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GLENDALE, Ariz. – Leon Washington did his best to run the Seahawks to victory in their season opener.
But even his 83-yard kickoff return and 52-yard punt return to setup scores couldn't prevent the Arizona Cardinals from rallying to a 20-16 victory on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Kevin Kolb came off the bench to throw a 6-yard TD pass to Andre Roberts with 4:59 remaining for the game-winning score. The Seahawks drove to the Cardinals’ 4-yard line in the closing seconds, but could not get the ball in the end zone as three Russell Wilson passes fell incomplete.
The Seahawks had taken a 16-13 lead on a 39-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka with 9:20 to play, and Washington set it up with his 52-yard punt return.
The loss dropped the Seahawks’ all-time record in season openers to 13-24, as they return to Seattle to host the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday in their home opener.
The teams traded short field goals in the first quarter – a 27-yarder by Hauschka with 7:26 to play and a 21-yarder by the Cardinals’ Jay Feely with 34 seconds to play.
Marshawn Lynch, who hadn’t played since the second preseason game and was limited in practice all week because of back spasms, started the game and broke a 10-yard run while carrying four times for 17 yards in the first quarter.
But Hauschka’s three-pointer was setup when nose tackle Brandon Mebane stood up Ryan Williams so linebacker K.J. Wright could strip the ball from behind. Mebane then recovered the fumble.
The Cardinals took a 10-3 lead in the second quarter as LaRod Stephens-Howling scored on a 1-yard run with 5:58 to play in the half, capping an 11-play, 58-yard drive. Skelton was 4 of 6 for 50 yards on the only TD drive of the first half. He also was 2 of 2 on third downs, passing to Early Doucet for 14 yards on third-and-3 and to Todd Heap for 13 yards on third-and-9.
The Seahawks used big plays from their special teams and defense to setup 10 points in the third quarter. Washington’s 83-yard kickoff return to setup Russell Wilson’s 10-yard TD pass to Sidney Rice.