Going into Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, the Seattle Seahawks needed to win to keep any hopes of reaching the playoffs alive. The Cardinals came in with the best record in the league and were three games ahead of Seattle in the NFC West. The Seahawks came up with the big win needed and stayed alive.
The Cardinals were the only team to beat Seattle at home last season. Seattle and the fans have not forgotten that loss. A lot gets talked about with the rivalry between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle because they have been at the top of the league the last few years. Most of the nation has not given the Cardinals a fair chance to win what is regarded as the toughest division in the league, but they came into Seattle with a 9-1 record.
The Seahawks came into the game after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs last week, and needed a win just to keep their hopes of a post season birth alive. If the hawks won they had a 60 percent chance of making the playoffs. With a loss, those odds would have dropped to a mere 30 percent. To say this was a must win game for Seattle would be an understatement.
The Cardinals defense has been dominate throughout the entire season, and that dominance continued in Sunday’s match up. For the entire first half, both teams were held to field goals. The Seahawks had several chances in the redzone, but only walked away with three points each time.
In the third quarter, however, Seattle tight end Cooper Helfet was able to catch the game’s only touchdown and give the hawks an insurmountable lead. The Seahawks were able to hang on to win 19-3, keeping the Cardinals out of the endzone the entire game.
The Cardinals were rolling with backup quarterback Drew Stanton who was able to get a win last week against Detroit, largely in part to the incredible defense of the Cardinals. The Seattle home crowd and the Legion of Boom was too much for Stanton, as he threw no touchdowns and turned the ball over once.
With the win the Seahawks improve to 7-4 on the season, and the Cardinals fall to 9-2. The two teams play each other in week 16 of the season down in Arizona, in what looks to be a must win game for both teams. The Seahawks play in just 4 days on Thanksgiving against fellow division rival 49ers in Santa Clara.
The last time the Seahawks and 49ers met, the game came down to the final play where Richard Sherman was able to get a hand on a Colin Kaepernick pass in the endzone and send Seattle to the Superbowl. The two teams have a well documented dislike for each other, and both will be fighting to snag a wildcard spot in the playoffs.
The Seahawks now face only teams who had a winning record, other than the St Louis Rams, who beat them in their first meeting of the season. After winning the Superbowl, they are faced with the toughest schedule in the NFL, and are in danger of missing the post season.
For the Seahawks and their fans, the playoffs have already began here in November as every game is a must win. The Seahawks and the 49ers square off in the Thursday night game on Thanksgiving. With both teams having identical records, two games behind the Cardinals, the game is sure to be intense.
Commentary by Andy Lapic
Photo by Mike Morris –Flickr License