the Seahawks didn’t sack Murray – in fact, they didn’t even register a QB hit – when the two teams played less than four weeks earlier. It was not at all the same story this time around, as the Seahawks got to Murray for three sacks and seven QB hits, including three by Dunlap.

The Seahawks were also helped out by a truly bizarre safety earlier in the fourth quarter. With Seattle holding on to a slim two-point lead and trying to keep Arizona from advancing deep in its own territory, Cardinals offensive lineman J.R. Sweezy, a former Seahawks player, was flagged for holding Seattle defensive end L.J. Collier in the end zone. That gave the Hawks two points on a safety and the ball, and they tacked on a long Jason Myers field goal to push their lead to seven just before the two-minute warning.

Of course, that left Arizona with a chance to tie or even win on the final possession, and it sure made a run at scoring. But again, it was what was different this time around – the presence of Dunlap – that kept Seattle from suffering the same fate as before.

The Seahawks played a game more familiar to the Pete Carroll teams from before this season.

Russell Wilson was highly efficient, relying more on his running game and short passes than he has been in 2020, to finish with 197 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions 23 for 28 passing. Carlos Hyde returned from a hamstring injury and led a strong Seattle rushing attack with 79 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Tyler Lockett caught nine passes for a team-high 67 yards and a score, and DK Metcalf added 46 yards and a touchdown on three receptions.

Murray was held 269 yards and two TDs on 29 of 42 passing in what may have been Seattle’s best defensive showing of the season. The Cardinals came in averaging a league-leading 168.9 rushing yards per game, but the Seahawks shut that part of their game down, keeping Arizona to 57 yards on 18 carries.

The win makes the Seahawks 7-3, at least momentarily moving them into first place in the NFC West once again. They will need the Rams (6-3) to lose to Tampa Bay on Monday to maintain the lead in the division, which they had held previously until a defeat in Week 10 to Los Angeles.

The Cardinals fall to 6-4 and third in the NFC West with the loss.

Seattle gets a long break before returning to action on Monday, Nov. 30 in a primetime matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Here is a quarter-by-quarter look at the win over Arizona.

First quarter

Seahawks 7, Cardinals 0

Seattle’s loss last Sunday to the Los Angeles Rams was ugly all around. Four days later, the Seahawks made sure to right the ship out of the gate.

First, the offense made the most of the opportunity to strike first. After committing seven combined turnovers in the past two games, quarterback Russell Wilson led Seattle on a 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. DK Metcalf had the big play with a great route to catch a 25-yard TD pass from Wilson, bouncing back from a quiet game in Los Angeles where he was targeted just four times.

Perhaps the best sign from that opening drive was that the Seahawks converted all three third downs they faced. Wilson completed short passes to Carlos Hyde and Tyler Lockett on the first two, and Hyde ran for 4 yards on third-and-2 on the play directly preceding Metcalf’s score.

Then it was the defense’s turn, and it was maybe even more impressive as a whole in the first quarter than what the offense did. That’s because not only did the Hawks force the Cardinals into a three-and-out on their first series, they did it again on the second, too. The Cards had all of 2 yards of offense on their first two possessions.

SEA – DK Metcalf 25 pass from Russell Wilson (Jason Myers kick), 8:53

Second quarter

Seahawks 16, Cardinals 7

On one hand, the Seahawks looked considerably better in the first half than at any point in their two previous games. But on the other, this game was shaping up a whole lot like the last time Seattle and Arizona met on the gridiron.

The Seahawks took a nine-point advantage into halftime Thursday night, but it’s worth noting that while they led all of regulation in Week 7, the Cardinals were able to hang around, force overtime and win that game on a field goal.

Like in the first quarter, the Seahawks had a sustained, 75-yard drive that ended in an impressive pass from Wilson to one of his star wide receivers. This time is was Lockett who hauled in an 11-yard throw and showed off the nifty footwork he’s become known for to stay inbounds in the corner of the end zone.

Meanwhile on defense, if there was one positive thing to come out of Seattle’s loss in Week 10 to the Rams, it’s the fact that the Hawks didn’t allow a single point after Los Angeles scored on its opening drive of the third quarter. And the really good news is that the defense looked to pick up where it had left off.

Though the Seahawks didn’t sack or even register a QB hit of Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray the last time they met, they really turned things around (just like 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps expected). Seattle sacked Murray twice – one each by Carlos Dunlap and L.J. Collier – and added four QB hits by halftime.

Arizona briefly tied the score as Kenyan Drake just reached the end zone for a 2-yard TD that capped off an eight-play, 50-yard drive, but the Seahawks responded shortly after with Lockett’s touchdown, though kicker Jason Myers missed the point after try.

Myers was good on a 27-yard field goal as the half ended, however, to push Seattle’s lead to two scores.

Injury notes: Seahawks DT Poona Ford exited the game for a bit due to injury. Murray appeared to be nursing a shoulder injury after being sacked in the first quarter by Collier. Drake was seen on the sideline with his left foot/ankle wrapped. Cards safety Jalen Thompson went to the Arizona locker room shortly before halftime with a right leg injury.

AZ – Kenyan Drake 2 run (Zane Gonzalez kick), 13:54
SEA – Tyler Lockett 11 pass from Wilson (kick failed), 8:27
SEA – Myers 27 FG, :00

Third quarter

Seahawks 23, Cardinals 14

The big story from the third quarter were the mistakes made by each team on defense that led to touchdowns.

The Seahawks were the first to get in their own way, as they were primed to force the Cardinals to punt with a three-and-out on the opening series after halftime. A pass intended for DeAndre Hopkins didn’t connect on third-and-11, but Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs came flying in and leveled Hopkins. Diggs arrived a bit late and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, and Arizona received 15 yards and kept driving. And kept driving. And kept driving.

The Cardinals eventually found the end zone on a 4-yard pass from Murray to Dan Arnold, and the 11-play, 81-yard series allowed Arizona to cut Seattle’s lead to 16-14.

But then a similar penalty bailed out the Seahawks’ offense, too.

On third-and-7, Wilson hit Lockett for a 5-yard gain, leaving them a bit short. But Cardinals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick got into it with Metcalf, and he was flagged for taunting to allow Seattle to keep the ball. The Seahawks just needed to hand off to Carlos Hyde twice after that to score themselves, pushing their advantage back to nine points.

Arizona was inside Seattle territory threatening to score again at the end of the quarter on another long, sustained drive.

AZ – Dan Arnold 4 pass from Kyler Murray (Gonzalez kick), 10:07
SEA – Carlos Hyde 2 run (Myers kick), 5:20

Fourth quarter

Seahawks 28, Cardinals 21

In the Week 7 matchup between these two teams, Seattle led 27-24 going into the fourth quarter. On Thursday, the Cardinals scored early in the fourth when Murray found a wide-open Chase Edmonds for a touchdown to cut the Seahawks’ lead to 23-21.

Yeah, it sure looked like we knew where this was going.

Though Seattle had to punt on its first possession of the quarter, things started looking up right after that punt.

Arizona’s J.R. Sweezy was called for holding in the end zone, and the Seahawks picked up an unconventional two points on a safety and got the ball back.

But the thing about a four-point lead is that if you add three points to it, it becomes a seven-point lead. And that’s exactly what Seattle ended up with after a 12-play drive stalled out after nearly seven minutes and Myers nailed a 41-yard field goal.

So suddenly the specter of an overtime rematch was very much in play as the Seahawks needed their defense to come up with a stop in the kind of situation they’ve struggled to get a stop in all season. What they didn’t have when they needed to stop Arizona the last time was Dunlap, however, and after good coverage by the Hawks on a third-and-10 pass attempt, Dunlap got to Murray for the game-ending sack.

AZ – Chase Edmond 3 pass from Murray (Gonzalez kick), 13:19
SEA – Safety, holding on J.R. Sweezy in end zone, 9:18
SEA – Myers 41 FG, 2:24

Rookie LB Jordyn Brooks making a mess for the Seahawks, which they need

Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks Boye Mafe...
Brandon Gustafson

K.J. Wright: Why, how Seahawks should play Boye Mafe more

Seahawks legend K.J. Wright thinks Seattle needs to be playing rookie LB Boye Mafe more going forward, especially on early downs.
1 day ago
Seahawks Quandre Diggs...
The Associated Press

Seahawks’ Quandre Diggs thankful for time in Detroit ahead of return

Looking back on how his career started and the opportunity that was given has only strengthened the feelings Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs has for the Detroit Lions.
1 day ago
Seahawks Noah Fant...
Brent Stecker

Bump’s Breakdown: Why Seahawks’ TEs need to play big role in offense

The Seahawks' offense showed improvement in Week 3. What's the next step? Michael Bumpus breaks down the importance of Seattle's tight ends.
2 days ago
Seahawks Al Woods...
Brent Stecker

K.J. Wright: The issue in Seahawks’ defensive scheme, and how to fix it

"You can keep the scheme but jiggy rig it a little bit to what the fellas are really good at," ex-NFL linebacker K.J. Wright said about the Seahawks' defense.
2 days ago
Seahawks Geno Smith...
Brent Stecker

Seahawks Football 101: Correcting a pair of basic mistakes

Former NFL linebacker Dave Wyman breaks down a Seahawks play each on offense and defense from last Sunday's loss to the Falcons.
2 days ago
Seahawks Geno Smith...
Brent Stecker

Bump: Who has been Seahawks’ best offensive player so far

The Seahawks have talent on offense, but the answer to who has been the best player on that side of the ball may be a surprise.
3 days ago
Seahawks hang on to beat Cards 28-21 after Carlos Dunlap’s clinching sack