The Seahawks did something they've had considerable trouble doing over the past few seasons - they beat the Cardinals on the road - and moved to 6-1 on the season. This game was a roller coaster ride of emotions for me personally, from elation over Russell Wilson brilliance and defensive domination, to frustration over untimely fumbles, penalties, and sloppy play, and the fact that Seattle let the Cardinals stick around for a lot longer than seemed necessary. Again.
Despite momentary frustrations though, Seattle won. Winning in the NFL is really, really hard. Even sweeter is that they won a division game on the road and did so on national television, in front of what sounded like a home crowd in Glendale.
A few notes, then over the next week, we'll obviously break down the game in great detail.
- Russell Wilson straight balled out in this game, finishing 18-of-29 for 235 yards passing with three touchdowns and no picks. He did fumble three times, including two that went to the Cardinals deep in Seattle territory, but both were at least in part due to the patchwork offensive line's inability to hold a pocket. I'm not going to rail on the fumbling issue too much because I'm sure it's something at the front of both WIlson and Pete Carroll's mind, I'm sure they're addressing it, but take those two fumbles out and this game is an absolute blowout.
Otherwise, Wilson really played well. He was accurate, poised, and had several extraordinarily amazing plays. He played confidently, had better rhythm, and spread the ball around. I was happy with the offensive performance overall.
- I was even happier with the defense. Arizona managed 234 yards of offense on the day, and really, 105 of those yards came in garbage time as the Seahawks sat back and played a more contain, keep-everything-in-front defense and ran the clock out.
Here is the Cardinals' drive chart:
Look at those 'drives' - 9 plays for 24 yards, 6 plays for 24 yards, 3 plays for -8 yards, 11 plays for 26 yards (!!!), 1 for 3, 5 for 1, 6 for 26, 5 for 27, 6 for 7, 3 for -1, then 8 for 66 and 10 for 39. Holy crap. That's defensive dominance, for the most part, and had Seattle not given the Cards the ball on their own 3 yard line then again at their own 15, the score would have looked significantly different. The Cardinals averaged 3.3 yards per play. They averaged 1.7 yards per run. Seattle sacked Carson Palmer 7 times.
- Richard Sherman stood out. Brandon Browner got a pick. Earl Thomas got a pick. Kam Chancellor knocked Arizona's RT on his ass on a run play. Walter Thurmond had some great plays. The L.O.B. showed up in this one, and apart from a few ticky tack PI calls, were pretty much impossible to throw on.
- Sidney Rice came up huge. He had an early touchdown pass, blocked very well downfield (underrated for this, by the way), and scooped a low pass on a crucial third down that was originally called incomplete but was reversed.
- Zach Miller. Holy crap, good to have you back. Miller caught a touchdown pass, and displayed excellent point of attack blocking on several Russell Wilson read-option runs. Miller is so damn good.
- Marshawn Lynch. I don't even need to tell you how good he is.
- Golden Tate. Tate drew a hard matchup with Patrick Peterson and I came away extremely impressed with Golden's performance. He finished with 4 catches for 77 yards and routinely beat off the line Peterson in press - Peterson is no slouch, so this was a great test for Tate. He passed, in my book.
More soon. Good win. 6-1.