Studs and duds from the Seahawks Week 18 season-ending defeat of the Cardinals

Seattle finished the season 9-8 with a victory over the Cardinals.
Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY
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Yes, this was a nice win over a division rival, and it gave the Seahawks a winning record. I'll celebrate this small victory before returning to the bigger picture of a bad season. The Seahawks had several players pull through with big games, so sure, let's celebrate the guys that made it happen.

The Seattle Seahawks should never have been in the same position as they were last season, needing a win and some outside help to make it to the postseason. Oops, sorry, I'm supposed to celebrate this win, not remind everyone how little it matters. But truly, it does matter; just not as much as we'd hoped. Seattle closed out on a winning note and defeated a division rival to do it. The Cardinals aren't a good team and haven't been for a few years, but they almost always give the Hawks a tough game. So yeah, that's a pretty big deal.

Imagine how grumpy we'd all be if Seattle had lost to Arizona - yikes! When I look at this game in that light, yeah, bring on the cigars. I still think it's a bit much, but I'm not sure it's worth getting crazy about it. I mean, I may have gotten a bit crazy myself the other day.

However, my point was less about the celebration itself than that this wasn't exactly an amazing win. A rock-solid kicker missed two kicks, either one of which would have won the game for Arizona. Surely that's not a cigar-worthy win. Sorry, I'm supposed to be celebrating the studs. Okay, let's get to it.

The Seattle Seahawks offensive line finally blocked for Geno Smith

Hard to believe, right? The much maligned - and deservedly so - Seahawks O-line played one of their cleanest games of the season. Overall they allowed eight hurries but gave up zero sacks and zero quarterback hits. Compare that to the previous week, when Geno Smith was sacked once, hit six times, and hurried on 19 more snaps. It was also a step up from the first Niners game - I'm pretty sure eight total pressures beats eight sacks and 24 pressures, right?

Basically, it was an instant replay of Week 7 versus the Cards, when they also gave up just eight hurries and no sacks or hits. Arizona's pass rush isn't terrible. They tallied 36 sacks, 28 QB hits, and 250 pressures in all. So hats off to the offensive line for their pass-blocking. As for the run-blocking - well, you can't have everything.

Geno Smith was the beneficiary of his line's much-improved play, naturally. Smith Gave the Hawks three solid drives in the first half. Seattle scored on three of their four possessions. Yes, it would have been nice to get another touchdown instead of Jason Myers' two field goals, the 13-6 lead looked pretty good. Smith didn't exactly light it up, going 8-18 for 111 yards, but he put his team in the lead.

As we've seen so often this season, Smith saved his mojo for the fourth quarter. With the Seahawks trailing 20-13 and just 2:56 on the clock, he went 4-4, capping the drive with a 34-yard strike to Tyler Lockett. He hit Lockett again for the two-point conversion that gave the Hawks their one-point margin of victory. Sounds like a stud to me.