The Seattle Seahawks under head coach Pete Carroll used to be a lot of things. They used to be impenetrable on defense. They used to be impossible to beat at home. And for the last two seasons, they were a virtual lock to win the NFC West. All three of those characteristics were nullified on Sunday in ugly fashion as the Arizona Cardinals came to Seattle and beat the Seahawks 39-32.
The Cards take a commanding three-game lead in the division now over both Seattle and the St. Louis Rams with just seven games left to play.
The win also improves Arizona to 7-2, their best start since they were 8-1 last season. In 2014, that start and their three-game lead over the Seahawks were wiped out by the end of the year as Seattle went to the playoffs for the third year in a row. But now that the Seahawks have fallen to 4-5, their streak may now be in jeopardy.
The Seahawks had not given up 39 points since 2010, Carroll's first year with the team. However, generating offense isn't new to the Cardinals. They are second in the NFL in scoring and have reached the 39-point mark four times this season. On Sunday, Arizona lit up the scoreboard despite the fact that the Cardinals turned the ball over three times. This included a Carson Palmer sack and fumble in the fourth quarter that was returned for a touchdown by K.J. Wright to give Seattle a 29-25 lead, their first of the game.
However, the Seahawks couldn't hold it. This is the fifth time this season -- all of their losses -- that Seattle has lost a lead in the fourth quarter.
But their problems on Sunday night stretch much further than choking in the final frame. Russell Wilson was inaccurate all night, finishing 12-of-28 for 222 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. The Seahawks were down 32-29 mid-fourth quarter when Wilson had an intentional grounding penalty that set up second-and-23, effectively killing what would really be their last chance to tie or take the lead.
Meanwhile, despite two lost fumbles and an interception, Palmer was as effective as any quarterback has ever been against the once-feared Legion of Boom. He finished with 348 yards passing and three touchdowns.
That's the most passing yards allowed by Seattle since Tom Brady in Week 6 of 2012. The Seahawks still managed to beat the Patriots when Wilson threw a long go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but there was no magic against Arizona this week.
The Cards also had two receivers go over 100 yards against Richard Sherman and Co. -- Larry Fitzgerald had nine catches for 123 yards, Michael Floyd had seven catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns.
Indeed, it appears that most of the magic in the NFC West has shifted over to the Cardinals.
Arizona now holds sole possession of second place in the NFC behind the 9-0 Carolina Panthers and as long as Palmer remains healthy, there is no reason to think that there is anyone else in the conference prepared to challenge them.
Drew Stanton is the GOAT https://t.co/mWPSU8onyr— Cris Collinsworth (@CollinsworthNBC) November 16, 2015