I broke down and decided to purchase NFL rewind a month ago or so, and since then I've been carefully going back through last seasons games to do some scouting of our current players. To understand where we are going, it's important to look back and see where we have been. I have a few of these written up already, and it will be interesting to see how things change as the season goes on. Though I have reviewed these play by play, I'm trying to capture the broad themes. In this first game I paid particularly close attention to our offensive line.
Overall impressions: Lots of mistakes and penalties 13/90 yards
Offense - avg yards 3.6
Passing - 18/34 139 yds 3.8 avg
- Receivers struggled to get open and catch passes
- Edwards, miller and rice all had 4+ catches
- Wilson was sacked 3 times, threw 1 interception and scrambled 8 times (mostly to escape pressure)
- Cardinals brought many blitzes and different looks that we didn't handle well
Rushing - 35/115 3.5 avg
- Lynch ran fairly well when had good blocking, though the avg doesn't reflect this
- Sweezy missed 6-7 key run blocks, really stood out amongst our O-line as making many mistakes
Defense - avg yards 4.4
Rushing 20/43 2.2 avg
- Seahawks defense stuffed the run
- Cardinals hardly ran at Bryant at all (Bryant doesn't really set the edge though)
- Wright and chancellor lead in tackles and really shined in this game. Especially Chancellor playing in the box
Passing 20/36 210 yds 5.7 avg
- Cardinals QB was sacked only once, threw 1 interception
- Even ignoring low sack numbers, we did not generate much pressure and hurried throws
- We simply could not not shut down pass attempts from Kolb once he came into the game
- Kolb picked on our LB's in zone constantly.
We could have actually won this game on offense. It's tough for me to decide who really made more mistakes our receivers or JR Sweezy. I'm tempted to go with Sweezy, it's difficult to estimate how much damage a running play that might have gone 5 yards, but results in -2 does to an offensive drive. But given the Hawks reliance on the running game, I would say this was the key to the game. Why did we ever start this guy in Week 1? If you watch the tape he really was that bad.
On defense, we tend to blame lack of pass rush or Trufont playing nickel back for not getting off the field at the end of games, however from looking closely at the tape of this game I would put it squarely on the shoulders of our inexperienced linebacking crew. Especially KJ Wright and Bobby Wagner.