Seahawks-Cardinals final score, takeaways: Injuries mar Seattle's win in Arizona
Richard Sherman and several other defensive players went down during the Seahawks' divisional victory
Seattle eventually won, 22-16, but it was a war of attrition because of injuries, penalties, drops, missed throws, and other miscues. At times it seemed as though the Seahawks were going to keep the Cardinals in the game through a sheer stubborn insistence on being caught committing as many penalties as possible -- Arizona's first scoring drive of the game saw them gifted four first downs by Seattle fouls. It was the fourth straight game in which the Seahawks committed at least 10 penalties (12 for 108 yards in all).
Had Drew Stanton not repeatedly missed open receivers down the field and over the middle, the Seahawks may have been trailing at one point or another. Alas, Stanton just couldn't get it done. He made a few nice throws here and there, but his inaccuracy on downfield plays prevented the Cardinals offense from ever getting untracked. And so it was a low-scoring, close affair for a lot of the night.
Eventually, Russell Wilson stepped up and made a miraculous play to help his team pull ahead for good, as he so often does. Wilson was bottled up for much of the night, sacked five teams and forced to check down repeatedly. Early in the fourth quarter, though, he scrambled away from the entire Cardinals defense, wheeled around a few times, and flung the ball in the general direction of Doug Baldwin. The rest was one of the best plays of the season.
Seattle scored again on the next play, pushing its lead to 12 points -- a margin that proved insurmountable even after the Cardinals staged a late touchdown drive.
More importantly for the Seahawks, they lost several defensive starters (and running back C.J. Prosise, again) to injury. Already working without Cliff Avril and Earl Thomas, Seattle saw Jarran Reed, Richard Sherman, Frank Clark, Sheldon Richardson, and Kam Chancellor all leave the field, with injuries of varying severity. Coach Pete Carroll announced after the game that with a torn Achilles.
The Seahawks kept pace with the division-leading Rams by coming away with a win in this game, but their fate this season may come down to whether those players can make it back from their latest ailments. Here are a few more things to know about the Seahawks' 22-16 win...
Fitz joins another elusive club
All hail the great Larry Fitzgerald. The man keeps climbing up all-time lists, showing just how good he has been -- and still is. With a fourth-quarter catch, he became the sixth player ever to amass 15,000 receiving yards. Only Jerry Rice did it at a younger age than Fitz, who was 34 years and 70 days old on Thursday night.
Five years from whenever he retires, we're going to need his measurements for a gold jacket. Let's just hope he doesn't retire anytime soon.
Jimmy Graham, red zone weapon, is back
Remember when the Seahawks first traded for Jimmy Graham and everyone got super excited about how great of a weapon he would be in the red zone, but then for two years, the Seahawks hardly ever threw to him in the red zone?
Graham was the intended target on only five of Russell Wilson's 39 red-zone throws in 2015, and just seven of 41 last year. Well, heading into Week 10's matchup against the Cards, Graham had already been targeted nine times on Wilson's 37 red zone throws in 2017.
The first time Seattle got close to the goal line on Thursday, Wilson looked Graham's way again, floating him a lob over the top of the defense and letting Graham use his basketball skills to box out his man for the rebound. To the surprise of exactly no one, it worked.
In the fourth quarter (after what might have been the play of the year), they did it again.
And it wasn't the first time. The scores were Graham's fifth and sixth in the last five games -- all of them in the red zone. He had touchdown catches of 18 yards and one yard against the Texans two weeks ago, a one-yard score on a back-shoulder throw against the Giants, and a touchdown from four yards out against the Rams.
It took more than two seasons, but it appears the Seahawks have finally realized what a special weapon they have when they get in close. They'd be wise to keep peppering him with targets down there, because he's almost impossible to stop.
More TNF injuries
The totally safe Thursday night game, so safe that it absolutely makes sense for a team to play four days following their previous game and not after a bye week, did not result in any injuries whatsoever. Oh, just kidding. Everybody and their mother got hurt. Here's a list of players that left the game and did not return:
That's both starting defensive tackles for Seattle (Jarran Reed, Sheldon Richardson), the starting left tackle for both teams (D.J. Humphries and Duane Brown), a starting safety for Arizona (Tyvon Branch), a rotational tight end for the Cardinals (Ifeanyi Momah), one of the best cornerbacks in football (Richard Sherman, who would obviously be out for the year if his Achilles is really torn), and the Seahawks' starter at defensive end (Frank Clark).
Linebacker Michael Wilhoite also left and did not return, and Kam Chancellor went into the medical tent near the end of the game. Shaquil Griffin (shoulder) and Russell Wilson -- who may have fooled the concussion spotters by after the referee made him leave the game for a play following a hit to the helmet -- both briefly exited before coming back.
Like I said, Thursday night games are totally, 100 percent safe.
Adventures in catch rule explanations
Late in the second quarter, Andre Ellington caught a pass over the middle of the field from Drew Stanton. He snagged the ball on the run, gained a few yards and then went to the ground. When he hit the turf, the ball popped out of his arms. It was recovered by Kam Chancellor and returned for 17 yards.
Being a turnover, the play was automatically reviewed. Of course, it was overruled and changed to an incomplete pass, because there is not one single person on this planet that actually knows what a catch is.
Naturally,. Most of them in 140 characters or less! Old school.
Of course, this is just another day in the life of the administration of the catch rule. It has never made any sense. It does not make any sense now. And it will never make any sense in the future.
In case you didn't notice, Thursday was Color Rush nice. We're giving the Cardinals an "A" for their black and red uniforms with white trim. It would look even cooler if they had black helmets to go with it, but this looked pretty damn good anyway.
And the Seahawks, as usual, get an "F" for their lime green monstrosities.
These jerseys are gross.
Kerwynn Williams returned a punt from the 2-yard line, holding during the play knocked them back to the one, then first play = safety
Look at that run fill by Chancellor! Good lord, that is an awesome play. Adrian Peterson had no chance of getting out of the end zone there.
Of course, the Seahawks also recorded a safety last week against Washington. And so, you might have thought the Seahawks were the first team ever -- or at least in a while -- to record a safety in back-to-back weeks, but you would be wrong. It was actually done twice last year alone, first by the Lions in September and then by the Patriots in October. But it had only been done three other times this century.
In the entire history of the NFL, a team has only recorded a safety in consecutive weeks 41 times (including the 2017 Seahawks). Seattle last did it in 1993, so this was a pretty rare occurrence indeed.
Dion Jordan, former No. 3 overall pick by the Miami Dolphins, has been out of the NFL since 2014. The Seahawks signed him to the active roster this week, and in his first game, he picked up a pretty ridiculous sack with a huge bull rush through Cardinals tackle John Wetzel.
AP joins a dubious list
Adrian Peterson has been in Arizona for four games. In two of those games, he's been electric. Peterson carried 26 times for 134 yards in his Cardinals debut, then toted the rock an incredible 37 times for 159 yards last week. In between those two games, he managed just 21 yards on 11 carries in a 33-0 loss to the Rams.
Thursday night was like that, but worse.
Peterson finished his night with 29 yards on 21 carries. That's just gross.
The 4-5 Cardinals travel to Houston to take on the Texans at 1 p.m. ET, while the 6-3 Seahawks host the Atlanta Falcons on "Monday Night Football."