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A TIE? 3 big takeways from the stalemate between the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks

Posted: 9:45 PM, Oct 23, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-24 16:22:47Z

Frustrating. Perplexing. Unsatisfying.

All of those words could be used to describe what took place Sunday night at University of Phoenix Stadium, as a series of unlikely events led to a 6-6 tie between the Arizona Cardinals (3-3-1) and Seattle Seahawks (4-1-1).

SEE ALSO: Cardinals coach Bruce Arians rips officials after game

Both teams had a chance to win late in overtime, but Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro clanked a chip-shot 24-yard field goal off the upright with four minutes remaining, and Seahawks kicker Stephen Hauschka returned the favor by shanking one from 28 yards out with seven seconds left.

The game became just the 21st tie in the NFL since the creation of the modern overtime rules in 1974, and it was the first game to end in a tie and not include a single touchdown since 1972.

But perhaps this stat sums things up the best.

Here are three big takeaways from a thoroughly bizarre evening of football.

1. Did David Johnson score?

Before we get to the missed field goals that allowed this game to end in a draw, we have to revisit a play that occurred before Chandler Catanzaro's ill-fated attempt.

Cardinals running back David Johnson -- who had another spectacular game (161 total yards on a ridiculous 41 touches) -- looked like he might have scored on a run with just over four minutes to play. Instead, he was marked out of bounds just short of the goal line, and before officials could decide whether to review the play, the Cardinals ran another play. Johnson was stuffed on that play, and the Cardinals then brought out the field goal unit.

If the Cardinals hadn't been so quick to run another play, there's a chance they would have won this game 12-6, and we wouldn't be talking about this tie nonsense right now. But hey, at least they Cardinals didn't lose, as it appeared they would in final seconds of OT.

The Cardinals' special teams suck.

Arizona's special-teams turmoil went well beyond Catanzaro's 24-yard attempt late in overtime that went off the upright.

Two other crucial miscues by Arizona's special-teams unit helped send this game to OT in the first place. In the first half, Catanzaro had a field-goal attempt blocked by Bobby Wagner, who admittedly made a brilliant play.

Then, in the fourth quarter, punter Ryan Quigley's kick was blocked by Tanner McEvoy, setting up the game-tying field goal. Seattle hadn't advanced beyond midfield until that moment.

From poor punting to awful long-snapping, the Cardinals' special-teams troubles have persisted all season. There's no doubt those troubles cost them a win Sunday night. The question is: Is there anything the Cards can do to remedy this situation?

3. The Cards' defense deserved better.

On Sunday night, the Cardinals turned in the best defensive performance I've ever seen in person. They held the Seahawks to 105 total yards and five first downs through the game's first four quarters, and they forced numerous holding penalties off a Seahawks offensive line that had an awful time blocking linebackers Markus Golden and Chandler Jones.

In particular, safety Tony Jefferson, who leads the Cardinals in tackles, stepped up again, along with dollar linebacker Deone Bucannon, who recorded 13 total tackles. Jones had a huge sack late in the game to force one of nine Seattle punts.

It's a shame that the Cardinals couldn't muster quite enough offense, or get it done on special teams, to reward a defensive unit that hasn't allowed a touchdown in their last two games. But their performance certainly bodes well going into the final nine games of the season.