Seahawks Defense Dominates Cardinals, Now 2-0 In Division
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By Matthew Asher
While the last couple weeks were a little shaky for the Seahawks, they were able to go back to their lock-down defense to beat Arizona 34-22 and improve to 6-1 on the season and 2-0 in the NFC West.
This was one of those games where nobody in particular stood out, but it was a very well played all-around team effort. One of the only things the Cardinals were able to do right in this game was control the clock. Although Arizona had the ball more than 32 minutes, the Seahawks did not let the Cardinals convert those yards into touchdowns.
Seattle’s defense gets an A
In the first half, Seattle has limited Arizona to just 92 yards of offense. Carson Palmer had completed just eight of 12 throws for 70 yards and one touchdown. Arizona’s ground game was only able to muster 22 rushing yards on 14 carries for an average of 1.6 yards per attempt. Arizona only ran the ball four more times in the second half and finished with just 30 rushing yards in the entire game.
While the ‘Hawks did surrender 13 first half points, the lone touchdown Arizona scored was not their fault. With less than four minutes to go in the first half and leading 14-3, Russell Wilson was sacked by Matt Shaughnessy and fumbled the ball inside Seattle’s own five-yard line. Rashard Mendenhall scored a three-yard touchdown on the very next play for the Cards. Arizona would not score another touchdown until late in the fourth quarter, when Seattle was already leading 34-16.
Seattle picked off two Palmer passes. Earl Thomas made a great diving catch and was able to control the ball as he fell out of bounds. In the third quarter Brandon Browner stepped in front of another Palmer throw and returned it to the one-yard line. He should have returned it for a pick-six, but he tripped himself up around the five-yard line and before he could roll into the end zone Arizona had him down by contact. When you consider that Larry Fitzgerald was held to just two catches for 17 yards, it was a great game played by the secondary.
The Equally Good
Marshawn Lynch gets an A
Lynch may not have eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark, but picking up 94 total yards on 22 touches and one rushing touchdown was not a bad effort. Late in the third quarter was when Lynch went Beast Mode. While he had a nice 17-yard run earlier in the drive, it was a four-yard run when Lynch dropped his shoulder pad and ran through the 6’4” 290 lb defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, knocking Dockett’s helmet off as Lynch’s elbow hit the ground inches before the ball crossed the goal line. After that run, and Seattle’s score on the next play, the game was all but over.
Russell Wilson gets a C
This may be nitpicking, but it could be a problem down the road. Wilson finished with more than 250 yards of total offense and three passing touchdowns, but fumbled the ball three times. Twice the balls were recovered by the Cardinals which nullified the two interceptions the ‘Hawks defense came up with.
Seattle better enjoy this win because they have an extra-long week off, 11-days in total, before they travel to St. Louis for Monday Night Football. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:40pm PDT.
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Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.