We ended the third quarter with Seattle in 3rd and long in their own territory; here is Sidney Rice catching the ball on that final play:
He doesn't fall forward from here.
Commentator Tim Ryan has been blabbing (pretty accurately, though) for a quarter about how he said off camera he thought Seattle needed to get Jackson outside the pocket, which they did more in the 3rd, so Fox shows this:
Sometimes I put it on mute, sometimes I don't. Though, I like to acknowledge in-game stat shots like this, so often I listen around then to get some context. This whole sequence, for some reason, was kind of amusing. But really, Jackson threw well on the move, by design or not, in the 3rd.
The broadcast says Seattle thought about going for it on 4th down, but that seems like a very awkward decision - given the field position and time of game - and I don't remember seeing anything, either way. Jon Ryan punts 66 yards and Kennard Cox makes another special teams tackle (4 total this game). Arizona ball on their 14.
Remember how I began the 3rd quarter by saying this was one of my favorite Chris Clemons halves; 4th quarter Chris Clemons show commence. On the first defensive play of the quarter Clemons fights off the chip/double team and makes a beeline towards Kevin Kolb:
'On to the next one.'
They stop a tight end screen on 2nd with great pursuit by the front four. Now it's Leroy Hill time; his first 4th quarter at the CLink in a while, and it shows right away.
Kolb hurdles Branch, but also wants to win the 'which QB can expose the ball more as they scramble' game. Kolb does the 'about to throw' fake and takes off...
POW! Two things; Hill doesn't wrap and Kolb falls forward almost for the 1st, and Matt McCoy (underneath Kolb) gets shaken up by the hit. This forces a punt which is downed, Seattle ball at their 47.
Seattle runs with six linemen for a loss, then this:
Seattle in '21' and four guys go out in route. The lack of true fake here allows the linebackers to keep their depth, will someone get open?
The play design slides protection right, leaving Okung on an island left. Also, this looks like a one-line-of-sight read for Jackson; he ignores the double/triple covered Miller up top. That's fine, though, because if he made that throw...oh man.
Anyway...we see more of Seattle trying to call plays in Jackson's comfort zone (notice the sticky situation of 2nd and long), which as we learned in the preseason is one-side of the field reads; this stems from his college system (I touched on this in Week 1). Back to the play...Jackson looking...
DOCKETT IS RIGHT THERE; GET THE BALL SECURE! Scramble for six. (Insert flabbergasted sigh sound.) On 3rd and 5, in Arizona territory, up 3, a chance for some momentum for either team given the situation; we have a huge play.
Unger snaps it high:
Watch Anthony McCoy, number 85.
Jon Ryan punts 64 yards on 4th and 29 - second 60-plus punt in a row - and Kennard Cox finally misses a tackle. Cardinals take over on their own 20. A run for nine on 1st leads to another 1st. Check out this triple team on Red Bryant:
Yes he needs to work on his pass rush ability (he intends to "put up or shut up" in showing he can become more complete and rush the passer, the added tie to father In law and former Seahawk defensive end Jacob Green spices things up as well) but it's worth acknowledging the attention he is sometimes drawing. This is a coverage caused scramble for 3.
Soon it's 3rd and 5 after solid defense; where's Raheem?
Leroy Hill knows.
Seriously, he is pointing at the left tackle because a few Seahawks thought he moved first. Then, though obviously we don't know exactly what prompted this reaction but we may have an idea or two, Fox shows Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley:
'Dude, it's 3rd and 1.'
I Like Pete calming down his staff there. Seattle calls a timeout before the play, and actually gets the stop as Brandon Mebane and Clinton Mcdonald clog the middle (a goal line D type set) and the Chancellor/Clemons combo cleans it up on the edge.
The Cards run again on 4th and get it. On 1st down Todd Heap finds a soft spot in the zone:
Hill releases Heap and the receiver clears it out.
28 yards, sticks all of the sudden moving rapidly. Anthony Hargrove makes a run tackle on 1st to set up 2nd and 9.
Guessssss whooooo! Clemons is boxed on the bottom. You'll see Anthony Hargrove drop from the top of the front four. Leroy Hill is the closest 'backer to the line, and he'll rush.
Clem gets pushed wide, but just watch. I love this guy. After being popped upright he uses hands, speed and effort.
Chris "Cloverfield" Clemons.
Check out this odd dime formation on 3rd and long; the five - Hawthorne, Clemons, Brock, Hargrove, Bigby - inside the box blitz.
Cardinals call the quick screen right and it's stopped.
On 4th down, Jay Feely from 49 for the tie:
11 plays, 49 yards in 6:30, no points. Seahawks still lead. Ohhhhh man. Spirited defensive leader/s rejoice!
A run for one on 1st down leads to this 2nd down screen; same idea as with Lynch in the first quarter, just with a different player, varied formation (but the same personnel grouping), different part of the field and a different down:
Seattle in '12' with both tight ends off the line as part of trips with Sidney Rice. He'll motion, then watch Rice use his blocking to screen the third man in the box (below) as he finds the sideline:
(An observation through three games; the single back usually runs a swing out the other side on these quick screens, like you see Lynch do above and below. But really, pay attention to the 3 on 3 up top.)
Love the convoy.
Rice gains 23 yards going almost untouched. Also, a solid example of why Zach Miller's value is based on so much more than just catching passes. Double also, Anthony McCoy making some big not-pass catching contributions down the stretch.
Then, Seattle gains two more yards on three plays and they delay of game to go back five yards to the Arizona 40. Remember those two 60-plus yards punts by Ryan? Not here! Ryan gets off a nine yard punt. Yup, short enough so that I was able to spell it out and felt the need to make sure you noticed. His reaction:
Now on the sideline...
(Impromptu caption contest for that sequence in the comment section...)
The Cards march 21 yards in two plays, then find themselves in 3rd and 10; then 4th and 1, into the two minute warning. Another huge play:
'Get er' done.'
I think this was a good call. 7 men rush; arrows blitz. Larry Fitz, down below, is the target.
Uncatchable? They call interference for the hands around the waist as Fitz had position, 1st down. But really, that didn't matter much at this point because the defense has been on fire the entire half. And in this one, we see them finish, a couple of times.
On 2nd and 10 Brock makes a play similar to Clemons' sack a little while ago:
Brock's helmet hits the elbow and forces the fumble. He had an up and down game, but played with energy throughout. Arizona recovers, 3rd and 12.
'You blinked first...you know that means you have to throw it.'
Seattle ball at their 34, two runs to 3rd and 2. Just like in the 1st quarter, we see an extra lineman, two back set on this down and distance.
This time they run to the other side - heavy side - and it doesn't work. In the backfield Lynch is going for less of a fake toss effect, and more of a "Boo" type thing. Maybe he's trying to fake the ball going over his head? I dunno...
On the punt, Patrick Peterson slips by Kennard Cox and then this crazy sequence happens:
Kam gets so close on the tip attempt.
A.J. Jefferson bobbles the catch, picks it up and runs to the 23, :35 seconds left. No Music City Miracle, few. Arizona gets a 1st down, and then has a last shot on 3rd and 10. Andre Roberts catches a pass and is now heading over the middle. He needs to lateral it, make a cut, or something, but instead Leroy Hill...
There is a scrum...game over.
They take it home in front of the 12th man to open 2011. In part 1 I said they needed some home cookin', this was a game they could win, and this was a game they kind of needed to win. The offense gave the defense the chance to hold it down at home. That's all this 0-2 team could ask for in Week 3. Mission accomplished.
Something I found very interesting about this half:
For both teams, turn your attention to the drives below the solid line that represents halftime (so here, drive #6-12 and 7-12). Notice the Cardinals started the 2nd half with four straight punts and no drives with more than five plays; Seattle kicked it off with their 14 play touchdown drive, but then got ONE first down the rest of the game. When I say the offense gave the D the chance to hold it down, it was more like the D had no other choice. One great drive led to five drives of squadouche. Great.
Oh, the Anthony McCoy fumbled snap caused the -19 on Seattle drive 10. Seattle had 128 net yards in the first half, followed by 72, which means 61 in their final five drives (according to the total net below).
Some other things to note below: Seattle won 3rd down; the penalty disparity was large again and the Cardinals missed two field goals, one from 49 and the other from 51; Seattle found balance with 30 rushing plays (which includes four Jackson scrambles) and 31 pass attempts.
Things that stand out below: Leon Washington's carry average; the amount of Sidney Rice targets (10) compared to the 20 for the rest of the team; Larry Fitzgerald's catches all came in the 1st half (that can't be seen below), credit Seattle's coverage schemes; Seattle forced three fumbles; Seattle had two runs over 20 yards, plus the Jackson TD scramble.
Check out Clemons and Hill:
Whata game. I'm exhausted. Week 4 coming soon!