Seahawks out of playoffs after Packers win but still rally for 21-20 win over Cardinals

ARIZONA — Geno Smith threw two touchdown passes and the Seattle Seahawks rallied for a 21-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, but the Seahawks still missed the playoffs after the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears earlier in the afternoon.

Final from Arizona. #GoHawks x Ticketmaster

Posted by Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, January 7, 2024

Arizona’s Matt Prater missed a 51-yard field attempt, wide right, at the buzzer. It was his second missed field goal of the fourth quarter.

The Seahawks came into Week 18 of this regular season in a familiar position, needing a win in the finale and some help from another team to squeeze into the playoffs. It worked out last season after the Seahawks beat the Rams and the Lions beat the Packers.

This time around, it didn’t.

The Seahawks had to beat the Cardinals and hope the Bears could upset the Packers. The games were played at roughly the same time on Sunday and both were tight, but the Packers polished off their 17-9 win — knocking the Seahawks out of postseason contention — midway through the fourth quarter of the Arizona-Seattle game.

Around that same time, the Cardinals made their move against the Seahawks with some trickery. On fourth-and-3 at the Seattle 8, the Cardinals looked like they were going to settle for a field goal, but Prater abruptly moved over to receiver as quarterback Kyler Murray sprinted back under center.

Murray then found McBride in the back of the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown and a 20-13 lead. Murray finished with 262 yards passing.

The Seahawks rallied on their final offensive drive, despite knowing they were eliminated from the playoff bracket. Smith hit Tyler Lockett for a 34-yard touchdown pass with two minutes left, cutting the margin to 20-19.

Seattle then converted a 2-point conversion, with Smith finding Lockett in the back of the end zone.

Conner tied it at 13-all early in the third quarter with a 29-yard touchdown run, slicing through Seattle’s defense without much resistance. He finished with 1,040 yards rushing this season — despite missing four games with a knee injury — topping the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career.

Arizona (4-13) had a 3-5 record after Murray returned at mid-season following an 11-month layoff due to an ACL tear in his right knee. Seattle (9-8) misses the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.

Smith threw for 189 yards and two touchdowns.

The Seahawks inched ahead 3-0 in the first quarter on a 33-yard field goal from Jason Myers. The Cardinals responded to tie the game early in the second on Prater’s 23-yard kick.

Seattle scored the first touchdown of the afternoon on a 19-yard pass from Smith to a wide open Will Dissly for a 10-3 lead. It was Arizona’s second blunder in coverage during the drive after Lockett caught an uncontested pass for a 37-yard gain.

Myers made his second field goal of the first half — this one from 29 yards out — at the halftime buzzer for a 13-6 lead.


Seahawks: Starting RT Abe Lucas (knee) was among seven inactives. LB Jordyn Brooks (ankle) returned after missing the Steelers game last week, but was shaken up after making a nice play in pass coverage. He eventually returned. TE Noah Fant and S Julian Love both left with hand injuries in the first quarter. Love returned while Fant did not.

Cardinals: Rookie CB Garrett Williams (knee) was among six inactives.

This story was originally posted by the Associated Press.

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