The Seahawks’ defense was on the field for over 45 minutes last night yet still held the Cardinals to six points…and somehow didn’t win…or lose?
As far as weird games go, you could probably put all of the ties in the NFL under that particular category. But last night’s game in Arizona has got to be one of the strangest ties in NFL history. Deep into overtime, Cardinals’ kicker Chandler Catanzaro had a chance to kick his second field goal of the period and finally just end an ugly game.
This was after the Seahawks’ defense turned in one of the best efforts I’ve seen from them in the Pete Carroll era. They didn’t force a turnover, which would have likely produced some points and won the game before this sorry affair went to overtime tied at three. But, aside from holding the Cardinals to only six points for their 46+ minutes of possession time, they blocked a kick, blocked a punt, and caused Catanzaro to miss the game-winning field goal in overtime.
That’s right, folks. Even though Cardinals coach Bruce Arians blamed his kicker for the 24-yard miss, Catanzaro’s shank job was caused by Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner jumping over the line of scrimmage and cornerback Richard Sherman screaming around the edge to nearly block the attempt. This is of course after Wagner blocked a field goal by jumping over the long snapper earlier in the game. Catanzaro felt the pressure up the middle (hard not to) and around the edge and thought enough about it to shank the kick. The Seahawks’ defense made that happen. It was an all-around virtuoso performance by Sherman, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, and company.
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Of course, Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka continued his struggles at the University of Phoenix Stadium and missed his own game-winning field goal attempt way wide. Keep your head up, Hawks fans, a tie is disappointing, but it’s better than a loss. And if the defense can continue to suffocate teams for 45 minutes or more (they hopefully won’t have to do that again), the Seahawks will at least have a chance if their offense struggles like it did last night.
A note about the offense: it can’t much worse than last night. Aside from not turning the ball over, Russell Wilson and company couldn’t get anything going against a tough Cards’ defense. After losing offensive tackle Bradley Sowell, the offensive line just couldn’t block anyone. I thought Pete Carroll was going to use “The Waterman” strategy: just kneel every time and try to force a turnover with Bobby Boucher on defense. (Or they could have used Bobby Wagner). Sowell’s injury is frightening, obviously, because it makes a bad offensive line worse–to the point where a football movie starring Adam Sandler might actually help. Hopefully Russ can heal his knee a bit more and make up for a lack of pass protection as he had in the past. Thankfully, a date with the dreadful New Orleans defense next week is just what the doctor ordered for the offense.