For a while, it looked as if Seahawks receiver Nate Burleson’s guarantee of a victory at Arizona would come to fruition. After all, Seattle grabbed a 14-0 lead on Sunday, and the Seahawks appeared to be ready to make the NFC West a lot more interesting.
But maybe the loud boos from the home fans made the Cardinals think they were playing on the road, where they are 4-0 for the season. And so the actual home team found a way to turn it around, sending the Seahawks to 3-6 — three games behind Arizona and holding the head-to-head tiebreaker.
“The bottom line is, the team we played today, they’re ahead of us,” coach Jim Mora said, who has a long way to go to match his dad for providing entertaining postgame sound bites.
Unless the Seahawks plan to win most or all of their remaining games, it means another season without a playoff berth.
“We’re not counting ourselves out of anything,” Mora said, “but we’ve
got to continue to get better. I see growth on this football team. I
thought coming into this season we would see growth after we got some
Frankly, the Seahawks had better start growing a lot faster or Mora really will have wished he’d waited for the job at the University of Washington, which actually could come open again before too long.
The best news for Seattle is that receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh delivered a nine-catch, 165-yard performance, his biggest day since signing a big-money contract. And, with some luck, the Seahawks could pick up a few more wins.
Still, this team has fallen fast from its perch atop the division, and much work needs to be done to make them competitive again.
The Cardinals, on the other hand, have won five of six after starting 1-2. If they can win at St. Louis and Tennessee, a visit from the Vikings in early December could have a major impact on whether the Cardinals might earn a bye for the playoffs.
Which would be ironic, since they seem to prefer to play only before hostile crowds.