Seahawks Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on loss to Arizona
The Seahawks suffered a tough 27-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, dropping them to 11-4 on the year and out of both the NFC West lead and the NFC’s No. 1 overall seed.
As we do after each Seahawks game, we have collected the instant reactions of the hosts of 710 ESPN Seattle to Seattle’s defeat. This is just a sneak peak of what you’ll be able to hear throughout the day Monday on the station.
Stacy Rost – Tom, Jake and Stacy
The Seahawks should have beat the Cardinals Sunday. They were favored by 9.5 heading into the game – which is interesting since they have just one win of eight points or more this year. But outside of that, they have an advantage almost across the board – at least on offense.
And maybe that’s why Sunday’s loss was so surprising. Seattle was expected to struggle on defense due to being short three starters: edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney, cornerback Shaquill Griffin, and safety Quandre Diggs. Despite that, they still had a chance to be productive against a four-win Arizona team with a rookie quarterback playing on the road.
What wasn’t expected was Seattle’s struggle on offense. Nevermind that the Seahawks were short starting left tackle Duane Brown, or that they failed to score a touchdown at all two weeks ago; Seattle’s offense was still in the top five league wide in yards per game heading into Sunday. They have one of the league’s best quarterbacks with Russell Wilson, a 1,000 yard rusher with Chris Carson, the most productive rookie receiver this year in DK Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett, who just recorded his first 1,000-yard season.
More than that, the Cardinals’ defense was – is – bad. Arizona ranks 32nd overall and is one of two teams in the league allowing 400 or more yards on average from opposing offenses. Their best player is outside linebacker Chandler Jones, however, and the Seahawks’ offensive line couldn’t find a way to block him. Jones finished with four sacks and six quarterback hits.
The Seahawks have a few big questions moving forward. How can they step up their protection if Duane Brown remains out? What are they going to do at running back with Carson and C.J. Prosise both hurt? And what can a defense that allowed 100 yards by Arizona running back Kenyan Drake in the first half do to contain San Francisco’s offense next week?
The takeaways from the Seahawks’ loss to the Cardinals (plus injury updates) for @710ESPNSeattle
— Stacy Jo Rost (@StacyRost) December 23, 2019
Bob Stelton – Bob, Dave and Moore
For those Seahawks fans who have a hard time hearing or reading anything other than glowing remarks and praise for the team, I would advise that you do not read any further.
Normally after a horror show of a game like that, we tend to look at it as an aberration and throw out a few excuses and silver linings:
“The Seahawks can still win the division.”
“The Hawks were riddled with injuries.”
“They’ll be fine when the playoffs start.”
The first two of those statements are true. Based on what we witnessed today and the last few games for that matter, the last statement is not true.
This was a dud of epic proportions. The Hawks went into this game playing for the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC – home field advantage, a bye week. I don’t care that you can still win the division against the 49ers. There was too much on the line in this one to just flat out not show up for this game.
After a fantastic opening drive that resulted in a TD, the entire team went to sleep. Offense, defense, special teams, coaching – nowhere to be found.
Yes, they are incredibly banged-up, but that doesn’t excuse what we watched in this one. These backups are on the roster for a reason. And as I tweeted out during the game (@BobStelton), I don’t think expecting these guys to make fundamental plays is unreasonable.
The Cardinals went out there and played like they had everything on the line. They were energetic, intense and creative on offense. Even when their starting QB left the game with an injury and they brought in former Seahawks backup Brett Hundley, they were everything that the Hawks were not. They also put up more rushing yards against the Hawks (253) than any team has since 2010.
On top of just flat-out getting whipped on the field, the Hawks’ coaching staff had their backsides handed to them as well. Head-scratching play calling, to say the very least. You have an MVP-caliber QB in Russell Wilson yet the play calling seemed to be what you might see when you have a backup in there or a QB who is not healthy. And let’s appreciate Wilson’s durability for a moment. That may have been the worst day out of this O-line that we’ve seen all season. He was sacked five times, hit and harassed all day, yet he was still out there every play as he always is.
The Cardinals have one of the worst defenses in the entire league, across the board. Passing yards allowed, points allowed, rushing yards allowed, total yards allowed, etc. They stink! Yet the Hawks’ offense played like they were going up against a version of the Legion of Boom circa 2013.
Throw in that it looks like they’ll be without Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise for the remainder of the season and Duane Brown for the foreseeable future, and Pete Carroll and his staff will have to pull off the coaching job of their lives to make any noise at all in the playoffs.
— Bob Stelton (@BobStelton) December 23, 2019
Jim Moore – Bob, Dave and Moore
The worst part wasn’t losing to the Cardinals – the Seahawks can still be NFC West champions if they beat the 49ers at home on Sunday night.
It’s Chris Carson’s hip injury toward the end of the first half and the fact that Seattle’s No. 1 running back is done for the year. C.J. Prosise also has a broken arm, and with Rashaad Penny already on injured reserve that leaves rookie Travis Homer to start against the 49ers.
Injuries that sidelined Duane Brown and Jadeveon Clowney were also huge factors in Sunday’s loss. The Cardinals took advantage of an offensive line without Brown, racking up 11 tackles for loss and five sacks, including four by Chandler Jones, who now has 19 on the season. That’s just seven fewer sacks that Seattle’s 26 on the season.
Without the run-stopping Clowney on the field, the Cardinals rushed for 253 yards, and as they showed us on the FOX broadcast, that’s the most rushing yards the Seahawks have given up since 2010 when they allowed the Chiefs to run for 270 yards. Known for having an Air Raid, the Cardinals ran it 40 times, averaging 6.3 yards a carry.
I really thought the Seahawks would rally from a 20-7 deficit to win after Marquise Blair returned a blocked field goal all the way to the Arizona 16-yard line in the third quarter. But the Seahawks went three-and-out after a curious third-and-3 handoff to Homer was blown up by the Cardinals, resulting in a Jason Myers field goal.
Even if the Seahawks did not need to win this game to hang on to the NFC’s top seed, it was still unusual to see them lose when the Cardinals had to go to their backup QB, Brett Hundley, after Kyler Murray was sidelined with a hamstring injury in the third quarter. And it was even more unusual to see Hundley, who was Russell Wilson’s backup last year, outplay him in the second half.
The matchup with San Francisco does not look promising after a loss like this, but keep in mind that the 49ers are battling injuries of their own and are just 4-3 since starting the season with eight straight wins. In the last three games, the supposedly best defense in the league has allowed 46 points to the Saints, 29 points to the Falcons and 31 to the Rams.
One more positive, and it might be a bit of a reach, but remember last week when the Cowboys pounded the Rams? After that it seemed like everyone thought they’d go to Philadelphia Sunday, beat the Eagles and win the NFC East. What happened? The Eagles won 17-9, limiting the explosive Cowboys to three field goals.
The Groz – Every day at 11:45 a.m. with John Clayton
A devastating day in Seattle, and it has little to do with the listless loss to the Cardinals. For a team that loves to run the ball, to lose the top three running backs for the season over a two-week period at the end of the regular season is just brutal. Chris Carson and CJ Prosise join Rashaad Penny on the sidelines. Oh, and Duane Brown is going to be out from knee surgery and won’t be able to return until the playoffs, and that’s only a maybe.
Put that with as bad a performance as I can ever remember from a Pete Carroll-coached team and it happening the same week as some drug suspensions, it’s easy to think the Seahawks’ season is unraveling. Time will tell on that judgement. Right now you have to get ready for the biggest game of the season – not just for you but the entire NFL.
The Seahawks and 49ers played the game of the year in primetime in Week 10 and will go at it again next Sunday night with everyone watching. The teams are both wounded animals in what sets up to be a great game despite the debacle at the CLink.
You paid Russell Wilson a ton this year and guess what? He’s truly got to earn it now as his team is scrambling with their running game hobbled and offensive line reeling. The Seahawks are going to have to become a passing team – rapidly – if they expect to have any postseason success. And to have any postseason success they have to beat the 49ers this week. It’s that simple.
Jake Heaps – Tom, Jake and Stacy
An opportunity to build momentum for the final showdown with the San Francisco 49ers and have a chance for the No. 1 seed in the NFC was not only wasted but squandered drastically. The Seahawks’ offense struggled to protect Russell Wilson and score on arguably the worst defense in the NFL coming into the game. The Seahawks’ defense did no better by allowing Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake to run well over 100 yards and two touchdowns.
The Seahawks also finished the game with more injury concerns than they already had, which was a lot to begin with. The Seahawks have a lot of work ahead of them during the week as a collective group if they are going to have a chance to beat the 49ers next Sunday.