#SEAvsAZ is the lowest scoring overtime tie in NFL history
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) October 24, 2016
Well, have you ever seen anything like that?
On the one hand it’s a good result for Seattle because:
a.) Arizona had the ball at the one yard line and missed a chip shot field goal.
b.) David Johnson probably scored a touchdown just before it. The ball looked like it crossed the plane on replay but Bruce Arians had his offense rush to the line before a replay official could call in to take a look at it.
On the other hand, Steven/Stephen Hauschka had a chance to steal a win and take a commanding lead in the NFC West with his own chip shot and did his best impression of Blair Walsh.
And thus, the game gets the scoreline it deserves. 6-6. A tie.
Isn’t this a weird feeling? Denied the euphoria of the game-winning kick, it’s instead replaced with disappointment, relief and maybe a tiny pinch of happiness.
After all, Seattle is still in control of the NFC West and maybe the NFC. Minnesota (5-1) didn’t look quite as formidable in their loss to Philly, the Falcons have slumped to 4-3 and Dallas play in a NFC East that generally eats itself alive.
I’m not quite sure why Seattle didn’t run the clock down to about two seconds, call a time-out and kick as overtime expired. Hauschka almost appeared a little rushed in the end and the miss gave Arizona a chance to throw two more passes (including a hail mary).
Onto the defense. What a performance.
On a night where the offense had nine straight punts to start and needed a blocked punt to help end the run — this was an all-time great performance from an all-time great defense.
Cliff Avril’s sacks. Deshawn Shead’s coverage. The impact of the linebackers. Earl Thomas. They were just the highlights — truly this was a cumulative performance to banish the memory of last weeks nightmare third quarter against Atlanta.
To put in this level of performance with almost no rest for the best part of four hours isn’t just admirable — it’s miraculous. And for that reason they deserved to avoid being on the losing team.
The offense on the other hand was uglier than a bears backside until overtime.
Even a couple of decent drives would’ve been enough — but they had no answer in a performance reminiscent of the 2013 Rams game. The O-line couldn’t handle two excellent edge rushers (Quinn/Long — Golden/Jones) and a dominating interior presence (Donald — Campbell). For Paul McQuistan and Michael Bowie, see Bradley Sowell and Garry Gilliam.
Sadly there was no Golden Tate taunting his way to a big game-winning touchdown.
The good news is an offensive clunker like this hasn’t usually lingered into multiple weeks. After that Rams game in 2013 Seattle scored 27, 33, 41 and 34 in the following four weeks.
The offensive line will get a lot of focus, in particular the two tackle slots. Bradley Sowell left the game with a MCL injury and ended the night in tears. Sowell has thrown himself into being a Seahawk and it was a moment of raw emotion from a guy that hasn’t done too badly overall — he just ran into a buzzsaw tonight.
There will be clamour in Seattle all week for the Seahawks to trade for Joe Thomas before the deadline. PFT reported earlier that he could be available for a second round pick.
The Thomas topic probably warrants a post of its own but really it comes down to this:
— How prepared are you to spend a second rounder on a soon-to-be 32-year-old ahead of what looks like an absolutely loaded draft?
–As good as Thomas is, can he pick up the offense quickly mid-season? This offense isn’t like anything they’ve run in Cleveland, ever.
— As he nears the twilight of his career, how many years can he play in Seattle’s ultra-physical offense that has led to injuries aplenty on the O-line?
— How much faith do they have in George Fant? He struggled a bit today but they’ve talked very positively about his development so far.
— They will have cap room in 2017 but there’s hardly any remaining in 2016. This wouldn’t just take a lot of manoeuvring it might prevent you from rewarding the likes of Michael Bennett or Kam Chancellor next year.
I think the discussion — and boy is it coming, on social media and talk radio — might be a bit of a red herring. They would have to be so creative with the cap space and could risk more dysfunction with their existing stars who are looking to get a pay rise next year. Do they want that?
For what it’s worth, the 49ers are reportedly also willing to deal Joe Staley. Unfortunately his salary is similar to Thomas’ in 2016 and the 49ers want a first rounder. He is also 32.