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3 Up, 1 Down: Seahawks Provoke 'Boo Birds' in Season-Killing 23-13 Loss to Cardinals

Ty Dane Gonzalez breaks down three minor positives and one glaring negative from the Seahawks' 23-13 loss to the Cardinals.

There are still seven games to play, but at a record of 3-7, it's time to call it a night for the 2021 Seattle Seahawks.

Coming out of the bye week flat, the return of star quarterback Russell Wilson has resulted in an 0-2 start to the second half of the year and just one touchdown in 20 drives. In their worst loss to date, the Seahawks dropped a must-win game to an injury-depleted Cardinals team by a score of 23-13 at Lumen Field. 

With such a defeat, we'll be attacking what is typically titled "3 Up, 3 Down" a little differently. But first: let's get the positives out of the way because there weren't many.

3 Up

WR Tyler Lockett

Seattle's offense was completely stagnant in this one, except for when Lockett was targeted. Reeling in four of five targets, the three-time All-Pro selection accounted for 115 of Wilson's 207 passing yards. He was, more or less, the team's only consistent source of offense, with two of his biggest gainers directly leading to 10 of the Seahawks' 13 points. 

DT Bryan Mone

Mone and the Seahawks' interior defensive line made life tough for Cardinals center Rodney Hudson. Coming into this game with just 0.5 career sacks to his name, Mone was credited with 1.5 takedowns of quarterback Colt McCoy. He also added a pair of tackles on two separate four-yard runs by running back James Conner. 

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S Jamal Adams

Aside from being hit with a costly defensive pass interference call that set up Conner's game-ending score, Adams had a solid day. He made a pair of excellent run stops in short yardage situations, plus a fantastic play in open space to wrap up receiver Rondale Moore near Arizona's own goal line. He's likely to be dragged for his penalty in the coming week, but he's the least of Seattle's problems right now.

1 Down

The Seahawks

At the end of the day, everyone and everything is to blame.

As previously noted, Wilson and the Seahawks have scored just one touchdown in their last eight quarters. It's clear that No. 3 is far from 100 percent, judging by several oddly conservative play-calls throughout the game. This includes a 3rd and 7 swing pass to DeeJay Dallas that had no chance of making it past the sticks, even if Wilson threw an accurate pass. He also had a pair of devastating misfires in the red zone, missing an open Gerald Everett in the back of the end zone and Freddie Swain just short of the goal line. Now 3-7 and inching closer to mathematical elimination, Seattle should at least be weighing the option of protecting the healing Wilson and shutting him down for the rest of this seemingly lost season.

But while the offense was the biggest culprit in the Seahawks' latest debacle, things went poorly on the defensive end as well. Of course, the unit deserves some benefit of the doubt for playing most of the game without both of its starting cornerbacks, and for being on the field for a whopping 40 minutes and 22 seconds. However, allowing 413 yards to an offense missing quarterback Kyler Murray and All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins is simply inexcusable. 

Backup Colt McCoy completed 35 of 44 pass attempts for 328 yards and two touchdowns. Mistakes were made. From missed tackles to poor coverage, this defense looked utterly—and understandably—exhausted. 

What this loss ultimately marks is that it's time for the Seahawks to look inward. It's time to start having some difficult conversations. After building their roster with the sole purpose of winning now, they have failed—from top to bottom.