Defense rises and falls as Seahawks blow another fourth-quarter lead

Bobby Wagner's fumble return gave the Seahawks their only lead in the fourth quarter.
Joe Nicholson/Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Sparked by their defense, the Seattle Seahawks stormed back from a big first-half deficit and ripped off 19 unanswered points to take a slim lead over the Arizona Cardinals with 13 minutes to play Sunday night.

Yet when it counted most, that same defense followed a familiar pattern and was unable to hold the fourth-quarter lead in a 39-32 loss that left the Seahawks three games back of the first-place Cardinals in the NFC West.

"Is it the end of the world? No," Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson said. "There’s a lot of football left. In every game we’ve lost we’ve had a chance."

The Seahawks trailed 19-0 and 25-10 before the defense set up one touchdown and scored another in under two minutes in the fourth to forge ahead 29-25. With the momentum clearly on its side and the Cardinals seemingly reeling after quarterback Carson Palmer was sacked and fumbled on consecutive possessions, Seattle appeared on the verge of slicing the division lead to one game.

Instead, Palmer regained his footing and directed touchdown drives of 83 and 80 yards to snatch away the victory from the Seahawks, who have blown fourth-quarter leads in all five of their losses.

"The defense played well but not well enough," said Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner, whose 22-yard fumble return gave his team its last lead two minutes into the fourth quarter.

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