The game no one deserved to win

Sunday Night Football has been an American institution for decades, regularly featuring marquee football matchups. The latest iteration featured two of the best defenses in the National Football League with the Seattle Seahawks taking on the Arizona Cardinals. In fact, both defenses were so good in their matchup that they barely let the other team score. The only scoring came from field goals, but the game ended with field goals that weren’t made.

The game itself was the definition of the word “slugfest.” Neither defense gave any quarter, with both sides refusing to let the opposition anywhere near the end zones. There was even a blocked field goal by the Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner, who jumped over the offensive line to get to the kicker. But the Cardinals defense responded by shutting down the entire Seahawks offense to the point where the Cardinals dominated time of possession by nearly triple what the Seahawks had in regular time.

Regulation ended with the game knotted up at 6 points apiece, only the third game to enter overtime with such a score in NFL history. In keeping with how the game was going, neither side was able to do much of anything until the final third of the overtime period. With about 4 minutes remaining, the Cardinals’ kicker Chandler Catanzaro stepped up to take a field goal but he inexplicably missed it, setting the Seahawks up to pull out a big road win against a division rival. But it was not to be.

If Catanzaro’s field goal miss was inexplicable, then Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka’s miss was even worse. The Seahawks drove down the field, seemingly ready to snatch a game in which their defense put forth one of its biggest efforts ever, when Hauschka missed his field goal. But he didn’t miss it by a little. He missed it so badly that it was no mystery where the ball was going as soon as it left his foot.

So why didn’t either team deserve to win? Simply put, both defenses played too well to let the opposing team’s offense pull ahead and both offenses played so poorly that neither could muster up the necessary effort to do so.

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