GLENDALE, Ariz – So that was, well, interesting.
For the first time in Seahawks history, they had a game end in a tie, thanks in part to both teams missing short attempts at game-winning field goals in overtime. For the game to end 6-6, both kickers had to miss attempts inside of 30 yards in, an unusual finish, to say the least, to a defensive struggle at University of Phoenix Stadium.
1. It was a struggle for the Seahawks offense … until overtime.
There's no denying that was a rough one for Seattle's offense, which was stifled throughout the evening by a talented Cardinals defense. The Seahawks punted on their first nine possessions before getting the game-tying field goal, and that was set up by a blocked punt. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll noted during the week leading up to the game that Arizona's pass rush was among the best in the NFL, and while the Cardinals recorded only one sack, they gave the Seahawks trouble, hitting Russell Wilson five times and drawing several holding penalties on Seattle's linemen, tight ends and backs.
In overtime, however, the offense put together its best two drives of the game, going 57 yards on nine plays to extend overtime with a field goal, then driving for what could have been a game-winning score. The Seahawks had only five first downs in regulation, but had six in overtime on those two possessions.
2. The defense was spectacular.
With the offense struggling to move the ball and stay on the field, Seattle's defense had to play a whopping 74 snaps in regulation, but played a great game despite that workload to get the Seahawks to overtime. The Seahawks held the Cardinals to just three points and 302 yards of offense in regulation, and they sacked Carson Palmer four times, hitting him six more.
The Cardinals did manage to drive to set up the go-ahead field goal and what could have been a game-winner in overtime, but it's hard to fault the defense for much in a game where they were on the field for 90 plays and allowed a total of six points.
3. Cliff Avril continues to shine.
On a day of good defense for both teams, Cliff Avril was among the best players on the field, recording 2.5 sacks, six quarterback hits and two passes defensed. That performance came a week after Avril had two sacks and a forced fumble in a win over the Falcons. As an added bonus, Avril's strong play is also helping improve people's lives in Haiti, as each sack he records this season will fund a house in the country where Avril's parents were born and raised.
4. Bobby Wagner is quite an athlete.
OK, so that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has watched the Seahawks linebacker over the past four-plus seasons, but even if you were well aware of the All-Pro middle linebacker's athleticism, it was still rather remarkable to see a 245-pound man hurdle Arizona long-snapper Aaron Brewer on his way to blocking a second-quarter field goal attempt.
The Seahawks could have been trailing by more than three points heading into the final quarter if not for a couple of big plays, including Wagner's hurdle, Frank Clark's sack at the end of the half when the Cardinals were in field-goal range, and a fourth-and-1 stuff by Michael Bennett and K.J. Wright deep in Seahawks territory.
5. Tanner McEvoy has a knack for big plays.
Tanner McEvoy, an undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin, doesn't play a ton, but he has certainly made the most of his opportunities this season. Playing in his home state of New Jersey, McEvoy had a 42-yard touchdown for his first career catch in a win over the Jets, and his second career catch gained 17 yards in last week's win over the Falcons.
On Sunday night when Seattle was struggling to generate offense, McEvoy came up with a huge play, blocking a punt to give the Seahawks a short field that they would turn into their first points of the game. McEvoy also had an important 11-yard catch following his block to set up a 40-yard Steven Hauschka field goal.
Game action photos from the Seahawks' 6-6 tie against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.