Seahawks wrap up 10-win regular season with 27-24 win over Arizona

Dec 30, 2018, 2:04 PM | Updated: 7:50 pm

Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett flipped into the end zone on his 29-yard touchdown catch. (AP)...

Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett flipped into the end zone on his 29-yard touchdown catch. (AP)


The Seahawks had their sights set on a 10-win season and a nice momentum-building victory going into the playoffs.

It’s never quite that easy against the division-rival Arizona Cardinals, is it?

Ready or not, Seahawks head to playoffs | 710 reaction | Photos | Stats

The Cardinals gave Seattle a scare and pushed the Seahawks into an uneven performance, but the Hawks escaped with a 27-24 win as Russell Wilson orchestrated yet another pitch-perfect two-minute drill and handed off to kicker Sebastian Janikowski for his second walkoff field goal against Arizona this season.

The win locked up the fifth seed in the NFC for the Seahawks, who will travel to fourth-seeded Dallas next week for a wild-card playoff round matchup.

The rushing game came through for the Seahawks against Arizona led by Chris Carson (122 yards) and Mike Davis (44 yards), but a number of miscues on special teams – one long return and a pair of blocked punts – allowed three-win Arizona to hang around.

Takeaways: Seahawks’ Frank Clark, Jarran Reed set career-highs in sacks

Here’s a quarter-by-quarter look at the Seahawks’ victory.

First quarter

Seahawks 7, Cardinals 3

The Cardinals may have come to Seattle with only three wins this season, but they always play the Seahawks tough at CenturyLink Field. So when Russell Wilson was intercepted to end Seattle’s first offensive series, it was confirmation this Arizona team wasn’t going to let the playoff-bound Seahawks stroll into the postseason.

That interception, just the second thrown by Wilson over the last eight games, was by Cardinals cornerback David Amerson, who jumped a slant (in a very Malcolm Butler-type way) and made a 25-yard return to set up a 36-yard Zane Gonzalez field goal that gave Arizona a surprising 3-0 lead.

Wilson had his revenge, however.

Seattle stopped Arizona on a fourth down pass attempt from Josh Rosen to Larry Fitzgerald to get the ball back near midfield, and a mix-up in coverage allowed Wilson to hit with a wide-open Tyler Lockett for an easy 28-yard touchdown pass that put the Seahawks ahead 7-3 with 1:25 left in the quarter. The pass was Wilson’s 35th TD of the season, breaking his own franchise record, and 196th of his career, making him the Seahawks’ franchise record holder.

ARI – Zane Gonzalez 36 FG, 7:25
SEA – Tyler Lockett 29 pass from Russell Wilson (Sebastian Janikowski kick), 1:25

Second quarter

Seahawks 14, Cardinals 13

For the second straight series, the Cardinals opened the second quarter by turning the ball over and giving the Seahawks a short field to work with. And just like when Arizona’s turnover on downs led to a touchdown, so did the fumble recovered by Frank Clark that gave Seattle the ball at the Arizona 34.

It took all of four plays for the Seahawks to add to their lead, as two runs by Chris Carson (including a 7-yard score) and two passes from Wilson to Doug Baldwin made it a 14-3 game.

Arizona didn’t go away, though. The Cardinals blocked a Michael Dickson punt attempt to get the ball deep in Seattle territory, and future Hall of Fame receiver Larry Fitzgerald showed he still has something left in the tank with an impressive one-handed touchdown catch.

Another Seahawks punt had a negative impact as Pharoh Cooper returned a Dickson kick 45 yards to get Arizona back in Seattle territory threatening the Seahawks’ lead. And while a Clark sack on third-and-15 pushed the Cardinals all the way back to a 50-yard field goal attempt, Zane Gonzalez nailed it to get Arizona back within a point with just over a minute before halftime.

Seattle gave Arizona yet another opportunity to get the lead back with a quick three-and-out, and the Seahawks almost paid for it. A dropped near-interception by Seahawks cornerback Justin Coleman allowed the Cardinals to keep driving, and while they were able to get into field goal position, rookie QB Rosen took a sack by Jarran Reed with 11 seconds left, allowing the clock to run out.

SEA – Chris Carson 7 run (Janikowski kick), 11:43
– Larry Fitzgerald 15 pass from Josh Rosen (Gonzalez kick), 5:44
ARI – Gonzalez 50 FG, 1:12

Third quarter

Seahawks 21, Cardinals 21

How the tables can turn – and then turn again.

Not long after the Seahawks broke up a defensive struggle in the third quarter and moved into an 8-point lead, a huge special teams play by Arizona tied things up heading into the final frame.

Let’s go back to the start of the second half to get there, though.

With the Hawks and Cards locked in a tight battle on the scoreboard, the defenses ratcheted things up. The two teams traded punts for the first four four series of the third quarter, with Arizona finally getting the initial first down of the frame with 9:11 on the clock.

Arizona appeared to finally break the spell with Patrick Peterson recovering a Wilson fumble near the goal line and returning it for a touchdown, but a defensive holding call kept the ball in Seattle’s possession.

The Seahawks took the gift and ran with it – literally.

Carson broke loose on the very next play for a 61-yard run to get Seattle all the way to the Arizona 28, the longest rush for the Seahawks in over two years.

Wilson then hit Nick Vannett for 11 yards, and with Carson still catching his breath on the sideline, Mike Davis took a handoff for a 17-yard touchdown run that pushed the Seahawks ahead by 8.

Seattle got a key stop near midfield on Quinton Jefferson’s sack of Rosen on third down, but when the Seahawks were forced to punt late in the quarter, the Cardinals’ second block of the day, this time by Cameron Malveaux, was recovered in the end zone by Dennis Gardeck for an Arizona touchdown. A David Johnson two-point conversion run later and it was a 21-21 deadlock heading into an assuredly exciting final quarter.

SEA – Mike Davis 17 run (Janikowski kick), 4:34
ARI – Dennis Gardeck blocked punt recovery in end zone (David Johnson run), :11

Fourth quarter

Seahawks 27, Cardinals 24

The Seahawks needed a big play to get back in the lead, and that’s exactly what they got.

With Arizona driving towards midfield, Clark produced both his second sack of the day and a Rosen fumble, which was recovered at the Cardinals’ 31 by Jefferson. And while Seattle’s offense couldn’t get any closer than the 20, kicker Sebastian Janikowski hit from 42 yards to give the Hawks a 24-21 lead with 6:25 to go.

The Cardinals have a kicker with a big leg, too, and when Rosen’s downfield shot on third down to Trent Sherfield fell incomplete, Gonzalez nailed a 55-yard field goal to tie things up once again just inside the two-minute warning.

That gave Wilson the chance to run a two-minute drill, however, and you should know where this is going. A Mike Davis run here, a long pass to Tyler Lockett there, and Wilson handed over a chip-shot field goal attempt to Janikowski, who was good from 33 yards to beat Arizona on a game-ending kick for the second time this year.

SEA – Janikowski 42 FG, 6:25
– Gonzalez 55 FG, 1:49
SEA – Janikowski 33 FG, :00

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