Around the NFL  

 

Cardinals, Seahawks settle for historic tie after wild OT

Print
  • By Jeremy Bergman NFL.com
More Columns >

Special teams! Chandler Catanzaro and Stephen Hauschka each made and then missed a field goal in overtime as the Arizona Cardinals (3-3-1) and Seattle Seahawks (4-1-1) played to a so-ugly-it's-beautiful 6-6 tie.

1. Two Sunday Night Football games, two horrid misses from Chandler Catanzaro. After Catanzaro and Stephen Hauschka traded field goals to begin the overtime period, the Cardinals were set up with a first down at the Seahawks' five-yard line. After David Johnson nearly crossed the goal line at the left pylon, the Cardinals hurried up on second down to run a play to Johnson for no gain. After taking a delay of game penalty ahead of the next snap, Catanzaro, who had had a kick blocked already on the evening, hit the left post on a 24-yard field goal attempt from the left hash with the game on the line. Coach Bruce Arians summed up his kicker's evening best when he said post-game "Make it. He's a professional. This isn't high school, baby. You get paid to make it." Catanzaro's unforgivable error was only outdone when Hauschka shanked the ensuing game-winning attempt all the way to Scottsdale.

2. That this game even went to overtime is a miracle only Russell Wilson's nanobubbles can perform. A fourth-quarter punt block by Seahawks wideout Tanner McEvoy flipped momentum and field position and set Seattle up with a golden opportunity to steal a win over the Cardinals, who had dominated from kickoff. However, down just three points at the 22, the Seahawks moved backward and settled for a game-tying field goal. 

3. David Johnson is the Cardinals' offense; the Cardinals' offense is David Johnson. The second-year back was the workhorse for Bruce Arians' offense on Sunday night, tallying 171 total yards on a career-high 41 touches. For the seventh straight week, Johnson eclipsed 100-plus scrimmage yards and remains in the league lead in that category. Johnson didn't display the trademark burst that he has in prime time games past, instead acting as the Cardinals' sacrificial battering ram. (A holding penalty negated Johnson's most bruising dash of the game, a 23-yard rumble down the right sideline in the fourth quarter.) The tailback's performance Sunday night was the football equivalent of Andy Dufresne breaking out of Shawshank using a mini rock hammer. Chip away, chip away.

4. Russell Wilson is not the same quarterback. Blame it on the inexperienced, hold-happy offensive line. Blame it on his bum knee. Blame it on the opponent, but against a division rival in a familiar environment, Wilson was subjected to one of the least productive games of his career. Without a stable running game from Christine Michael, the quarterback was erratic. He missed wide receivers, settled for short gains and worst of all, failed to establish a relationship with tight end Jimmy Graham, who finished with five catches for 53 yards.

Seattle's offense came alive in overtime when the Cardinals began playing conservative football, letting Wilson roll out of the pocket more than usual, but their production in the extra period barely tilted the statistical balance. Before overtime, the Seahawks had just five first downs -- FIVE -- and nine punts; Arizona outgained the 'Hawks 443 to 257 in total yardage; and the Cardinals won the time of possession battle, 46:21 to 28:39.

5. Arizona could have salted this one away early if not for three crucial missed opportunities. The Cardinals left six points on the board in the first half, thanks to a blocked field goal, as explained below, and a mismanaged final minute. Then, up three in the middle of the third quarter, Johnson was stuffed on a fourth-and-1 from the Seattle 19. Those are nine points that hung in the balance throughout the evening, teasing the Cardinals all the way to the final miss.

6. You learn something new every week in the NFL. On Sunday night, we got an education in the league's stance on using a long snapper as leverage. After Bobby Wagner blocked a first quarter Arizona field goal, the referees picked up a flag on Wagner for making harmful contact with Arizona long snapper Aaron Brewer, even though the replay clearly showed Wagner clipped the snapper. Thankfully, Dean Blandino had Twitter at the ready and clarified that "you have to land on the player for it to be a foul." The penalty came up again on Catanzaro's final two field goals in OT when it appeared Wagner was in danger of committing the same penalty. Then as before, Wagner wasn't flagged, and Catanzaro, potentially phased out by the linebacker's presence, missed the second kick.

7. History was made on Sunday night. The Seahawks-Cardinals OT slugfest is the lowest scoring overtime tie in NFL history (12 points) and is tied for the second-lowest scoring Sunday Night Football game of all-time.

Print

Fan Discussion