The Seattle Seahawks committed eight penalties for 78 yards during Sunday’s overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals on “Sunday Night Football.” However, three of those flags were far more costly than the others, and the trio of infractions loomed large in the crushing, 37-34, defeat.
Here’s a look at all three.
1. Bobby Wagner’s mysterious personal foul
With the Cardinals facing 3rd-and-5 midway through the third quarter, Kyler Murray threw an incomplete pass to tight end Dan Arnold, which should have gotten Seattle’s defense off the field. Instead, Wagner was flagged for a personal foul, giving the Cardinals a fresh set of downs.
It was a pretty horrific call on a few fronts. For starters, while Wagner did deliver a forceable hit to Arnold, that’s literally his job. It was a bang-bang play, and Wagner hit Arnold in the back to ensure the pass wasn’t caught. Secondly, there was zero use of the helmet, making it a clean hit. The official simply decided it was an unnecessary hit after the play was over.
Wagner was equally as dumbfounded as the rest of us after the game.
“I saw the pass. I thought he caught the ball, and so I hit him, because I thought he caught the ball. I tried to get (the officials) to explain to me what I did or what I could have did differently. It was a bang-bang play. They felt it was a defenseless receiver, so, I don’t know what to say or do at that point.”
Arizona took advantage, driving down the field and scoring on Kyler Murray’s 5-yard touchdown run to make it 27-24, Seahawks.
2. Benson Mayowa’s special teams blunder
Arizona, down 10 late in the fourth quarter, lined up to kick a 52-yard field goal. Zane Gonzalez made the kick, but there were two fouls on the play, both against Mayowa. He jumped offsides initially, which was no big deal given it was 4th-and-12, and Arizona wouldn’t have taken the points off the board at that point. However, Mayowa also vaulted himself over an offensive lineman, a clear infraction that the officials caught. That use of leverage cost Seattle 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct, again giving Arizona a fresh set of downs.
The Cardinals scored two plays later to make it a three-point game. Had Mayowa avoided that mental lapse, Arizona would have needed a touchdown on its final possession of regulation instead of a field goal.
3. David Moore’s hold in overtime
For a brief moment, it appeared that DK Metcalf scored a game-winning touchdown in overtime on a 48-yard catch-and-run down the left sideline. The score was brought back, however, due to a holding penalty by David Moore. It was the correct call and a clear hold from Moore, but the cost was obviously immense. It’s unlikely that Metcalf would have scored without the assistance from Moore’s hold, but he still would have come real close to getting a first down. The play would have set up 4th-and-short, if not a fresh set of downs all together for the Seahawks.
Wilson’s third and final interception came on the very next play, setting up Arizona’s game-winning field goal.
It was a shame of a penalty for Moore, who played a tremendous game otherwise with three catches for 54 yards, one carry for four yards and several clutch first downs.