Sunday Night Football reaction – Seahawks finally get what they deserve

Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks
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Ricky Dimon

NFL

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The Seattle Seahawks were 5-0 heading into this week’s Sunday Night Football showdown against the NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals. They had won a whole bunch of close games against a whole bunch of bad teams. This time they played a close game against a good team.

And when you play with fire too many times and eventually pick the wrong opponent to mess with, you finally get burned. That’s what happened to the Seahawks in this one, as the Cardinals erased a late 10-point deficit and eventually prevailed 37-34 in overtime.

Two very good teams

The fact that the Seahawks have messed around with unspectacular opposition throughout this 2020 campaign is not to say that they aren’t good. They simply aren’t the best team in football and therefore don’t deserve to have the best record (would be tied) at 6-0. And they aren’t 6-0. But whereas Seattle won a game or two it should have lost earlier in the year, this was a game that it should have won and lost. The visitors led 34-24 before their defense—which ranks dead last in the league—imploded over the final six minutes.

Seattle is good; it just isn’t good enough to beat formidable opposition when Russell Wilson isn’t playing at an MVP level. And for the first time this season, Wilson did not play at an MVP level (he threw three interceptions, including one in overtime that led to Arizona’s game-winning field goal).

As for the Cardinals, they are now just a half-game back in the division at 5-2. Although it’s unlikely to be sure, there is a realistic chance that all four NFC West representatives could make the playoffs.

Kingsbury almost costly

While the Seahawks had been winning in spite of their defense, the Cardinals won this game in spite of some curious decision-making in overtime. On their first possession in overtime, they were rolling down the field with ease until head coach Kliff Kingsbury suddenly decided to settle for a 41-yard field goal try. I just don’t get it. Why do NFL head coaches time and time again assume that field goals—especially ones of 40-plus yards—are some kind of automatic? The simple fact is they aren’t; especially not in pressure situations. Well, Zane Gonzalez unsurprisingly missed that 41-yard field goal and Kingsbury’s decision suddenly put Seattle in a good position to win the game.

Luckily for the Kingsbury, his defense bailed him out in the form of an Isaiah Simmons interception and Gonzalez made good on his next try. Kingsbury probably won’t have to explain himself for his snafu on his team’s first OT possession since the Cardinals ended up winning… but he should have to.

DK Metcalf just isn’t fair

Although Seattle lost, let’s not discount the fact that the play of the game was made by receiver DK Metcalf.

Metcalf stands at 6’4’’ and 230 pounds. He is not supposed to run a 4.33 in the 40-yard dash, which is exactly what he did at the 2019 NFL Combine. He is not supposed to chase down cornerbacks who have a 10-yard head start when returning an interception, which is exactly what he did on Sunday night.

As the incredible video shows, Metcalf appeared to save a touchdown with that heroic effort. And he actually did save a touchdown, because the Cardinals proceeded to go four-and-out from the six-yard line. Yes, they went for it on fourth down instead of settling for a field goal and came up with nothing.

It would have been the difference in the game if not for the late collapse by Seattle’s defense. And even in overtime, Metcalf again came close to being the difference. In fact, he scored an apparent game-winning touchdown only to have it called back due to a holding penalty (and the penalty was blatant, to be clear).

Seattle may finally be down–but with an offense led by Wilson and Metcalf, it can never be counted out.

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