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Seahawks beat Cardinals 20-17 on last-second FG but lose Earl Thomas

Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald recovered a fumble by Arizona RB David Johnson. (AP)

The Seahawks lost Richard Sherman for the season and Kam Chancellor for his career in Arizona last year. On Sunday, they lost Earl Thomas, too.

Seattle won the game, with Sebastian Janikowski’s 52-yard field goal as time expired lifting the Seahawks to a 20-17 victory over the NFC West rival Cardinals. But the price of losing Thomas to a lower left leg fracture will far outweigh getting to 2-2 with the win.

O’Neil: Seahawks ‘survive’ Earl hurt | Instant Reaction | Photos

Here’s a quarter-by-quarter breakdown from Sunday’s contest:

First quarter

Seahawks 7, Cardinals 0

The Seahawks went into the game against Arizona without Chris Carson, who has been the team’s No. 1 running back so far this season. Carson’s hip injury opened the door for fourth-year back Mike Davis, who went right to work showing he’s worthy of getting some regular carries in Seattle’s rotation. Davis was handed the ball six times over the Seahawks’ first two drives of the game, totaling 57 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown. Before Sunday, Davis’ career-high was 66 rushing yards in a game, a mark that stood no chance making it through this day.

It wasn’t all great for Seattle’s offense, however. Already thin at tight end due to waiving Darrell Daniels following last week’s win over Dallas, fellow former Husky Will Dissly was carted off the field with an apparent right leg injury, leaving Nick Vannett as the Seahawks’ only available tight end.

The Seattle defense gave Arizona rookie QB Josh Rosen a rude awakening in his first career start, as he was 0 for 3 passing on his opening series, which just happened to end with Rosen being sacked for a loss on 9 on third-and-10 by Jarran Reed.

After Davis’ touchdown, the Seahawks got the ball right back as Cardinals running back David Johnson lost a fumble to Seattle strong safety Bradley McDougald on first-and-10. Sebastian Janikowski missed a 38-yard field goal as the Seahawks couldn’t turn the fumble recovery into points.

In his return from a knee injury suffered in Week 1, Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin caught two passes for 23 yards in the first quarter.

The Cardinals were in the red zone at the end of the frame and still threatening to score after an apparent TD was overruled. Rosen connected with Chad Williams, but Williams didn’t get both of his feet down in-bounds as he hauled the throw in.

SEA – Mike Davis 20 run (Sebastian Janikowski kick), 6:09

 

Second quarter

Cardinals 10, Seahawks 7

The story through the first half for the Seahawks was Janikowski’s rough day. Much like Stephen Hauschka during his time as Seahawks kicker, Janikowski had all kinds of trouble getting the ball through the uprights at Arizona’s State Farm Stadium. Janikowski missed a 52-yard field goal in the second quarter wide left, which would have been much easier for Seattle to tolerate had he not already missed a 38-yard attempt wide right in the first quarter.

The Seahawks provided an opening to the Cardinals with six points left off the scoreboard, and Arizona took advantage. Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson didn’t have the same issues as Janikowski (at first), getting them three points early in the quarter after a drive stalled out. Then after Janikowski’s second miss of the game, the Cardinals covered 58 yards over six plays to take the lead on a 1-yard David Johnson touchdown rush.

Arizona had a chance to add another three points going into halftime, but Dawson was wide right from 50 yards.

The Seahawks went three-and-out on their first offensive series of the second quarter, Janikowski’s second miss ended their next drive, and Russell Wilson was sacked near midfield on fourth-and-1 by Chandler Jones with 30 seconds left in the half.

ARI – Phil Dawson 23 FG, 14:08
ARI – David Johnson 1 run (Dawson kick), 1:54

Third quarter

Seahawks 17, Cardinals 10

The Seahawks can, in fact, make field goals in Arizona. Their first field goal of the day ended a series that probably should have resulted in a touchdown, however.

A touchdown did came later for Seattle, and it moved back into the lead over the Cardinals going into the final quarter.

The Seahawks forced Arizona into a three-and-out to open the second half, and Russell Wilson had the offense in full gear, racking up four first downs on a drive that start at Seattle’s own 22 and included a 15-yard run by rookie running Rashaad Penny. Wilson fumbled a snap at the Cardinal 14, however, and while he got his hands back on the ball, he pitched it backwards for what turned out to be a 9-yard loss for Penny. Two plays later, Sebastian Janikowski was good from 40 yards to tie the game at 10 and provide Seahawks fans everywhere with at least a brief respite from the issues that have plagued the kicking game now for three seasons.

The defense continued to have a strong game in the desert, as Arizona went three-and-out again in its second drive in the third quarter.

Seattle’s offense was given several opportunities to take the lead late in the frame, as a 30-yard pass to David Moore and a pass interference call on former WSU standout Deonne Buchanan helped get the Seahawks to first-and-goal. A Mike Davis touchdown was called back due to an illegal formation, but another Arizona penalty gave the Seahawks a first down again, and Davis punched through for a penalty-free score two plays later to put the Hawks ahead 17-10.

SEA – Sebastian Janikowski 40 FG, 5:04
SEA
Mike Davis 1 run (Janikowski kick), 1:00

Fourth quarter

Seahawks 20, Cardinals 17

Chad Williams dove for a 22-yard touchdown pass from Rosen that tied the game, but it was what happened to Earl Thomas on the play that will live forever in Seahawks history.

In his pursuit of Williams, Thomas suffered a left leg injury, and he needed to be carted off the field with his leg in an air cast. And after an offseason, preseason and first four weeks of the 2018 campaign full of holdouts, hold-ins and animus from Thomas directed at the Seahawks for not providing him with a contract past this year, Thomas let his feelings be known by holding up his middle finger at the Seahawks’ bench as he was carted off the field.

The game had to continue, and Dawson became the second kicker on the day to miss two field goals, pushing his chance to give Arizona the lead on a 45-yard field goal with 1:55 to go wide right.

Russell Wilson had no problem getting the Seahawks in field goal position after that, and Janikowski delivered the win with a 52-yarder as time expired.

ARI – Chad Williams 22 pass from Josh Rosen (Dawson kick), 8:59
SEA – Janikowski 52 FG, :04

Danny O’Neil on Earl Thomas’ injury | Stacy Rost’s Seahawks-Cardinals takeaways