Seahawks 28 Cards 21

Biggest win of Seattle's season.

Jim Rome
November 20, 2020 - 9:16 am
Russell Wilson and Carlos Hyde

USA Today

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The Seattle Seahawks went into last night having lost two straight and three of their four. Russell Wilson did not look like Russell Wilson and the defense did not look like a defense. They went from “let Russ cook”: to Russ burning every meal and a four-alarm fire in the kitchen that threatened the burn the entire house to the grouuuuuund. 

And they went into last night tied with Arizona and Los Angeles at 6-3, but already behind both of them because they’d dropped head-to-head games against them. I’m not going to say that was a must-win game for Seattle, but it was a must-win game for Seattle. Lose that and you’d have lost twice to Arizona and have your first three-game losing streak since 2011.

What I’m saying is: Seattle needed to get right. And they had to get right last night, against a red-hot Cardinals team.

The Arizona Cardinals went into last night having won four of five, including the epic Hail Mary win over Buffalo on Sunday. Kyler Murray looked even better than anyone imagined he’d look in his second season and the defense was doing enough and getting better week by week even without Chandler Jones. Arizona didn’t need to get right, they were right. And a win last night would’ve given them a firm grasp on the division.

And Seattle did what they had to do. They absolutely had to have it. And the biggest shock of all, it was their defense that got it for them.

Sure, Wilson stopped giving the ball to the other team, which he had done 10 times in the last four games, very un-Russ. And he looked a helluva lot more like himself on his touchdown pass to DK Metcalf to open the game.

And even more like himself when he found Tyler Lockett later in the first half for another touchdown.

As good as the Wilson to Metcalf connection is, there is nothing like Wilson to Lockett. The chemistry those two have, if Lockett gets even a crack of separation in the end zone, you know he’s housing it. Especially against the Cardinals. Lockett is an absolute Cardinal Killer. He’s serial against those guys. 

But last night’s 28-21 win wasn’t about Wilson. Or Lockett. Or even Carlos Hyde, who makes an enormous difference for Russ and the offense. Don’t get me wrong – they were good, but last night was about the Seattle defense.

I don’t know if that was about the defense finally showing up or if that was just someone off, But for at least one night, they were better than they had been all year. And what they had been all year, was not just one of the worst defenses in the league, but one of the worst defenses. But they woke the hell last night. And absolutely locked the Cardinals up on the ground: Kenyan Drake: 29 yards. Chase Edmonds: 13 yards. Kyler Murray: 15 yards. Total. His longest run was 8 yards. He had three zone reads for one yard. And if Kyler isn’t running they’re not winning.  If he is, they are. 15 yards rushing! When Murray rushes for less than 30 yards, they’re 1-8-1. When he was running wild in the five games prior to this one, they were 4-1. I’m not looking to point the finger: yes I will. But not at Murray but rather at the line in front of him that had a horrible night. They couldn’t run it, Murray took a beating and the o line had four false starts: four false starts in an empty stadium. I love the Cards, but the hell is that?!??

But back to Seattle manning he hell up on dee: how about the way that busted up secondary showed up: I would have bet anything DeAndre Hopkins was going to abuse them; instead they held him to 5 receptions for just 51 yards. He didn’t hurt them at all. 

Not that he would ever use it as an excuse, but some of that might have been Murray’s shoulder and the fact that he was dinged up, but if he was it was because of the heat Seattle was bringing. As Bobby Wagner said afterwards, "I definitely felt like he felt us more than the last game.”

That’s the truth. And after having zero sacks against the Cardinals in their first meeting, Seattle had three last night. That included two from Carlos Dunlap, who iced the game with a sack.  

That was a huge performance from Seattle’s defense. Absolutely massive when they absolutely had to have it. Easily their biggest win of the season.

They played like a group that was sick of hearing and reading about how crappy they were. Sick of getting their names and legacies dragged through the mud and the record books.

Nobody is going to mistake the guys on this defense with Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett or Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman, but they were good last night.

And if you’re the Cardinals, you’re tripping the entire flight back to Arizona, because you didn’t play well; in fact, you were sloppy as hell with those 10 penalties for 115 yards, some of which were exceedingly idiotic. The false starts, of course. 

And don’t sleep on the three holding penalties, including one in the end zone for a safety. That was particularly dumb – giving Seattle two points and the ball in the fourth quarter isn’t something you want to do.

And then there was the Patrick Peterson 46-yard pass interference just before halftime and the Dre Kirkpatrick personal foul on what would’ve been fourth down for Seattle. That last one might have been the dumbest of them all.

Yet as dumb and as undisciplined as all that was, somehow, some way, Arizona still had a chance to tie the game late. That tells you something about this team. Even when they’re making mistakes, and even when they’re rolling out their C game, they’re still dangerous: and they were still in position to rip one that late; even if they had shot off every toe on their foot.

What I’m saying is that Arizona isn’t going anyway. I’m still riding with them. That was a painful loss, but it’s not a season-killer. Not at all. Arizona was the team that could afford to lose that game. Seattle couldn’t. That may have ended their season. They absolutely had to have it and they got it.

And their reward is now they get to eat: now they get to slam some NFC East cream puffs and the Jets for the next month. Bon appetite, dudes. you earned it last night.