The Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals did not exactly shower themselves in glory during the latest edition of "Thursday Night Football."
Seattle eventually won 22-16 but it was a war of attrition because of injuries, penalties, drops, missed throws and other miscues. At times it seemed as though the Seahawks were going to keep the Cardinals in the game through a sheer stubborn insistence on being caught committing as many penalties as possible -- Arizona's first scoring drive saw them gifted four first downs by Seattle fouls. It was the fourth straight game in which the Seahawks committed at least 10 penalties (12 for 108 yards in all).
Had Drew Stanton not repeatedly missed open receivers down the field and over the middle, the Seahawks might have been trailing at one point or another. Alas, Stanton just couldn't get it done. He made a few nice throws here and there, but his inaccuracy on downfield plays prevented the Cardinals offense from ever getting on track. And so it was a low-scoring, close affair for a lot of the night.
Eventually, Russell Wilson stepped up and made a miraculous play to help his team pull ahead for good, as he so often does. Wilson was bottled up for much of the night, sacked five teams and forced to check down repeatedly. Early in the fourth quarter, though, he scrambled away from the Cardinals pass rush, wheeled around a few times and flung the ball in the general direction of Doug Baldwin. The rest was one of the best plays of the season.
THAT. WAS. UNBELIEVABLE.— NFL (@NFL) November 10, 2017
QB wizardry, by @DangeRussWilson!#SEAvsAZ #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/L9IY843Jfr
Seattle scored again on the next play, pushing its lead to 12 points -- a margin that proved insurmountable even after the Cardinals staged a late touchdown drive.
More importantly for the Seahawks, they lost several defensive starters (and running back C.J. Prosise, again) to injury. Already working without Cliff Avril and Earl Thomas, Seattle saw Jarran Reed, Richard Sherman, Frank Clark, Sheldon Richardson, and Kam Chancellor all leave the field, with injuries of varying severity. Coach Pete Carroll announced after the game that Sherman would miss the rest of the season with a torn Achilles tendon.
The Seahawks kept pace with the division-leading Rams by coming away with a victory, but their fate this season might come down to whether those players can make it back from their latest ailments. Here are a few more things to know about the Seahawks' 22-16 win ...
Fitz joins another elusive club
All hail the great Larry Fitzgerald. The man keeps climbing up all-time lists, showing just how good he has been -- and still is. With a fourth-quarter catch, he became the sixth player ever to amass 15,000 receiving yards. Only Jerry Rice did it at a younger age than Fitz, who was 34 years and 70 days old Thursday night.
.@LarryFitzgerald is the second youngest player in @NFL history to reach 15,000 career receiving yards. pic.twitter.com/WukJGoMCwe— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) November 10, 2017
Larry Fitzgerald: 6th player in NFL history to amass 15,000+ career receiving yards. He's the 2nd-youngest player to reach that milestone @AZCardinals pic.twitter.com/XaZvR1TB9L— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) November 10, 2017
Five years from whenever he retires, we're going to need his measurements for a gold jacket. Let's just hope he doesn't retire anytime soon.
Jimmy Graham, red zone weapon, is back
Remember when the Seahawks first traded for Jimmy Graham and everyone got super excited about how great of a weapon he would be in the red zone, but then for two years, the Seahawks hardly ever threw to him in the red zone?
Graham was the intended target on only five of Wilson's 39 red-zone throws in 2015, and just seven of 41 last season. Well, heading into this matchup against the Cards, Graham had already been targeted nine times on Wilson's 37 red zone throws in 2017.
The first time Seattle got close to the goal line Thursday, Wilson looked Graham's way again, floating him a lob over the top of the defense and letting Graham use his basketball skills to box out his man for the rebound. To the surprise of exactly no one, it worked.
JUMP BALL ... he got it! @TheJimmyGraham gets the @Seahawks on the board!#Seahawks #SEAvsAZ pic.twitter.com/QtfllhvG8k— NFL (@NFL) November 10, 2017
In the fourth quarter (after what might have been the play of the year), they did it again.
Another jump ball TD for @TheJimmyGraham and then ...— NFL (@NFL) November 10, 2017
💃 TECHNO THURSDAY! 🕺#SEAvsAZ #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/Qa6TLmYfgA
And it wasn't the first time. The scores were Graham's fifth and sixth in the past five games -- all of them in the red zone. He had touchdown catches of 18 yards and 1 yard against the Texans two weeks ago, a 1-yard score on a back-shoulder throw against the Giants, and a touchdown from 4 yards out against the Rams.
It took more than two seasons, but it appears the Seahawks have finally realized what a special weapon they have when they get in close. They would be wise to keep peppering him with targets down there, because he's almost impossible to stop.
More 'TNF' injuries
The totally safe Thursday night game, so safe that it absolutely makes sense for a team to play four days following its previous game and not after a bye week, did not result in any injuries whatsoever. Oh, just kidding. Everybody and their mother got hurt. Here's a list of players that left the game and did not return:
Injury updates: #Seahawks DT Jarran Reed has a hamstring injury & will not return. #AZCardinals LT D.J. Humphries has a knee injury and his return is questionable.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 10, 2017
Cardinals safety Tyvon Branch stayed down after the Seahawks took an early lead on a Jimmy Graham touchdown https://t.co/7HWZ54O1xR pic.twitter.com/mZPwO3z7KM— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) November 10, 2017
Branch putting no pressure on his right leg.— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) November 10, 2017
Tackle Duane Brown has an ankle injury. His return is questionable.#SEAvsAZ— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) November 10, 2017
C.J. Prosise has been taken into the injury tent.— Danny O'Neil (@dannyoneil) November 10, 2017
TE Ifeanyi Momah (ankle) return is questionable.— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) November 10, 2017
Richard Sherman has a heel injury, return doubtful. #Seahawks— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) November 10, 2017
Richard Sherman is convinced he tore his Achilles. Following Tirico's lip read, you could see he told Bobby Wagner, "It's torn, it's torn."— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) November 10, 2017
Reading Richard Sherman’s lips: “I tore my Achilles” pic.twitter.com/gTZsS4AiLI— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) November 10, 2017
Frank Clark slams into Sheldon Richardson, both are down injured. The carnage just goes on for #Seahawks. They lead 22-10 mid 4Q— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) November 10, 2017
That's both starting defensive tackles for Seattle (Jarran Reed, Sheldon Richardson), the starting left tackle for both teams (D.J. Humphries and Duane Brown), a starting safety for Arizona (Tyvon Branch), a rotational tight end for the Cardinals (Ifeanyi Momah), one of the best cornerbacks in football (Richard Sherman, who is finished for the season) and a starting defensive end for the Seahawks (Frank Clark).
Linebacker Michael Wilhoite also left and did not return, and Kam Chancellor went into the medical tent near the end of the game. Shaquil Griffin (shoulder) and Wilson -- who might have fooled the concussion spotters by pretending to get checked after the referee made him leave the game for a play following a hit to the helmet -- both briefly exited before coming back.
Like I said, Thursday night games are totally, 100 percent safe.
Adventures in catch rule explanations
Late in the second quarter, Andre Ellington caught a pass over the middle of the field. He snagged the ball on the run, gained a few yards and then went to the ground. When he hit the turf, the ball popped out of his arms. It was recovered by Chancellor and returned for 17 yards.
Being a turnover, the play was automatically reviewed. Of course, it was overruled and changed to an incomplete pass, because there is not one single person on this planet that actually knows what a catch is.
#nfl when is a fumble not a fumble pic.twitter.com/gZDyC2Zg7T— Doug Wolfe (@wolfeva1251) November 10, 2017
Caught at the 32.— Kyle I’m Happy To Have All These Characters Madson (@KyleAMadson) November 10, 2017
Fumble at the 25.
DUDE GAINED 7 YARDS.
Naturally, the fine people of Twitter.com went ballistic. Most of them in 140 characters or less! Old school.
“Let’s go live to Al Riveron, who is flipping a coin in the booth to determine whether this is a fumble.”— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) November 10, 2017
that's the stupidest thing i've ever seen— Danny Kelly (@DannyBKelly) November 10, 2017
uhhhh how many steps do you have to take???— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) November 10, 2017
That is the dumbest call in the history of calls. We have no clue what a catch really is.— Brad Evans (@YahooNoise) November 10, 2017
Receiver catches pass, runs 80 yards, trips, falls, drops the ball... not a catch!— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) November 10, 2017
The catch rule is absurdist theatre— Chris Wesseling (@ChrisWesseling) November 10, 2017
Call overturned. Pass ruled incomplete. Total joke.— Danny O'Neil (@dannyoneil) November 10, 2017
The rules are the rules. He was going to the ground. I️ don’t see why it’s so confusing. https://t.co/yzLw5B0j91— David Dean (@TheDavidDean) November 10, 2017
He took four steps. Four. He was going to the ground in the same way we're all going to die. https://t.co/Ee1c0L7Hh0— Danny O'Neil (@dannyoneil) November 10, 2017
Of course, this is just another day in the life of the administration of the catch rule. It has never made any sense. It does not make any sense now. And it will never make any sense in the future.
In case you didn't notice, Thursday was Color Rush night. We're giving the Cardinals an "A" for their black and red uniforms with white trim. It would look even cooler if they had black helmets to go with it, but this looked pretty damn good anyway.
#AzCardinals color rush look as we approach game time. pic.twitter.com/1Fcnjqgzhm— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) November 10, 2017
And the Seahawks, as usual, get an "F" for their lime green monstrosities.
Is there any explanation for why the Seahawks do this? I like pretty much every color rush uniform other than theirs. pic.twitter.com/9iLo37iYHp— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) November 10, 2017
These jerseys are gross.
Kerwynn Williams returned a punt from the 2-yard line and holding during the play knocked the Cardinals back to the 1. First play = safety
#Seahawks defense = brick wall— NFL (@NFL) November 10, 2017
That's a SAFETY, and the second in two weeks for the @Seahawks!#TNF #SEAvsAZ pic.twitter.com/2j2l7dGpsn
Look at that run fill by Chancellor! Good lord, that is an awesome play. Adrian Peterson had no chance of getting out of the end zone there.
Of course, the Seahawks also recorded a safety last week against Washington. And so, you might have thought the Seahawks were the first team ever -- or at least in a while -- to record a safety in back-to-back weeks, but you would be wrong. It was actually done twice last season alone, first by the Lions in September and then by the Patriots in October. But it had only been done three other times this century.
In the entire history of the NFL, a team has only recorded a safety in consecutive weeks 41 times (including the 2017 Seahawks). Seattle last did it in 1993, so this was a pretty rare occurrence indeed.
Dion Jordan, the No. 3 overall pick by the Miami Dolphins in 2013, has been out of the NFL since 2014. The Seahawks signed him to the active roster this week, and in his first game, he picked up a pretty ridiculous sack with a huge bull rush through Cardinals tackle John Wetzel.
In his first game since 2014, Dion Jordan picks up an IMPRESSIVE bull rush sack!#SEAvsAZ #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/Cf1MI8bjAo— NFL (@NFL) November 10, 2017
A.P. joins a dubious list
Adrian Peterson has been in Arizona for four games. In two of those games, he has been electric. Peterson carried 26 times for 134 yards in his Cardinals debut, then toted the rock an incredible 37 times for 159 yards last week. In between those two games, he managed just 21 yards on 11 carries in a 33-0 loss to the Rams.
Thursday night was like that, but worse.
Since 1950, there have only been 17 players to have more than 20 carries and less than 30 yards in a game. Adrian Peterson is about to become the 18th. https://t.co/bxyO1nGRr0— Vinny Joe ________ (@Vincemarotta) November 10, 2017
Peterson finished his night with 29 yards on 21 carries. That's just gross.
The 4-5 Cardinals travel to Houston to take on the Texans at 1 p.m. ET in Week 11, while the 6-3 Seahawks host the Atlanta Falcons on "Monday Night Football."