Seahawks-Cardinals final result, fan reactions to season finale
What happened in Seahawks-Cardinals and what does it make you think about the team? Seaside Joe 1771
The Seattle Seahawks entered the season finale with a very simple and familiar goal, which was to beat the Arizona Cardinals. Anything out of their control regarding the NFC playoff picture was just that: Out of their control. The Seahawks had their opportunities earlier in the season to have control and maybe the powers that be (whoever they are) will spend more time this week thinking about past games instead of what happened on Sunday in Glendale, Arizona.
I know that I will even though what happened on Sunday was one of the least-thrilling thrilling finishes to a game in Seattle franchise history. The Seahawks completed their goal of the week, beating the Cardinals 21-20, but not their goal of the season.
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Unfortunately, because of what the Seahawks could not control, there was not much celebrate when Seattle completed one of their most unlikely and otherwise “cool” victories of the Pete Carroll era, coming back from a touchdown deficit with under 2:00 minutes to go and converting a two-point conversion to win 21-20 after Matt Prater missed a last second field goal.
Had the Green Bay Packers lost to the Chicago Bears, or if the Seahawks had won any of the games they lost this season that they could have won, Week 18’s finish would go down in franchise annals as a monumental moment to celebrate. The Seahawks had a putrid second half, punting on their first four possessions with only 41 yards gained, and then Prater uncharacteristically missed a 43-yard attempt that would have sealed the win for Arizona.
The four-play, 68-yard touchdown drive to follow, with Geno Smith dotting the perfect pinpoint victory hole into Tyler Lockett’s arms for a 34-yard score make it 20-19, should have otherwise been a moment of tension followed by exhilaration. Pete’s decision to go for two felt, instead of being a bold decision, felt like an admission that Seattle had nothing to lose and the defense would almost certainly let the Cardinals back into field goal range anyway.
He was right.
The Seahawks, sporting maybe the softest defense in the NFL this season, let the Cardinals climb from the AZ25 to the SEA33 in under two minutes and it was perhaps only Arizona’s last two play calls that cost them the game. The Cardinals went three yards backwards and Prater hooked a 51-yard attempt to the right. The first miss of his career in a game-tying or game-winning situation under 2:00 minutes.
Great. I mean, I’m happy that the Seahawks did not officially lose to the Cardinals on the scoreboard and won’t go 1-5 in the division.
On the other hand, at one point the cameras showed Geno on the sideline finding out that the Packers beat the Bears and though I’m only an amateur lip reader, I’m pretty sure he said “This is bullshit.”
It is. But it wasn’t any bullshit that Geno, his teammates, and Seahawks coaches couldn’t have changed with better performances earlier in the season, especially in close losses to the Bengals, Rams, Cowboys, and Steelers. The Seahawks, those who will remain, will have months to think about that bullshit.
Better yet, they can think about their not-close losses (Rams, Ravens, 49ers twice) and use those to measure just how far they are from Super Bowl contention again because if this season—and the previous seven—are any indication, Seattle is not close.
In fact, if the Seahawks are close to anything, it’s three last-second wins against the Eagles, Titans, and Cardinals over the last month that have propelled Seattle to a winning record; they’re that close to having lost their last EIGHT games overall. And their two wins previous to that were a game-winning field goal against Washington as time expired (the team picking second overall) and a game-winning touchdown to Jaxon Smith-Njigba against the Browns with less than a minute left.
So over the Seahawks last 11 games of the season, they went 5-6 and all five wins came in the final minute.
Winning season? Yes. Pete’s 11th winning season in 14 years? Yes. A Seahawks season I want to watch again in 2024? I just turned 41, I want to live to see 42, so I’ll have to pass on Seattle just running it back.
The Seahawks were a bad football team this season that happened to win nine games. They’ve done this before. They were a bad team when they made the playoffs in 2010, they were at least an overrated team when they made the playoffs in Geno’s first year as the starter, and they were worse overall this year than last season.
The defense is much worse, Geno was worse, the play calling and tackling was worse, the bad losses were much uglier and the good wins were less satisfying. I felt as if a psychological and emotional warfare was declared on me BY MY FAVORITE TEAM in all 17 games this season.
“Run it back”?
Somebody please, wake me up!
Seahawks pick 16th overall
The Seahawks secured the 16th pick in the draft with the win and not making the playoffs. I laid out this week why that could be the best case scenario, even if it’s not what I wanted to happen.
If the Seahawks had lost, they would have the 14th pick, which is not a notable difference. If Seattle wanted to make a bold and totally unprecedented, unexpected, unlikely trade up for a quarterback, they could do it just as easily from 16 as they would 14; the Rams traded up from 15 to 1 for Jared Goff in 2016, so it’s not unprecedented as far as a move goes.
The Bears could trade the first pick, but there will be many suitors ahead of Seattle in either case.
Despite losing the game, the Cardinals didn’t move up the draft order: They will pick 4th overall after the Bears (from CAR), Moons, and Patriots. That makes it a little more likely that Kyler Murray returns, but he could have receiver Marvin Harrison, Jr. when he does. Unless maybe the Bears trade down two spots with the Patriots and then they select Harrison.
Pete Carroll’s future
Pete says he intends to be the Seahawks coach next season. If there’s a change on that, Seaside Joe will be the first to email you about it.
It’s the hot button issue of the last few weeks, so voice your opinions in the Seaside Joe comments about it:
My personal opinion is that if the Seahawks fire Pete, they should have the next Pete Carroll lined up. That’s how they fired Jim Mora for Pete, they knew they were getting Pete even if it didn’t fit within the rules. The Broncos knew they wanted Sean Payton, nobody else’s interview was real.
There’s Jim Harbaugh out there and that’s the only name that interests me at all. If the Seahawks came back next year with Geno Smith at quarterback and Dan Quinn at head coach, that’s a worse version of the team. That’s maybe the worst team in the NFC. I don’t know, maybe that would be better for Seattle in the long run.
But I wouldn’t do it just to do it. I look at the Giants in the post-Tom Coughlin era. No, Coughlin’s not the coach you think of when you think of “two-time Super Bowl winner”, he still kep them relevant and now New York’s been the league’s worst team over the past 12 seasons. Unwatchable and rotating coaches for the last decade.
Maybe keeping Coughlin wouldn’t have been the solution. But I would say what managers always say when a subordinate makes a complaint: “Don’t give me questions, give me solutions.”
And right now it’s a lot easier for me to point to players who need to be replaced than the head coach, although I’m not actually against a dramatic change somewhere in the organization.
Rough game for DK Metcalf
It’s not that Metcalf was “bad”, just that he finished with one catch for 10 yards on 6 targets. If not for a first down penalty taking away one of his other catches, he would have a few more yards but not many.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba had three catches for 14 yards on five targets. That’s 11 targets that picked up 24 yards to Seattle’s two best receivers.
I don’t care if the blame is on Shane Waldron or Geno Smith or Pete Carroll (I don’t feel like blame goes to DK and JSN) but this passing offense can’t exist in my life next season. You’ve got these players around the quarterback position, do not run THIS back. Yes, the quarterback does fine when he has time to throw but also the best quarterbacks in the NFL do NOT have time to throw. The modern NFL passing game is designed to reward passers who perform well under pressure and on the run/moving the launch point.
All the resources spend on the offensive supporting cast in the last two offseasons went to waste this year. The defense is much worse than the offense, true, but the offense is hardly good enough.
New linebackers next
One of the main priorities this year will be the middle of the defense. This should be Bobby Wagner’s last game with the Seahawks. We should have never had Devin Bush’s first game with the Seahawks. Jordyn Brooks is a free agent and re-signing him is a matter of what other teams are willing to pay him, not what Seattle is willing to pay him. I hope they are not going to overpay him because injured or not (and his injuries are a concern too), he got got by James Conner and Rondale Moore on Sunday and that was not a great look for the Seahawks linebackers.
Tyler Lockett. Devon Witherspoon. Ken Walker. Jason Myers didn’t miss his kicks. Michael Dickson had a 51.6 average and two pinned inside the 20. Will Dissly caught a touchdown. And I’ve got nothing against Geno’s game this week, but I’ll stay open to the Seahawks drafting a quarterback in the first round.
Are the Seahawks though?