. That wasn’t offense.
That was offensive.
Steven Hauschka shanked a 28-yard field goal wide with 7 seconds left in overtime — after Arizona’s Chandler Catanzaro had clanked his 24-yard gimmie off the left upright to keep overtime going.
So it ended. Finally. The lowest-scoring regulation game in Seahawks history became the lowest-scoring overtime one, too. And the franchise’s first-ever tie, a wholly unfulfilling 6-6 on a zany Sunday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.
With 2 minutes left in the extra period, Russell Wilson’s lofted a 31-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse down the left sideline on third and 4 to put the Seahawks at the Arizona 43. Christine Michael ran to the 38. Rookie Alex Collins ran to the 36. On third and 3 with 1:10 left, Wilson threw quickly left outside to Doug Baldwin. He ran through one tackle try, side-stepped another Cardinal, and romped to the Arizona 9.
It looked for sure like a Seahawks win. Hundreds of Cardinals fans below the press box got up and left, thinking the home team lost.
Then Hauschka missed — after having extended overtime with a field goal earlier.
Arizona won the coin toss at the start of overtime, and moved from its own 25 across midfield. On third and 10 at midfield, the Seahawks had to call timeout because they didn’t all know what coverage they were using. After the break, Michael Floyd ran an in route inside soft-playing nickel back Jeremy Lane for an 18-yard gain to the Seattle 32.
Lane had a night as brutal as his team’s offense. He was called for two personal fouls, and missed tackles on two consecutive plays to extend a Cardinals drive in the first half.
That last pass he allowed set up Catanzaro’s 45-yard field goal to give Arizona the 6-3 lead.
Under the NFL overtime rules changed in 2012, a team can’t take the overtime kickoff and win on a field goal on the first drive. So the Seahawks had a chance to match to extend the game, or win it.
They had 130 yards of offense, to Arizona’s 350, when Wilson walked to the line to begin the drive at Seattle’s own 25, about 40 yards from realistic field-goal range.
Christine Michael ran off right tackle for 10 yards to start. Jimmy Graham held onto Wilson’s lofted pass over a linebacker while getting whacked by Arizona safety Tony Jefferson for 13 yards. An eight-yard pass over the middle to Graham got Seattle into Arizona’s side of the field for the first time — all night. In overtime.
Michael ran for 6 yards off right tackle, to the Arizona 38. Graham caught a ball on a crossing route and rumbled for 14 to the 24. It was his fifth catch totaling 53 yards, on his ninth target.
A quick pitch and catch between Wilson and Tyler Lockett made it third and 4 at the 25. Graham was matched outside right on Jefferson alone. Wilson’s pass sailed way past him.
Steven — or Stephen, or Steve, after his name revelations last week — re-tied the game with a 36-yard field goal at the 6:42 mark of overtime. Holder Jon Ryan, otherwise known as a punter who boomed three of 53 yards or more Sunday, saved the game for Seattle by deftly putting down the high snap by rookie Nolan Frese.
So they played on.
Arizona’s first play of the ensuing drive was a 27-yard pass completion to tight end Ifeanyi Momah, over trailing linebacker Bobby Wagner. The Cardinals were instantly at the Seattle 48.
Two plays later, third and 7, the Seahawks sent a linebacker blitz versus no backs and Arizona’s five wide receivers. But the pass rush didn’t get to the 36-year-old quarterback. That gave receiver J.J. Nelson enough time to run a deep in route that beat three-time All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman. Sherman turned bad to worse by missing the immediate tackle, and Nelson ran for a 40-yard gain to the Seahawks 5.
Catanzaro should have won it with a chip-shot field goal from 24 yards. But his kick clanged off the left upright back onto the field. The Seahawks dodged its second short field-goal bullet since January. And it wasn’t 20 below zero here in the desert. Blair Walsh was nowhere in the state.
With the Seahawks needing something — anything — to aid their sickly offense in the fourth quarter, they got it from an undrafted free agent and former Wisconsin quarterback, running back and wide receiver that Seattle tried at safety in spring minicamps.
Tanner McEvoy steamed through Arizona blocking back Kerwynn Williams, reached up with his arm and hand and blocked Ryan Quigley’s punt with 4:33 remaining in the fourth quarter. Cassius Marsh recovered, and Seattle had the ball at the Arizona 22.
But the eighth accepted penalty on Seattle, this one on tight end Brandon Williams for holding, ruined what would have been a 7-yard gain on first down to the 15. Backed up, the Seahawks were fortunate to get Hauschka’s 40-yard field goal that he punched and willed low over the crossbar to the game at 3.
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 situations 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 Jermaine 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.
Arizona had 15 of the game’s first 18 first downs. The Cardinals were out-gaining Seattle into the final minute of the third quarter. Russell Wilson completed just 10 of his first 19 passes -- including one to himself, after Arizona battled a ball back to him.
Seattle’s first nine possessions ended like a bad poem: Punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt.
Arizona kept packing defenders near the line of scrimmage and swarming on early downs, creating third-and-long situations. How long? How about third and 29 for the Seahawks at their own 1-yard line midway through the fourth quarter. That was after Arizona’s Chandler Jones sped in off the edge and sacked Russell Wilson while knocking the ball back 20 yards for a fumble. Seattle left guard Mark Glowinski covered it at the 1 to save a Cardinals touchdown or safety.
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 that was 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. The offensive line had two holding penalties in the half, one accepted, on right tackle Garry 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.
The best play of the Seahawks’ dreary night came when Bobby Wagner went Kam Chancellor on the Arizona field-goal team in the first half. The Seahawks’ linebacker leaped clear over long snapper Aaron Brewer, landed on both feet and blocked Chandler Catanzaro’s short field-goal attempt.
It was a brilliantly athletic feat.
Chancellor two seasons ago did the same thing to partially block a field goal by Carolina in Seattle.