In a loss that had plenty of blown opportunities, Dawson’s kicks stand out
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Two of the most accomplished kickers in the history of the National Football League were on opposing sidelines Sunday at State Farm Stadium, and it’s fair to say they had their fingerprints (footprints?) all over the Seahawks’ 20-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Sebastian Janikowski, Seattle’s 40-year-old kicker, bounced back from two misses to hit a game-winning 52-yard field goal as time expired.
Phil Dawson, the Cardinals’ 43-year-old kicker, went 1-for-3 on his attempts Sunday, but his two misses couldn’t be overcome by his team.
With just under two minutes to go — and following some really conservative play calling by the Cardinals offense — Dawson left a go-ahead 45-yard attempt wide right, giving the Seahawks an opportunity Janikowski cashed in on.
“It was a terrible kick, no excuses,” Dawson said. I didn’t do my job well today. Just a good, old-fashioned miss.”
Dawson, who due to the ineptitude of the Cardinals’ offense early this season, didn’t attempt a point-scoring kick in the team’s first two games. He kicked two extra points in a Week 3 loss to the Bears, and didn’t get a shot at a field goal attempt until the second quarter Sunday, when he connected on a 23-yard attempt to put Arizona on the board.
His highlights would end there.
After the Cardinals held Seattle on a 4th down at the Arizona 44-yard-line with just 30 seconds to go in the first half, Josh Rosen navigated the offense to the Seattle 32 with two ticks remaining on the clock. A make would have tied the score and given the Cardinals a little momentum heading into the locker room. He missed, wide right.
“Missed them both wide right,” Dawson said after the game.
The veteran struggled early in 2017, his first year in Arizona. He missed an attempt in each of the Cardinals’ first three games, during which they went 1-2. He seemingly righted the ship in the second half of the year, hitting 20-of-22 field goal attempts, including a 57-yarder in the closing seconds in an upset win over Jacksonville.
That’s a distant memory now.
Even after the miss from 50 in the second quarter, head coach Steve Wilks went conservative in the fourth quarter, figuring Dawson would give his team the lead.
“We know exactly where he is throughout the week,” Wilks said about his kicker’s range. “They warm up pregame so we’re right there, exactly where we felt he was very comfortable and didn’t execute.
“We had two costly ones right there and that was the difference today.”