We ended the first quarter with the Cardinals 2nd and 2 at the Seattle 32. The Cardinals were in a shotgun one back, four receiver formation; Seattle had six DB's and four linemen. Time simply ran out and now here we are.
Um, things look really different.
The Cardinals are in '21' and Seattle is in a 4-3 with six on the line and Kam Chancellor in the box; it looks pretty close to a 6-2, the splits may be off a bit. Anyway, we went from thinking pass to thinking run, and it's effectively 8 on 8 in the box. Check Red Bryant, arrowed.
Big man gettin' down behind the line of scrimmage in this game. I think he has improved as the year has gone on, at least to right here; lets see if his solid game continues.
The Cardinals convert on 3rd down - Clemons drops into coverage and the interior pressure team (Branch, Bryant, McDonald) with Leroy Hill on the blitz can't get it done.
Solid defense puts the Cardinals back in 3rd and long. Earl Thomas does one of his 3rd down, A-Gap blitzes and they hold the Cardinals to the field goal. 10 plays, 5:07 taken off here.
The ensuing kickoff return:
That's rough, Fox. Skeeewwwwrrrppp. Change the record. It's Beastmode time, after the jump.
Lynch takes a first step with Unger and the right side (angling right); they need to get a hat on a hat. The backside linemen (angling left) block down on their men. Miller will lead and dig out the middle. How this play happens depends on Miller's block and if the linebacker can get over.
Miller turns his man outside and Lynch sees the alley; the backside back'er can't get there, sitting ready for the cutback. Lynch heads into the open field, then goes beastmode.
Eight or so yards of 'get off me.' Then, that pesky stat proves pretty true. A very un-tricky 1st down end around with Baldwin...
Totally doesn't work as the defense isn't tricked by the fake pitch right. This leads to more monstrous behavior by free agent lineman (wink, wink??) Calais Campbell.
Jackson has three options; Miller over the middle or Williams outside look to be his best options as the Cardinals have a lot of help deep on Rice.
Jackson makes no choice and gets sacked.
On 3rd down T-Jax gets flushed after Arizona blitzes against a shotgun, play-action sprint right type call; he throws it away to a chorus of boos. Jon Ryan gets off a 57 yard boot, Patrick Peterson gets tackled by Kennard Cox at the 22.
Check it out, Aaron Curry is in the game.
'Cover the flat and help Tru.'
So what do the Cardinals do? What any smart offense would do. Target him.
'See Larry...cover underneath Larry...'
'......' (The expectations for his stay in Seattle were kinda outta' whack from the start, too bad he got "caught" in the middle of all of it). Another A-gap blitz by Kam Chancellor on this play by the way.
The Cards go no huddle, which in turn simplifies some of Seattle's coverage. They march down the field against a lot of four man rush, seven man coverage schemes - mostly zone by the linebackers, tougher to see what the corners were doing, maybe a man/zone mix. Trufant gets targeted playing "off and soft' man for 15 yards, surrounded by some smaller passes in the flats and over the middle, with a couple of five yard runs mixed in on 1st downs. We started this drive at 10:35 and the Cards have gone 66 yards in about 2:40, now 2nd and 5 at the Seattle 12.
Time for Larry Fitzgerald to be, well, Larry Fitzgerald.
Somehow, commentator Tim Ryan knew.
Kolb has his eyes on Larry, soon to go over the middle and he'll run into double coverage. The pocket will collapse; chaos will ensue. Let's get this little painful part over with, shall we:
ET actually boxes Browner out as they both go up for it, unsuccessfully. The upside is Seattle has at least two players in their secondary that can actually contest Fitz on a jump ball. But yeah, no foolin' here: Fitz is a beast and it's 10-3 Cardinals.
The kickoff is a touchback. On 1st down, the "split-legged, wide base" Marshawn Lynch does some more beastmode rumbling. After the chains move, this happens on 1st down.
The pocket collapses; because the receivers are all running deep routes (Fox shows this later) Jackson realizes he needs to take off. As he is looking out to the two receivers up top, he scrambles out that way - maybe he could have climbed the pocket and escaped out the middle, who knows. Anyway, check where the ball is in this next frame...
Maybe this is just me being critical; in the first frame I'd like to see that ball tucked away. There could have been a defender hustling and looking for the strip. There wasn't, so its kind of moot here. But, the three frame sequence really bothers me. In traffic, Jackson brings the ball in front and across his body as he cuts. Yeah, he eventually tucks it before getting smacked, but in that second frame especially the ball is out there. It's all about the ball. Gotta protect it in tumultuous quarters. In my opinion, that wasn't protecting it in tumultuous quarters.
2nd and 7, Leon Washington redeems himself:
Seattle in '11' versus two down linemen and a pretty empty box. RUN!
Hands to the face on Moffitt?
He runs through an arm tackle, shakes in the open field and gets 21, down at the Arizona 44. The next snap is missed due to poor camera work, and we pick back up with Washington being tackled by Darnell Docket around the line of scrimmage, in a mess. Maybe it was the same call, as we know Bevell will call back to backs.
On 2nd down T-Jax drops back to see everyone covered:
Maybe he could have scrambled up the middle? Porter (bottom) gets the sack, Carpenter (arrow) gets called for holding, which is declined. Seattle runs behind a pulling P-Mac on 3rd, crowd boos, punt, downed at the 4 by Malcolm Smith and co. Sweeeeet.
Check out how "even" this game is:
The Cardinals run on 1st down and get nine yards, now starting to double/triple team big Red:
The lineman on the ground acts as the "third" guy in taking him out. Hawthorne (underlined) gets stuck behind the trash as the back cuts, which is why he can't make the tackle. Trufant stops Fitz setting up 3rd and short.
This play is all Leroy Hill. Watch the complete confusion, and then he saves the day:
Slot receiver uncovered.
Hill's penetration and ankle tackle creates the stop. Twooooo minute warning. Punt, Leon eight yard return to the Arizona 49.
On 1st down Jackson does play action, rolls right and fires to Rice on a deep out/comeback. Next play, check out this snag by Rice, after Jackson appears to throw one early. Ball out is out; watch the footwork and body control by Rice.
Snagalicious. Are they going to do this all year, because that would be beyond my expectations. And this offense could be potent.
The tempo is good for the hurry up, the run-off between downs is pretty minimal. They run a screen to Forsett on 2nd and 2, which is incomplete and would have gone no where - Rice had single coverage on a go route. They convert the 3rd, but then the bug bites in the form of an Okung false start. Darnell Dockett (top arrow) and Calais Campbell (bottom arrow) turn 1st and 15...
into 2nd and 20. Campbell, again, with Dockett. Jackson at least keeps them within a 50 yarder...could have been worse, right? Like a turnover, perhaps?
Mike Williams is up top, Baldwin is circled.
Look at all of those short routes; looks like the same call as on the Polamalu almost-pick from last week.
BMW is flat-footed. The ball is behind and low; It's Jefferson's ball...
...but he can't handle it. These flashbacks have to stop. This turnover would have been so costly. Who was that ball to? I'm not sure either receiver knew.
T-Jax chucks it up incomplete in the endzone to Rice on 3rd. The ensuing 52 yard field goal makes it 10-6. The Cardinals get the ball at their own 27 with :37 left. They dink and dunk, call timeouts, etc down the field; 32 yards in four plays. With :07 left, a quick completion on the sideline would put the Cardinals in field goal range.
Instead, lets pay hommage to one of the best corners in franchise history and appreciate his only pick of the season (and maybe his final one as a Seahawk??). Marcus Trufant...
Tru is supposed to cover around the first down marker, so he keeps his head towards the quarterback but his body ready to run downfield. He plays the quarterback and abandons his post/the underneath receiver, breaking on the ball for the pick. A savvy play by the captain of the defense.
Time expires but a penalty on the Cardinals gives Seattle a Hail Mary attempt from their 47. Jackson drops back and rolls himself right into pressure, then backpedals left and out of it, before chucking up a ball that doesn't reach the end zone, and is intercepted.
End of half, Seattle down 10-6. Get ready for an exciting 3rd quarter, to be posted on Monday!
Edit: (Gamebook) Look at all of those Sidney Rice targets!!! And Alan Branch 4 tackles...we'll look for him more in the 2nd half. The monster is leading the Cardinals in tackles, with 2.5 sacks and 4 QB hits. WOW.