Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on Seahawks’ 27-24 win over Cardinals
The Seahawks wrapped up their 2018 regular season with a nail-biting 27-24 win over the Arizona Cardinals, giving them a 10-6 record and the NFC’s No. 5 seed heading into their wild-card playoff matchup against the fourth-seeded Dallas Cowboys next week.
As we do after each Seahawks game, we have enlisted the voices of 710 ESPN Seattle to share their instant reactions to Sunday’s victory. Here’s what they have to say, which is just a sneak peak of the analysis you’ll get to hear all day Monday on the air.
Bob Stelton (Bob, Groz and Tom)
The Seahawks won their final game of the season but it didn’t feel like it.
The revamped O-line got their butt kicked for the majority of the afternoon, allowing six sacks. We definitely saw the value of D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy, both of whom did not play in this game. The special teams were anything but special with a couple of blocked punts allowed, including one for a TD. And the defense gave up 17 points to the worst offense in the NFL, one that averaged just 13 points a game coming in, though it should be noted the defense was put into some tough spots due to the special teams’ off day and an early interception thrown by Russell Wilson.
Ultimately this could be a good thing. It reinforces that this team isn’t good enough to look past anybody and gives them plenty to work on before they head out on the road to take on the Dallas Cowboys. Let us hope this game will be used as motivation for the one that truly matters this coming weekend.
Jim Moore (Danny, Dave and Moore)
If I’m the Cowboys, I’m watching this entire game over and over again to see how the Cardinals disrupted the Seahawks’ offense and made a complete mess of their punting game. To have two punts blocked and give up a 45-yard punt return in the same game? Definitely some issues to clean up there.
And the Seahawks’ offensive line also allowed six sacks after giving up only two total in the last four games. Then again, the Seahawks played without starting offensive guards J.R. Sweezy and D.J. Fluker.
So there was some strange stuff going on in this game – the Seahawks, as 13 1/2-point favorites, should have had an easier go of it with the worst team in the league. But the Cardinals were surprisingly game, appearing to play hard for their coach, Steve Wilks, who will reportedly be a goner on Monday.
In the end, none of what happened really mattered with Minnesota losing to Chicago. We’ll see next weekend whether this game should have signaled a cause for concern or not.
Mike Salk (Brock and Salk)
Don’t even try to tell Pete Carroll that a game is meaningless – as we all know, they are just championship opportunities. Well, this one didn’t look like much of a championship. It was ugly from start to finish, but one team had Russell Wilson and the other had Josh Rosen. And while Rosen was busy missing open receivers and fumbling away the football, Wilson just calmly put the six sacks out of his mind and found Tyler Lockett to set up the winning kick.
It wasn’t pretty, but it didn’t need to be.
Bring on Dallas, and a championship opportunity recognized by one and all!
Curtis Rogers (Seattle Sports at Night)
Throughout the game you wouldn’t have had a clue that the Seahawks were challenging the NFL record for fewest turnovers in a season. Sunday was uncharacteristic of a team that values ball security more than anyone. Was it a case of the Seahawks not having a ton to play for? Most likely, as their playoff seeding was largely dependent on circumstances outside of their control. But I also think the Cardinals wanted to send out Larry Fitzgerald and head coach Steve Wilks on a high note.
Even with the ugly win, what the Seahawks have accomplished so far in 2018 makes this year’s team one of the most likable in franchise history. A 10-win season after starting 0-2? The emergence of young players coming out of the shadows of past greats? And then there’s Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll absolutely reinforcing that they’re among the best in the NFL at their respective positions. Now it’s on to the postseason and a playoff road that seems very advantageous.
Dave Grosby (Bob, Groz and Tom)
I don’t think this game deserves a ton of attention. Obviously you missed Fluker and Sweezy, but they should be back next week so problem solved. Special teams had a letdown for sure but that hasn’t been a major issue for the season so I’m inclined to write it off as a bad game.
A 10-win season after an 0-2 start is impressive. Not only that, but the Seahawks turned it around against the team they face this week, the Cowboys. They re-committed to the run and it paid off big time. While old reliables like Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner did what was expected, it was a huge breakout year for four new play-makers, two on each side of the ball. Frank Clark and Jarren Reed emerged as Pro Bowl-caliber defenders and Chris Carson and Tyler Lockett blossomed into big-play performers on offense.
One thing is clear: When the Seahawks are healthy and not committing bad penalties, they can play with anyone. They only have to go back two games to know what happens when they are not clicking. Dallas is even hotter then the Hawks, having won seven of eight, and those who criticized Jerry Jones for the price he paid for Amari Cooper turned out to be wrong. On paper this should be a great game and we have all week to get ready, but in my book this has already been a successful season.
I thought the Seahawks were in rebuilding mode and I was dead wrong. Chicago’s Matt Nagy will likely win Coach of the Year, but this year was Pete Carroll’s best job. John Schneider’s drafting paid off this year, and with a franchise quarterback at his peak anything is possible for these Seahawks.
On a personal note, looking forward to being back on the air this Thursday.