A week after coming back from a 17-0 deficit to beat the Lions, the Seattle Seahawks blew a 14-0 lead(and, in essence, their season) to lose to the Arizona Cardinals, 31-20.
The Seahawks came out firing from the get-go, with Justin Forsett scoring on an 11-yard run in the first quarter and then QB Matt Hasselbeck hitting TE John Carlson for a score early in the 2nd. Things then began to unravel for the Seahawks as they were unable to even get a sniff of Cardinals QB Kurt Warner. The Cardinals' offensive line didn't allow a sack and the two-time NFL MVP threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns, including an 18-yard dart to Larry Fitzgerald to put the game away in the fourth quarter.
The Seahawks, however, did find some resemblance of a running game. After starter Julius Jones left the game with cracked ribs, Forsett showed off the trademark speed and quickness that has made him the team's most effective runner all season. Forsett finished with 123 yards and a score on 17 carries and added 5 catches for 26 yards. The Seahawks' merc with a mouth, wideout T.J. Houshmanzadeh, had his best game as a member of the blue and green as he hauled in 9 catches for 165 yards. Rising star linebacker Dave Hawthorne continued his exceptional play with a 10-tackle performance.
It was all for naught though as the defense was unable to keep rookie running back Beanie Wells from finding the end zone twice and failed to force any turnovers out of one of the league's most explosive offenses. Hasselbeck had one of his finer games of the season, throwing for 315 yards and a touchdown, but collapsed down the stretch with a couple of picks. The loss completed a season sweep for the Cardinals and, barring a Broncos-like collapse, has ended any chance of the Seahawks making it to the second season. The Seahawks now sit in 3rd place at 3-6, and are three games behind the defending NFC Champions in the NFC West.
The plan now has to focus on the future. With Forsett proving himself worthy of a full-time role by hitting the century mark against one of the league's best run defenses, it remains to be seen whether the team will let Jones take his time coming back from his rib injury and spend the next few weeks seeing just what it has in Forsett before possibly considering an alternate option next year in the Draft. Another guy the team should consider giving a bit more action is rookie wide receiver Deon Butler, who had his best game so far as a pro(albeit a uninspiring 3 catches for 26 yard performance).
The Seahawks have two first round picks in what is shaping out to be a solid 2009 NFL Draft and the smart thing to do might be to see what the team has in some of its younger players and not risk further injury to its older veterans. If there's one thing this team doesn't need, it's another costly injury in what now looks like a lost season.
About the Author
Written by Dave Leonardis
Born and raised in New Jersey, I've been writing since I was 10 and blogging since I was 18. I'm a huge sports nerd, following football, baseball and basketball in particular in close detail. My style is very upfront. I don't pull punches and I'm not shy about criticizing anything I feel deserves a proper tongue-lashing. If you're looking for someone who says what he wants, when he wants, then look no further than this guy right here.