Wagner went Kam Chancellor on the Arizona field-goal team in the first half. Wagner leaped clear over long snapper Aaron Brewer, landed on both feet and blocked Chandler Catanzaro’s short field-goal attempt to make it a 6-0 game.
It was a brilliantly athletic feat. If Wagner had banged into the snapper it would have been an illegal-formation foul and a re-kick from 34 yards out.
“I didn’t touch him. So I knew I was good. I knew I’d cleared him,” Wagner said.
Chancellor two seasons ago did the same thing to spook Carolina’s kicker into pulling a short kick way wide in Seattle.
Reminded his play was just like Chancellor, the exhausted Wagner managed a weak smile and said, “Yeah, but I blocked it.”
The Cardinals faced a third-and-7 at their own 45 with 5:15 left in overtime. Arizona receiver J.J. Nelson pulled in a short pass from Palmer, shook free from Richard Sherman, and raced up the right sideline for 40 yards on his way for the winning touchdown.
But strong safety Kelcie McCray, playing for the second straight week because Chancellor was out again with a pulled groin, raced from behind down the right sideline. He shoved Nelson out of bounds at the 5.
Late in the fourth quarter Michael Bennett knifed in to ruin a third-down run by Arizona and force a punt. Seattle got the ball at its own 23 with 69 seconds and one time out left.
The kind of situation Russell Wilson said he lives for.
He hit Tyler Lockett for 8 yards. Then, a dart to Jermaine Kearse for 17 yards to midfield — after a great blitz pickup by rookie running back C.J. Prosise. But then, more Seattle flags.
Their ninth penalty, the second holding called on right tackle Garry Gilliam, backed the Seahawks up again to its own 38. Then undrafted rookie college basketball player George Fant, filling in at left tackle for injured Bradley Sowell, held for Seattle’s tenth penalty.
That was that for regulation. The Seahawks never did cross midfield in it. The one play that got into Arizona territory, a catch in the first half by Kearse, didn’t count because Kearse was called for offensive pass interference.
The 3-3 tie was the fewest points in regulation for any Seahawks game.
The Seahawks had 47 yards at halftime, their lowest in a first half in three years. On Oct. 28, 2013, they had 38 on way to an ugly, 14-9 win at St. Louis -- almost as ugly as this Sunday night.
Wilson was five for 14 passing in the half, with three drops and two throwaway from Arizona’s pass rush that swarmed the edges. The offensive line had two holding penalties in the half, one accepted, on Gilliam late in the half. That penalty negated a first-down run and catch by Doug Baldwin on third down and led to Seattle’s fifth punt in five possessions to begin the game.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians had no problem pinpointing his greatest disappointment: The kicking game. Placekicker Chandler Catanzaro had a 39-yard field goal blocked in regulation, and his potential game-winning field goal, from a mere 24 yards, in overtime bounced off the left upright.
“Our kicking game let us down a little bit today,” Arians said.
A little bit?
Asked what he said to Catanzaro after he missed the potential game-winner, Arians was frank: “Make it. He’s a professional. This ain’t high school. You get paid to make it.”
The Cardinals special teams also got burned for the play that set up the Seahawks game-tying field goal in the fourth quarter.
With less than 5 minutes left in regulation, Cardinal punter Ryan Quigley had his kick blocked by Seahawks rookie receiver Tanner McEvoy. Hawk Cassius Marsh recovered it at the Cardinals 27.
Although the Seahawks only moved 10 yards backwards because of a holding penalty, Steven Hauschka booted a 40-yard field goal that tied it at 3-3.
Arians disputed that earlier field goal blocked by Wagner. Arians claimed that Wagner touched the snapper in the process, which should have been a penalty and nullified the kick.
The NFL’s top officiating authority, Dean Blandino, tweeted during the game it’s only a foul if the leaping defender lands on the long snapper.
Carroll said Sowell had a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee. The team won’t fully know the severity until after more tests.
Backup lineman J’Marcus Webb has started multiple seasons at left tackle, at the beginning of his career in Chicago. Fant went in because he’s been practicing as the backup left tackle while Webb has been backing up at guard since the return of rookie Germain Ifedi there.
The News Tribune’s Dave Boling contributed to this report.