Seahawks’ comeback thwarted in painful 34-31 loss to Cardinals

Dec 24, 2016, 5:37 PM | Updated: 11:43 pm

Stephen Hauschka's missed PAT prevented Seattle from taking a one-point lead in the final minute of...

Stephen Hauschka's missed PAT prevented Seattle from taking a one-point lead in the final minute of play. (AP)


At first it was awful.

Seattle’s offense gained one single, solitary yard on offense in the first quarter and trailed 14-0 at one point in the first half.

Then, it was almost unbelievable.

The Seahawks scored two touchdowns in the final 4 minutes to tie the score and lined up for the point-after attempt that would have given Seattle a one-point lead with 1 minute remaining.

But ultimately, Seattle’s regular-season home finale was absolutely excruciating as the Cardinals drove 50 yards in the final minute and kicker Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 43-yard field goal as time expired to send the Seahawks to their first home defeat of the season.

Arizona 34, Seattle 31, and the fact that it was that close was remarkable when you consider everything from this game.

Lockett injured | Instant reaction | Photo gallery | Stats

The offense put Seattle in a hole, failing to reach the end zone in the first half. Then the Seahawks’ defense seemed like it would be utterly incapable of escaping that, giving up two fourth-quarter touchdowns as a chaser to the first half in which Seattle allowed an 80-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Nelson, the longest pass play the franchise had allowed in 18 years.

Throw in a blocked field-goal attempt in the first quarter and a deflected punt in the second, and it was a truly team effort.

But Seattle’s offense came to life in the second half, gaining 301 yards over the final two periods and coming within a missed extra-point of taking the lead with 1 minute to play. After a high snap, the attempt was pulled to the left by kicker Stephen Hauschka. Turns out, the conversion didn’t matter as Arizona went 50 yards in the final minute, the biggest play coming on a 29-yard pass to David Johnson on second down.

Johnson scored three touchdowns in the game, while Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin caught 13 passes for 171 yards, both career-highs. It was the ninth 100-yard receiving game of his career.

The Seahawks are 9-5-1, and while they’ve clinched the NFC West, they now trail Atlanta by one-half game for the No. 2 seed in the NFC, and the bye that comes with it. Detroit can also move ahead of Seattle in the NFC pecking order with a victory on Monday night against Dallas.


It’s not an exaggeration to say the Seahawks would have been better off if their offense hadn’t run a play in the first quarter. At least not when you consider that the 14 offensive plays that Seattle did run produced a combined total of 1 yard of total offense and the Seahawks also fumbled away a possession, Marcel Reece failing to secure a handoff and the Cardinals falling on it at the Seattle 23.

That Cardinals’ possession produced the only points in the period as Seattle’s Stephen Hauschka had a 45-yard field-goal attempt blocked. It was the fourth field goal attempt inside of 50 yards that Seattle has failed to converted this season (87.1 percent). Hauschka converted 128 of 139 field-goal attempts inside of 50 yards in the previous five seasons (92.1 percent).

Injuries: Seahawks DT Ahtyba Rubin suffered a wrist injury on Seattle’s first defensive series, but returned to the game. Cardinals CB Tony Jefferson suffered a knee injury on Arizona’s first punt. Cardinals G Taylor Boggs suffered a shoulder injury.

Ari – David Johnson 3 run (Chandler Catanzaro kick) at 7:52 (Drive: 5 plays, 23 yards, 2:54). Score: Cardinals 7, Seahawks 0.


The Seahawks came close to the end zone in the first half. That only ended up showing how far away they were, though. Seattle’s final seven plays were run inside the Arizona 10. Not one of those plays gained so much as a single yard as Seattle was stopped four straight times from the Cardinals 1, resulting in a turnover on downs. Then after the Cardinals fumbled the ball away, Seattle had the ball at the Arizona 9 and threw three straight incompletions before settling for a field goal.

The Seahawks ran 34 plays in the first half, seven of which lost yardage with five sacks and two times in which Seattle had a runner tackled behind the line of scrimmage.

Ari – J.J. Nelson 80 yard pass from Carson Palmer (Catanzaro kick) at 3:53 (Drive: 3 plays, 91 yards ). Score: Cardinals 14, Seahawks 0.
Sea – Stephen Hauschka 27 field goal 4 plays, 0 yards, 0:17). Score: Cardinals 14, Seahawks 3.

Injuries: Seahawks SS Kam Chancellor went to the locker room with an ankle injury. WR Tyler Lockett suffered a broken right leg. RB Thomas Rawls suffered a shoulder injury.


The Seahawks gained 90 yards on their seven possessions in the first half. They gained 66 yards on their first possession of the second half, running the ball with surprising effectiveness even though Thomas Rawls had left the game with a shoulder injury. Alex Collins gained 25 yards on four carries on the possession before Jermaine Kearse scored on an exceptional catch in the corner of the end zone.

Sea – Jermaine Kearse 2 pass from Russell Wilson (Hauschka kick) at 8:20 (Drive: 13 plays, 66 yards, 6:40). Score: Cardinals 14, Seahawks 10.


The Seahawks had cut Arizona’s lead to a single field goal with just under 9 minutes to play. They had beaten the Cardinals’ blitz, Doug Baldwin scoring on a 42-yard catch and run, and even the two-point conversion was successful, cutting Arizona’s lead to 21-18.

Seattle had the momentum for all of one play.

Because after kicking the ball out of the end zone, Arizona running back David Johnson ran 33 yards on the first play of the drive. Then J.J. Nelson gained 41 yards on a crossing route and two plays later Johnson scored his third touchdown of the game.

Seattle turned the ball over on downs on the ensuing possession when a read-option was snuffed out thoroughly and Wilson was tackled for no gain.

Yet the Seahawks weren’t done yet, with Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson hauling in touchdown receptions to tie the game with a minute to go. Hauschka’s PAT attempt was no good on the final TD, though, and Arizona drove into Seahawks territory, where Catanzaro hit a 43-yard field goal as time expired to give the Cardinals the win.

Ari – Johnson 1 run (Catanzaro kick) at 13:32 (Drive: 9 plays, 61 yards, 4:59). Score: Cardinals 21, Seahawks 10.
Sea – Doug Baldwin 42 pass from Wilson (Reece pass from Wilson) at 8:49 (Drive: 9 plays, 75 yards, 4:43). Score: Cardinals 21, Seahawks 18.
Ari – Johnson 1 run (Catanzaro kick) at 6:47 (Drive: 4 plays, 75 yards, 2:02). Score: Cardinals 28, Seahawks 18.
Ari – Catanzaro 42 field goal at 4:10 (Drive: 4 plays, 6 yards, 0:59). Score: Cardinals 31, Seahawks 18.
Sea – Jimmy Graham 37 pass from Wilson (Hauschka kick) at 2:48. (Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards, 1:22). Score: Cardinals 31, Seahawks 25.
Sea – Paul Richardson 5 pass from Wilson (kick failed) at 1:00. (Drive: 6 plays, 45 yards, 1:22). Score: Cardinals 31, Seahawks 31.
Ari – Catanzaro 43 field goal at 0:00 (Drive: 8 plays, 50 yards, 1:00). Score: Cardinals 34, Seahawks 31.

Danny and Gallant Show

Danny ONeil

Seahawks Quandre Diggs...

Danny O'Neil

O’Neil: Seahawks have uncertainty with a player ‘holding in,’ but it’s not Quandre Diggs

While Quandre Diggs appears to be the third Seahawks player to "hold-in" during training camp, Danny O'Neil writes that it's Duane Brown whose future is up in the air.

3 years ago

Follow @dannyoneil...

Danny O'Neil

AZ Good AZ it Gets

SPONSORED – Phoenix was the place where the rest of the country found out that Seattle fans took their enthusiasm on the road with them. That was 2013. It’s also the place where I discovered how restorative a desert vacation can be. That was 2015. Let’s start with the screaming. That’s what caught everyone’s attention […]

3 years ago

Mariners Jarred Kelenic...

Danny O'Neil

O’Neil: Mariners aren’t handing the spotlight over to Seahawks just yet

This is the time of year that Seattle tends to shift its focus to the gridiron, but the Mariners are still commanding attention.

3 years ago

Seahawks Duane Brown...

Danny O'Neil

O’Neil: When Seahawks decide not to extend players, they’re rarely wrong

If you think the Seahawks must sign Duane Brown to an extension, when's the last time they opted against re-signing someone and it came back to bite them?

3 years ago

Follow @dannyoneil...

Danny O'Neil

Oh, LA, LA!

Week 15, Dec. 19: Seattle at Los Angeles Rams, SoFi Stadium, 1:25 p.m. Pacific SPONSORED – Maybe it was fitting that the opening act for the first pro-football game I covered in Los Angeles was a rock band I loved as a teenager. There’s no place that makes me think of growing up more than […]

3 years ago

Follow @dannyoneil...

Danny O'Neil

Star in a Lone Star Adventure

Week 14, Dec. 12: Seattle at Houston Texans, NRG Stadium, 10 a.m. Pacific SPONSORED – Enchiladas and greatness. That’s what I think of in Texas. The enchiladas are pretty straightforward. They’re so delicious at El Tiempo Cantina that it’s hard to take a bite without closing my eyes. There are three locations though the one […]

3 years ago

Seahawks’ comeback thwarted in painful 34-31 loss to Cardinals