SEATTLE, Wash. - The Seahawks put together an impressive second-half comeback Saturday night, erasing a 13-point lead in the final minutes of the game, but ultimately they lost to the Arizona Cardinals on a last-second field goal that gave Arizona a 34-31 victory.
Here are five rapid reactions to the loss, which drops Seattle to 9-5-1 on the season:
1. Doug Baldwin joined some elite company.
By hauling in 13 catches for 171 yards, both career-highs, Doug Baldwin eclipsed 1,000 yards for the second straight season. Not only did Baldwin's big day help give the Seahawks offense a spark in the second half, he also joined some elite company in franchise history by going over 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. And more importantly to the game in question, Baldwin was a big part of why Seattle was able to overcome a double-digit deficit in the second half to tie the game before the Cardinals' eventual game-winning field goal.
Prior to Baldwin, the last Seahawk with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons was Darrell Jackson in 2003 and 2004. Also on that list is Joey Galloway (1997-1998), Brian Blades (1994-1995) and of course, Hall of Famer Steve Largent, who had two different four-year stretches of 1,000-yard seasons, doing it from 1978 to 1981, and from 1983 to 1986.
2. The offense struggled to get going in first half, but finished well.
In part thanks to Baldwin's big day, the Seahawks did manage three second-half touchdowns that kept them in the game, but one reason they were playing from behind in the first place was the way the offense struggled in the first half.
At halftime, the Seahawks had only 94 yards of offense, with 21 of those coming on the ground. Seattle's first drive started with an offensive pass interference penalty and never got going, while the second began with a sack, one of five in the first half.
Things turned around considerably in the second half, with the Seahawks scoring four touchdowns on six possessions while gaining 297 yards, but it wasn't quite enough on this afternoon.
3. The defense allowed too many big plays.
For most of the game, the Seahawks did a great job bottling up David Johnson, who came into the game leading the league in yards from scrimmage, but when the Seahawks were in need of a fourth-quarter stop following a touchdown, Johnson broke free for a 33-yard gain. J.J. Nelson got loose for a 41-yard catch on the next play, and two plays later Johnson was in the end zone. Those big plays were two of several that were very uncharacteristic of a Pete Carroll-coached Seahawks defense, which puts a huge emphasis on limiting big plays. Johnson also had a 29-yard catch on Arizona's game-winning drive.
Earlier in the game, and perhaps most significantly, Nelson also had an 80-yard touchdown in the first half.
4. Bobby Wagner's great season now includes a franchise record.
Bobby Wagner earned Pro Bowl honors earlier this week, and as the league's leading tackler, that honor was well-deserved. Wagner continued his strong season with another 10 tackles, and with that he now has 155 this season, breaking Terry Beeson's franchise record of 153 that had stood since 1978.
5. It was a bad day for injuries.
Just a week after Tyler Lockett established a career-high with 130 receiving yards, the speedy receiver left the game with what appeared to be a serious leg injury. Lockett's injury happened while hauling in a 28-yard catch in the second quarter, with Cardinals cornerback Brandon Williams coming down on Lockett's leg as the two fought for the ball. Lockett left the game on a cart with an air cast on his leg and in his postgame meeting with the media, Carroll confirmed Lockett's injury to be season-ending.
Running back Thomas Rawls also left the game with a shoulder injury, and safety Kam Chancellor missed part of the first half with an ankle injury before eventually returning to the game in the third quarter. If there was any silver lining in those injuries, it was that Alex Collins looked good in extended playing time, carrying seven times or 28 yards.
Action photos from Seahawks vs Cardinals during Week 16 at CenturyLink Field.