Seahawks stymied by Arizona’s D in 17-10 loss
All the Seattle Seahawks needed was another win at home. No big
deal – they already had 14 straight.
But they may have underestimated just how much the Arizona
Cardinals wanted to make the playoffs.
Carson Palmer’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Michael Floyd with
2:13 left gave the Cardinals a 17-10 victory Sunday and kept alive
their hopes for their first playoff appearance since 2009.
It was Seattle’s first loss at home since December 2011. The
Seahawks had been vying to clinch both the NFC West and home-field
advantage with a victory. Now they’ll need San Francisco to lose at
home to Atlanta on Monday night, or a victory at home next week
against the Rams to clinch the top seed.
The Cardinals got the best of the Seahawks because of stout
defense, not necessarily because they were the hungrier team,
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
”We `must win’ every week. That’s all we understand, and I’m
sure they feel the same way,” Carroll said.
The loss didn’t come without controversy.
On the Seahawks’ possession following Palmer’s touchdown to
Lloyd, Russell Wilson took aim at Doug Baldwin with a deep pass.
The ruling on the field was an interception by Arizona’s Karlos
Dansby, a call that stood despite a review.
Baldwin insisted afterward that the ball hit the ground.
”I don’t think anybody in the stadium had a better view of it
than me,” he said.
Referee Scott Green was asked about the call following the game,
saying, ”We didn’t have disputable evidence that it hit the ground
and therefore we went with the call as it was made on the field,
which was an interception.”
Carroll also challenged a ruling earlier in the quarter over
whether Arizona running back Rashard Mendenhall fumbled on a series
that led to field goal for the Cardinals to put them up 9-3. The
call on the field in that case also stood.
”You never want to blame the officials, you just don’t want to
let it get to that point,” Seattle safety Earl Thomas said. ”You
just keep grinding and keep pushing it through until something good
Arizona was the team grinding harder on Sunday and the result
was its first victory in Seattle since 2009.
The Panthers defeated the New Orleans Saints 17-13 earlier
Sunday, meaning the Cardinals needed to beat the Seahawks in
Seattle to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Cardinals fell to the Seahawks 34-22 in Week 7. The last
time the Seahawks hosted Arizona, they handed the Cardinals their
most lopsided loss in franchise history – a 58-0 blanking to cap a
nine-game losing streak.
”Any time you come on the road and the team beats you 58-0 and
you have to come back to their place, it lingers to the back of
your head,” Arizona defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said. ”If
you got any pride in any game of football, when a team beats you by
58, you know you think about it and it’s stuck on you.”
That memory is now replaced by Arizona handing Seattle its first
home loss since Dec. 24, 2011, against San Francisco.
Arizona kept Wilson off-balance for his first loss at home.
Wilson completed 11 of 27 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown. He
also had the final-series interception. It was his first home loss
since he was at North Carolina State.
”I thought it was one of those games where we were just an inch
off here or there for whatever reason,” he said.
The defense helped Arizona overcome a sloppy performance from
Palmer, who was intercepted four times. He was Kam Chancellor
picked him off in the end zone on Arizona’s opening drive. He was
picked off by Malcolm Smith in Seattle territory in the second
quarter, and twice threw interceptions into Richard Sherman’s
But Palmer was fantastic on Arizona’s decisive drive. It started
with a third-down completion as he was about to get sandwiched by
Clinton McDonald, flipping a pass to Jake Ballard for 17 yards. The
drive was kept going when Smith was flagged for defensive holding
on a third-down incompletion.
On third-and-6, Palmer dropped a perfect throw beyond cornerback
Byron Maxwell and into Floyd’s hands. He juggled it at first but
controlled the ball as he hit the turf.
Mendenhall scored easily on the 2-point conversion with 2:13
The Seahawks had taken over the lead with Wilson’s 11-yard
touchdown pass to Zach Miller with 7:26 to go. The extra point was
blocked, but the Cardinals were flagged for an illegal formation.
Steven Hauschka converted the second attempt.
Before that, the Seahawks went three-and-out seven times. Wilson
was sacked four times. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 71 yards, but
Seattle had just 22:36 time of possession.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org