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Cardinals 37 Seahawks 34: Winners and Losers

It’s been coming.

The Seattle Seahawks can’t just play heart attack football every week and expect to win. They probably don’t want to do that but their awful defense puts them in position almost all the time, and the offense chipped in with their own critical mistakes. A 20-7 lead became a 37-34 loss and it was deserved.

No more undefeated run. They were never going to go 19-0. Maybe 18-1 will suffice. Let’s get to Winners and Losers.

Winners

Tyler Lockett

He’d been quiet for two games running and then uncorked a career-best 15 catches for 200 yards and three touchdowns, two of which were unbelievable. That’s what makes this passing offense so dangerous — you can maybe stop Lockett one day, or Metcalf another day, but almost certainly not both at the same time. Lockett didn’t deserve to have such a tremendous outing wasted.

DK Metcalf

It seems Arizona is his bogey team. He only had two catches for 23 yards and that second catch only counted for six yards because David Moore’s hold denied him a touchdown. But why is he on the winners list? That chasedown of Budda Baker on that interception is one of the most impressive plays by him and just of any offensive player in general when making a TD-saving tackle. That’s hustle and freak athleticism for you.

Jordyn Brooks

He may be one of the few defensive players who can be proud of their effort. I thought he did a great job regularly getting into the backfield on running plays and he was very helpful in containing a lot of Kyler Murray’s scrambles. Promising stuff from the rookie.

Poona Ford

Really good pursuit of DeAndre Hopkins to force the fumble and get the takeaway. I am stretching for positives but this was a positive.

Quandre Diggs

I don’t think he played well but he did play centerfield on Kyler Murray’s interception, setting up the Seahawks in great position to go up 34-24 and then live happily ever after. We got the 34-24 part down pat.

Michael Dickson

He’s the punt god again.

Losers

Russell Wilson

Yeah he has to be a loser. Two of those interceptions were on drives that should’ve ended in points. The last one cost them the game. His 2nd half and overtime performance was decidedly pedestrian and undid a lot of his great work in the 1st half. Will his MVP chances take a huge hit after helping give a game away? It shouldn’t but really I don’t care. Wilson didn’t deliver in crunch time and now he’s surpassed his interception total from all of last season.

David Moore

That hold on the DK Metcalf would-be game winner was egregious and obvious and it led to the interception… in which he seemingly wasn’t on the same page with Wilson. Metcalf probably doesn’t get the first down without the hold but at least a 4th down punt is better than what happened next.

DeeJay Dallas

That’s why he doesn’t see the field. Horrendous in pass protection. The Seahawks are in an odd spot where they have running back depth but at the same time don’t really have playable running back depth.

Benson Mayowa

What the hell was that? The leverage penalty was absolutely correct and it’s been a penalty for years. And he ain’t the one to pull that off and try and get a blocked field goal. Another costly, stupid mistake on a night chock full of them.

Brandon Shell

I thought he was fine in terms of blocking but he had both of Seattle’s false start penalties, with one of them resulting in a punt. Not good.

Quinton Dunbar

Gave up two touchdowns and was just one of many struggling players trying to make open-field tackles.

Ken Norton Jr

Forget it. He stays on the losers list forever until he’s fired or they turn in a competent defensive showing. He won’t be fired so that means he’s reserved a spot on this list until proven otherwise. Kyler Murray had 48 pass attempts and only one pass defensed. No quarterback hits. No sacks. Busted coverages aplenty. Run defense I believe is really good still but it broke down hard and they looked gassed which is absurd when they’re coming off a bye and played roughly the same number of snaps as Arizona’s defense did. This is, no bullshit, the single worst Seahawks pass defense I have ever seen and I endured two seasons of Brian Russell as free safety with Kelly Jennings at corner.

Brian Schottenheimer’s 2nd half playcalling

I’m going to make a mildly controversial statement and argue that the Seahawks didn’t run the ball enough. And if Carlos Hyde can’t handle more than 15 carries despite being a starter last year and having had about a month to recover between games, then the Seahawks have a shitty running back situation for as long as Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny are out. Hyde had 11 rushing attempts in the 2nd half. Four of them were in an obvious effort to kill the clock and win the game. Seattle passed it 26 times for 122 net yards in the 2nd half. Maybe the Carson injury (and then Homer injury) affected things but the passing game was very inefficient on a day when the run game had better EPA than the passing attack. And yes, I would’ve preferred Seattle do play-action rollout on 3rd and 2 instead of another Hyde run but the Seahawks beat the Dolphins from a similar situation with Carson. Sometimes you convert, sometimes you don’t. But this was incredibly lopsided pass-run with a lead. The lack of adjustments to Vance Joseph’s blitzing was also worrisome.

Referees

John Hussey’s crew was atrocious. The Bobby Wagner “penalty” for roughness was complete garbage and helped turn a punt into an Arizona touchdown. They ruled an obvious incomplete pass for Greg Olsen a touchdown and then went to replay, which I guess is fine but what isn’t fine is making Seattle use a challenge on Lockett’s third touchdown. Budda Baker got away with a “lowering the helmet” penalty that went uncalled. They weren’t the reason Seattle lost but they sure as hell didn’t help.

Final Notes

  • These injuries are a big deal. Carson’s durability is just not going to lead to a long career by RB standards. Shaquill Griffin’s concussion hopefully heals up soon because Tre Flowers is unplayable at this point. Travis Homer is essentially the only reliable pass protecting back and he has a knee contusion.
  • Jamal Adams can’t return soon enough, because at this point he is the pass rush.
  • If the Seahawks are considered pretenders by pundits I have no issue with it. They have played a soft schedule and scraped by in three of those games. First actual good team they play and they beat themselves in many ways, but they still lost. They need to beat quality teams for anyone to believe they’re going to make a deep playoff run.
  • The Seahawks are 0-4 in their last four NFC West games and have allowed 118 points in that span. Pete Carroll is supposedly a defensive minded coach but the young bright minds on the opposite sideline keep pantsing this defense.
  • Next week against the 49ers is a must-win. They now risk dropping to 3rd place in the NFC West with a loss and two Los Angeles Rams victories. Winning this game would’ve meant so much. Now they have to suck it up and recover quickly, or else a 5-0 start may go to waste.

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