Seahawks fail to convert after 1st-and-goal in final minute of loss

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The final grade for Russell Wilson’s first NFL assignment: incomplete.

That was the result of his final seven pass attempts, and it was also the story of the Seahawks’ comeback attempt. The Seahawks and their rookie quarterback couldn’t make that one last play to save their season opener Sunday, and when Wilson’s fourth-down pass from the Arizona 4-yard line sailed up and over receiver Braylon Edwards, Seattle’s season officially began with a thud.

Arizona 20, Seattle 16.

“We had our shots at it,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “There were four balls to be thrown and caught there. It was close.”

Very close. Four yards were all that separated Seattle from the kind of comeback it never could manage last season. The proximity only made this loss more painful as the Seahawks ran seven plays from inside the Arizona 20-yard line in the final minute, including four from inside the 10. Wilson threw to four receivers but couldn’t complete any one of them.

“I felt great about the opportunities we had,” Wilson said. “We put ourselves in a good position, we just fell short.”

Seattle fell behind 13-3 early in the third quarter, fought back to reclaim the lead only to give it up again and then turn down the winning opportunities that were handed to them. Repeatedly.

Seattle’s final two first downs were awarded by virtue of pass-interference penalties against Arizona, and the referee admitted afterward the officiating crew erred in awarding Seattle what amounted to a fourth timeout in the second half.

And all that couldn’t keep Seattle from losing its first road game of the regular season for a sixth consecutive year. Instead of seeing how far these Seahawks have come as Carroll begins his third season as head coach, it’s clear how far they still have to go as a team.

That was true for an offense that ranked 28th in the league in yards gained last season and didn’t have a scoring drive longer than 33 yards in Arizona. Seattle started four drives in the Cardinals’ half of the field, but still managed only three field goals and a touchdown.

Seattle was set up at the Arizona 34 after cornerback Richard Sherman’s tiptoes interception in the third quarter. Three plays and 5 yards later, the Seahawks settled for a field goal that tied the score 13-13.

The Seahawks got the ball at the Arizona 16 after Leon Washington’s 52-yard punt return in the fourth quarter. This time, three plays resulted in a net loss of 5 yards because of penalties and they settled for another field goal. While that gave Seattle a 16-13 lead, it ended up feeling like a missed opportunity.

“We missed red-zone opportunities,” Carroll said. “Taking the field goals is probably the difference in the game.”

But not the only difference. Seattle’s defense allowed 10 points in the first half and then held the Cardinals without a first down on their first six possessions of the second half. But in the fourth quarter with Seattle leading 16-13, the Seahawks allowed the Cardinals to drive 80 yards after quarterback Kevin Kolb came in to replace starter John Skelton, who suffered an ankle injury.

“Bottom line, we’ve just got to finish,” free safety Earl Thomas said. “We had a great game except that last drive.”

“Hopefully, we grow,” Carroll said. “We just find that way to make that last catch, make that last throw and make that last block and stop them.”

There are three comments on this story »


Complete interview with Gabe Marks

Our most recent story about prolific Washington State wide receiver Gabe Marks tells the story of a particularly insightful interview we had last spring. That story, "Gabe Marks is a ...

Weekend Wild Card — 7.23-24. 16

I'm facing another weekend of fence-building with my neighbor. Once we get the back fence built, I have one last honey-do item on the agenda and then it's kick back ...

You have 50 choices

S-R intern Tyson Bird brought cookies to work on his last day with us. It has been a pleasure to have him here. I first printed a column submission from ...

Saving for the future

sponsored According to two 2015 surveys, 62 percent of Americans do not have enough savings to handle an unexpected emergency, much less any long-term plans.



Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Back to Spokesman Mobile