The Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks Sunday Night Football matchup has ended in a 6-6 tie. Both Chandler Catanzaro and Stephen Hauschka missed a field goal that would have given their team the win in overtime.
Had Arizona left with a win, the Cardinals would have been one game behind Seattle. Had the Seahawks won, they would have had a two game lead against the Cardinals in the division.
These two will do battle once more in Seattle on Christmas Eve in week 16.
“Very, very well hard fought [football] game,” Arizona head coach Bruce Arians said. “I thought out football team, other than the three plays and the kicking game was outstanding.”
Hawks special teams come into play
Both of the team’s points came off of field goals from Catanzaro and Hauschka. Catanzaro hit one from 46-yards and another from 45-yards. Hauschka hit his first field goal from 40-yards and his second from 36-yards out.
Seattle’s defense was great tonight, making it hard for Arizona running back David Johnson to rush for 106 yards. Larry Fitzgerald and Johnson had great games in the passing game, combining for 16 passes for 109 yards.
The “Legion of Boom” made it difficult for Carson Palmer to throw deep down field. Seattle’s linebackers forced quick passes, even disrupting Arizona’s pocket all evening.
But it was the Seahawks special teams that kept them in the game. Bobby Wagner leapt over the Cardinals center to block a field goal early in the second quarter.
There was some controversy surrounding the play as Wagner touched the center while attempting his jump. The rule states that the defender is not allowed to touch the center if the player wants to try and hurtle over the line. There was a flag on the play, but after the referees talked it over, they decided not to penalize Seattle, giving them possession.
Tanner McEvoy had another big specials teams play for Seattle when he blocked a punt in the fourth quarter. It was recovered by Seattle and would set up the game tying field goal.
Cardinals defense was the more psychical defense
Coming into the game, almost everyone knew that they were in for a defensive showdown with these two teams. The question was: which team was going to be the more physical team?
Arizona gave us the answer, making it hard for Seattle to hit their total 205 passing yards and limited the Seahawks to just 52-yards rushing. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson was already limited due to his sprained left knee. Arizona did not let Wilson step up in the pocket like Wilson normally does preventing big passing plays and big game changing runs that have become synonymous with Wilson.
Markus Golden and Chandler Jones continue to disrupt the opposing teams pocket, ending up in the backfield majority of their rushes. Jones even forced a big fumble late in the fourth quarter that pinned the Seahawk offense deep into their own territory, right on the one-yard line.
Arizona’s secondary did a good job securing Seattle’s receivers, allowing just five passes greater for ten yards or more. Doug Baldwin and Jermain Kearse combined for six catches for 56 yards. Seattle did not get a possession in Cardinal territory until the four-minute mark late in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks tied the game with a forty-yard field goal.
Missed opportunities from Cardinals offense
The Cardinals controlled the tempo of the by keeping the football for a total of 46 minutes. The Seahawks defense looked gassed at time while on the field. The Cardinals could not use this to their advantage.
Michael Floyd continued to have success against Seattle, catching five passes for 65 yards. But, when Arizona could have benefitted from a catch by Floyd the most, it bounced right off of his chest for an incompletion. Once again, Floyd has dropped a key pass in a key situation.
Another missed opportunity for points came late in the second quarter. Arizona had the ball on Seattle’s 19-yard line. Instead of kicking the field goal on fourth and a yard, Arians decided to go for it. David Johnson triied to run up the middle but got denied by Seattle defense.
Next week, Seattle will head into “The Big Easy” as the Seahawks take on the New Orleans Saints. The Saints will be coming off of a loss against the Kansas City Chiefs.
As for the Cardinals, they will travel for a game against the Carolina Panthers. Something to watch this week will be more roster moves concerning the Cardinals special teams.