Matt Hasselbeck sacked by Cardinals (Getty)
Coming into this week's game against the Cardinals on the road, Seattle essentially had to win the game to have any chance of keeping their playoff hopes alive. When they got out to 14-0 lead early in the game things looked good for the Seahawks, but they were outscored 31-6 the rest of the way, falling to 3-6 on the season while Arizona extended their lead in the division to two games...
Seattle got big days from RB Justin Forsett and WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh and early on their defense was able to confound the Arizona offensive attack, but about midway through the second quarter things began to click for the Cardinals and they outlasted the Seahawks for a big win at home.
The teams traded possessions early in the game and Arizona had the benefit of outstanding field position while Seattle struggled to mount much of an offense starting at their one yard line twice, with the second drive starting after the Seahawks had stopped the Cardinals three times from their own one including a big stop of RB Tim Hightower on fourth-and-goal.
Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck took the snap on first down and dropped back into the endzone and launched a pass down the right sideline to Houshmandzadeh for a 53-yard gain.
Five plays later Forsett took a hand-off and scampered 11 yards for his first career touchdown to give Seattle an early 7-0 lead.
Seattle's defense then held strong again and Hasselbeck led the team on a five-play, 54-yard drive that ended when he found TE John Carlson all alone down the seam for a 31-yard touchdown reception.
While things looked well in hand for the Seahawks, it's never smart to count out the Cardinals who are one of the most explosive offensive teams in the NFL.
Arizona QB Kurt Warner, who completed 29 of 30 passes for 340 yards, found WR Steve Breaston for a 28-yard touchdown and the teams traded field goals on their final two possessions of the first half and entered the locker room with Seattle leading 17-10.
The second half was all Arizona as RB Beanie Wells took over, rushing for 69 of his 85 yards including two bruising touchdowns to give the Cardinals the lead and then Warner found WR Larry Fitzgerald for an 18-yard touchdown pass to put the game out of reach.
Fitzgerald finished the day with seven receptions for 73 yards while Breaston had four for 79 and Anquan Boldin had a big day in his return to the lineup posting eight receptions for 105 yards.
Defensively, the Cardinals were led by S Antrel Rolle's nine tackles while LB Clark Haggans had six tackles and two of Arizona's four sacks on Hasselbeck.
Hasselbeck was a bit erratic for him, completing only 26 of 52 passes but he did throw for 315 yards and a touchdown and he was intercepted twice down the stretch as Seattle tried to come back.
MBRDeion Branch had four receptions for 50 more.
LB David Hawthorne had another huge game, posting 11 tackles -- 10 solo -- while Jordan Babineaux, Josh Wilson and Marcus Trufant all had seven each in the loss.
Seattle will now prepare to head on the road to take on the NFC's second-best team as the Minnesota Vikings (8-1) will be waiting after outlasting Detroit at home, 27-10.