GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Seahawks offense found itself out of sync through four quarters of play on Sunday night at University of Phoenix Stadium, but eventually found its rhythm in the overtime period, as Seattle played its way to a 6-6 tie with the Arizona Cardinals in an NFC West clash that was very much more of a defensive battle than an offensive showcase.
"We just couldn't get in sync at all," Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said at his postgame press conference. "We couldn't get in any kind of sync in the first half."
Seattle averaged just 2.5 yards per play in the first two quarters and went into halftime with just 47 total yards, converting only two first downs and going 0-5 on the all-important third down. By the end of regulation those numbers didn't look too much better, in part because of penalties that had wiped out a number of big plays the offense did manage to put up.
"If we made a play all the sudden the penalties started jumping up on us and we must have had three or four holds, five," Carroll said. "They really were costly in a really tough, tight game. They impacted our drives, we're first-and-20 and we weren't able to make it back."
Added receiver Jermaine Kearse, who had a 14-yard third-quarter catch wiped out by an offensive pass interference call: "It's tough to get drives going and keeping that momentum when you're continuously going backwards, the wrong way. So we've just got to continue to clean those up."
But in overtime, thanks large in part to a Seahawks defense that was equally as stingy in keeping a potent Arizona offense under wraps, Seattle still had a chance to win the ball game. Six of the Seahawks' 11 first downs on the night came in the extra period, as quarterback Russell Wilson led a field goal drive to tie the game at six and then helped set up a potential game-winning kick as he started connecting with Kearse, Jimmy Graham, Tyler Lockett, and Doug Baldwin for sizable gains, while running back Christine Michael found room to run on the ground.
"It comes down to me delivering the ball at the right time, guys making the catch, guys making the run, guys making the block, and it's really that simple of a game," said Wilson, who finished 24-of-37 for 225 yards passing. "We didn't do that in the first part of it, but I kept telling the guys on the sideline, 'The score's just 3-0, the score's just 3-3, the score's just 6-3,' and just stay the course. Adversity is temporary. We kept battling, we kept believing in our defense, that we're going to keep standing up and making plays and offensively we kept believing in one another.
"We had a chance to win it, which is the good part of the game."
In addition to all the penalties slowing the offense down - the Seahawks were flagged a total of 10 times, tying a season-high - Wilson said field position played a role in preventing Seattle's offense from staying on schedule.
"We were kind of backed up the whole game it felt like in a lot of situations and we're just trying to battle and find a way to get out of there and find a way to give ourselves chance, which we did," he said. "And that's the exciting part about our football team. That's the best part about it all is that we have a great football team that believes in one another, sticks together and we believe that every time we're in these situations, these tight games, we're going to win it. Hopefully we can find a way to not make it so tight, but next time we believe we're going to make it and find a way to win."
Since Carroll arrived in Seattle, Mondays at Virginia Mason Athletic Center have been reserved for telling the truth of what happened during the game, and this week's meeting with undoubtedly touch on some of the offense's struggles in the desert.
"Sometimes the defense is going to have their night and the offense isn't and sometimes it is going to be the other way around," Carroll said. "We know it's going to be back and forth and that has no bearing on the way we look at things here. We just have to get right and get better and make sure when we need you, you're there for us. And when we needed it, the offense got down the field and we just didn't get it done at the end.
"We will figure it out and talk a little about it tomorrow, tell the truth, and then we'll move on."
Said Kearse: "We've just got to clean stuff up. We're going to take a look at the film and just continue to try to get better. We've still got a lot of games left on the schedule to make things happen, and that's what we're looking forward to."
Game action photos from the Seahawks' 6-6 tie against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.