Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on Seahawks’ win over Cardinals
The Seahawks defeated the Arizona Cardinals 20-17 on a last-second field goal by Sebastian Janikowski on Sunday, but the apparent loss of Earl Thomas to a left leg injury may overshadow any positives from the day. As we do after each game, we have polled the hosts from 710 ESPN Seattle for their instant reactions, giving a glimpse at what you can hear Monday on the air.
Brock Huard (Brock and Salk)
Pete Carroll’s magic formula (rushing attempts plus completions) prevails once again! When that number exceeds 50, as it has in back-to-back weeks, the Seahawks’ odds of winning escalates immensely – even if drops, sacks, poor routes and a missed throw nets them an 0 for 10 third-down conversion rate.
The Seahawks will not win in 2018 with style points. They will win by outlasting opponents, out-hitting opponents, and out-performing opponents in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
I’ll also choose to focus on the redemption stories of J.R. Sweezy, D.J. Fluker, Sebastian Janikowski, and Mike Davis more than I will a middle finger of a disgruntled great.
Mike Salk (Brock and Salk)
Arizona is the worst. Or at least that stadium is the worst. It was home to the worst single moment im Seahawks history (second-and-goal from the 1) and has now seen the complete destruction of the Legion of Boom. Sad.
But it has also been a place where the Seahawks have done some incredible things and pulled off some impossible feats. Out-coached and outplayed for much of the game, they won a battle of kickers in the final two minutes to set up a season that now has a chance.
This wasn’t a vintage Russell Wilson gem, but he made three key blocks (!!!) and drove for a winning field goal when his team needed him. Maybe it was more vintage than it looked.
Tom Wassell (Bob, Groz and Tom)
It came down to a kick, but this time the ball blew through the uprights.
No Chris Carson and the run game still looked pretty darn powerful, especially as the game went on. Tremendous job by Mike Davis and the line.
Defensively, the Seahawks came up with big plays yet again, and even though Arizona seemed to find some momentum toward the end, the Seahawks got the stop they needed to set up a game-winning drive.
We’ll see what happens with Earl Thomas. Was he really giving the middle finger to the Seahawks sideline? I’m not comfortable making that conclusion, but who knows? It’s a shame in a way that this injury could rob him of the money he’s looking for, but whatever.
In a general sense, I’m proud of this group. They’ve got a ton of fight in them, as you might expect from a Pete Carroll team. Speaking of coaching, run the ball on third-and-short!
Also, tip of the cap to Arizona rookie QB Josh Rosen, who made throw after throw, only to see his receivers drop the ball most of the day.
Bob Stelton (Bob, Groz and Tom)
Despite going 0 for 10 on third-down conversions and two missed field goals, the Seahawks escaped Arizona with the win. They can also thank the Cardinals for their assistance. Three dropped passes, a missed field goal near the end of the game and, for the second week in a row, a player stepping out of bounds negating a big play saves the Hawks.
A big positive in this win is the running game. Mike Davis was a monster with 101 yards and 2 touchdowns on 21 carries. The defense did a nice job for the most part. They bent but they didn’t break.
The big downside was the injuries to Earl Thomas and Will Dissly. Both were carted off of the field, and I’m guessing much of the conversation will be about Earl Thomas flipping off somebody over on the Seahawks sidelines as he was being carted off of the field. We’ll see what he says about that, but that along with his fracture don’t look good.
Bottom line: the Seahawks desperately needed this win, and as much is it was ugly at times, they were able to get it done.
Dave Grosby (Bob, Groz and Tom)
First off, a road win against a division opponent is always a good thing even if that opponent is winless. Make no mistake, it was pretty ugly, but the running game continues to impress and the defense had some dominant moments.
That having been said, it will be hard not to dwell on the mistakes. Put it this way – do you think a performance like that will be good enough against the Rams next week? Ineptitude on third down, poor management of the clock and curious play calls are not normally the recipe for winning on the road, but the Cardinals are bad and had a quarterback making his first start (though if his head is right, Josh Rosen can throw the ball).
Obviously the Earl Thomas injury and his “We’re number one” gesture to the Seahawks sideline is the visual takeaway from this game. People can spin it anyway they want, but it’s not the way you want one of your all-time greats to go out. The way he was playing makes it even tougher.
At least in the case of Will Dissly, you have Ed Dickson coming back in 2 weeks. A win with consequences, casualties and a tinge of sadness. And, oh yeah, the Rams are coming to town.
Jim Moore (Danny, Dave and Moore)
The Seahawks escaped with a 20-17 win on Sebastian Janikowski’s 51-yard field goal, but most of the focus will be on Earl Thomas again this week, and not necessarily because of the severe leg injury he suffered in the fourth quarter. It’s what happened while he was being carted off the field. Thomas gave the middle finger in the direction of the Seattle sideline, leading some to speculate he was upset about his injury costing him future earnings along with continued dissatisfaction over a contract extension he has not been given.
Who knows if that was what prompted the bird-flipping or not. But if I’m the Seahawks, I’m responding by saying that’s exactly why we didn’t want to give you an extension, the possibility of an injury like the one that happened in Arizona. Hopefully Thomas was just flipping off a Cardinals’ fan, but trying to determine exactly what caused him to do it is anyone’s guess at this point.
Last year two members of the Legion of Boom, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, played their final games with the Seahawks on this field. This year it appears that will be the case with Thomas too.