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NFL AM: Cardinals Dominate Seahawks, Don’t Win

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In this day of fantasy football/scoring mania, a 75 minute NFL game that didn’t feature a single touchdown would likely put many to sleep.

That was anything but true on Sunday night when the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks played to a 6-6 draw.

This game had a 2016 level of NFL violence rarely seen, as both teams played to and sometimes through the whistle, with defenses ruling the day.

“These guys couldn’t walk off the field,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said of his players. “They’re so drained.”

Sunday’s game had everything (but a touchdown).  Big plays offensively, bigger plays defensively, a pair of blocked kicks and a missed chip shots that would have given each team the ultimately elusive victory.

Make no mistake, the Cardinals were the better team.  They dominated on the stat sheet in such a way that you’d believe it was a two or three touchdown game.  Arizona more than doubled up Seattle in first downs (23-11), nearly had twice as many yards (443-257), two and a half times the rushing yards (132-52), and a heavy time of possession advantage (46:21- 28:39).  It’s almost unfathomable to think that the Cardinals couldn’t find a win with all of those statistical advantages combined with no turnovers.

“Two hundred games, including playoffs,” future Cardinals Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “I have never played in a game as crazy as this one before.”

If you’re looking for a turning point play in the game, one of them came with less than five minutes remaining in regulation and the Arizona defense pitching a shutout.  Then a Ryan Quigley punt was blocked by Tanner McEvoy.  This set up the Seahawks field goal that forced the game into overtime.

After the teams traded a pair of field goals on the first two overtime possessions, a 45-yarder by Chandler Catanzaro and a 36-yarder by Stephen Hauschka, the normally reliable kickers went rogue.  Arizona engineered a 69-yard drive that at one point reached the Seattle 1-yard line.  The Cardinals had a 98 percent chance of victory, and a delay of game penalty followed by a Catanzaro shank from 24 yards apparently sealed defeat from the jaws of victory.

“I make that kick 999,999 times out of a million,” Catanzaro said after the game.

Until Hauschka made things even more improbable.  The Seahawks then took the ball 70 yards down the field as time was expiring in overtime and the normally consistent kicker missed a 28 yard game winner by roughly 27 yards wide left.

“We work hard to make those kicks all season long and it is disappointing when it doesn’t go well,” Hauschka said. “I feel like I let my team down.”

As insane as that game was, it seemingly could have only ended in the fashion it did, a tie.  The repercussions of it are significant for Arizona, who missed a golden opportunity at home (again).  At 3-3-1, there are 10 teams in the NFC with similar or better records.  Although better than a loss, the team is now a full two games behind Seattle and the division title might not be completely out of the picture, the outlook is bleak.

 


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.