The Arizona Cardinals disappointing 2018 season came to a predictable close Sunday afternoon in the Pacific Northwest falling to the Seahawks 27-24. The Cards finish 3-13. Seattle improved to 10-6 and is off to the playoffs.
Here are five things we learned from CenturyLink Field.
1. Different Week, Same Result…For the second time this season, veteran kicker Sebastian Janikowski walked off the Cardinals. “Seabass” drilled a 33-yard field goal on the final play. 13 losses. 13. The year started with a blowout loss at home to the Redskins and ended with a frustrating setback to an NFC West rival in the Emerald City.
2. Officially On The Clock…With the loss, the Cardinals locked up the number one overall selection in the 2019 draft. Now the question is what will they do with the pick? The franchise last drafted first back in 1958. Arizona will also have the number one position to make waiver claims.
3. Sack Lunch…Russell Wilson is used to getting sacked and Sunday was no different. Arizona’s front provided consistent pressure and the Big Red defense registered four first-half sacks. The Cards entered the game tied for sixth in the league with 43. Chandler Jones had his first sack in a month and 13th on the season. Rodney Gunter registered two sacks of Wilson. Arizona finished with six.
4. Special Finale…the Cards’ special teams were clearly a bright spot. Punter Andy Lee was brilliant again pinning the Seahawks deep all afternoon. Kicker Zane Gonzalez nailed a 50-yard field goal in the second quarter and a 55-yarder in the final two minutes to temporarily give Arizona the lead. Dennis Gardeck deflected a punt deep in Seattle territory and in the third quarter fell on another blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown. Recently signed Pharaoh Cooper had a 45-yard punt return in the first half. It all equaled up to easily the most well-rounded group effort of the year.
5. So Now What?…Weeks of speculation regarding the future of first-year head coach Steve Wilks will come to a head one way or another in the very near future. Reports surfaced last week Wilks would not be back. Does he deserve another year? That’s up for debate. Yes, the Cards were an injury-riddled bunch and lacked “difference-makers” at key positions but his critics will point to the handful of blowout losses and just one home win.