GLENDALE, Ariz. – This was either the best game or the worst game of the NFL season, and it might take some time to soberly decide which.
The Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks battered and bungled their way to a 6-all tie Sunday night on national television, complete with two missed field goals late in overtime that left Carson Palmer heaving a Hail Mary on the game’s final play that felt more like a confession.
“Two hundred games, including playoffs,” Cardinals veteran receiver Larry Fitzgerald said, “I have never played in a game as crazy as this one before.”
There was the offensive ineptitude of the Seahawks, who punted on their first nine possessions before a blocked punt in Cardinals territory led to a tying field goal in the fourth quarter. Several big Seattle gains were wiped by penalties.
The Cardinals weren’t much better on a night both defenses shined, until it seemed they both ran out of gas in the extra period.
Each team kicked a field goal on their opening possession in overtime. Then the Cardinals got Chandler Catanzaro in position for a 24-yard field goal … and he bonked it off the left upright. The Seahawks roared back down the field to put Stephen Hauschka in position for a 28-yarder … and he also missed wide left, failing to even draw iron.
By the time Palmer’s heave was batted down near the goal line as time expired, there were only scattered boos from the crowd and an awkward walk off the field for both teams.
Asked about his message to the team, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said: “I said I don’t really have a good place to make sense of this for them, because we just don’t live this way.”
Instead of a third straight win to change the tone of a season that began 1-3, the Cardinals head to Carolina for next week’s NFC title game rematch at 3-4-1.
Instead of escaping with a division win to extend their NFC West lead, the Seahawks – well, they still escaped in a way with a tie and now sit at 4-1-1.
Instead of watching a game with an ending, everyone watching got this, one of the NFL’s all-time strange ties, which somehow feels about right.