The Seahawks 19-3 win over the Cardinals is not even "Yesterday's news." It's the day before the day before yesterday's news. And even though I typically drop the advanced stats on a Wednesday anyway, today it seems a little less important considering just how much is going on tomorrow. It feels, in a way, as big as the game that Seattle and San Francisco played in January.
For the loser of the game, the loss could end up just as dire as the one that knocked the 49ers out of the playoffs and sent the Seahawks to the Super Bowl.
So I'm trying to zoom through this as quick as possible without missing any of the important beats. It's a busy week for me because Danny Kelly will actually be away for a few days so please, please ... send any of your site concerns to
me John Fraley. (I also interviewed Guy Fieri (yes, really) about his Thanksgiving traditions over at Rolling Stone, so please go check that out!)
Here's the day that was, and not so much the day that will be:
Seahawks vs Cardinals, Win Probability Chart (via Pro-Football-Reference)
From kicking off to kneeling down, the Seahawks pretty much had this game in the bag throughout. Even though they were settling for field goals, the Cardinals were rarely settling for anything. To "settle" for consistent 3-point opportunities would have been divine for Bruce Arians compared to watching what Drew Stanton had to show for himself in Seattle.
It seemed like nearly every play for either team happened in Arizona territory and the Cards punted on six of their 10 drives with the others ending on downs, a missed field goal, a made field goal, and an interception. It was "only" 9-3 at the half? Shit, we oversold ourselves on nine points, we only needed six.
Play of the Game
Ladies Love Coop Helfet caught his second touchdown of the season and gave Seattle fans the same relief you get after poppin' a maj' zit on your nose crevice. Unfortunately he also got hurt in the game and will not be playing on Thursday.
Kams and Shams (chart via Advanced Football Analytics)
Well, Kam is the most Kam of all, as evidenced by winning his second Defensive Player of the Week award on Wednesday. It comes as a bit of a surprise to me, since I don't recall Chancellor making an interception or forcing a fumble or doing any of the things that I expect the NFL to hand awards out for, but that doesn't mean he wasn't baller, shot-caller, 20-inch anacondas stretched out from his collar.
Despite not even getting in the top seven of that chart above, it doesn't mean Chancellor wasn't loved by advanced stats either. Over at Pro Football Focus they gave him a grade (which I won't repeat because it's worthless) that was quite good, probably based on his nine tackles, five of which were stops (you can tackle a player after he gains 60 yards or you can make the tackle that prevented a 60-yard play) and of the two completions thrown in his direction, they gained just five yards.
In fact, there were six attempts thrown at Chancellor and Earl Thomas in total, and those plays gained six yards in total. Not a bad average.
Bobby Wagner, Earl, Byron Maxwell, and Russ all had exceptional games. Russ was sacked seven times, and Lynch was held to 39 yards rushing, but Lynch gained 25 yards on three carries off of the right side. I haven't reviewed all three of those carries, but perhaps Justin Britt deserves a mention? Well, whether he does or doesn't, he got one, and that's all that really matters!
Steven Hauschka had a kick blocked and still came up in Football Outsiders DVOA article as a player of the week because he nailed his four other kicks and had four touchbacks on six kickoffs.
Football Outsiders DVOA Update (via Football Outsiders)
The Seahawks jump from seven to six this week and it's interesting to note that all of a sudden four of the top five teams in DVOA are in the AFC. Typically, conferences can go a decade or more with being dominant over the other, but after seeing how strong the NFC was a year ago, the AFC might be a bit superior right now. I think some of this has to do with quarterback play.
All of a sudden guys like Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton, Nick Foles, Matthew Stafford, Jay Cutler, Sam Bradford, and to an extent, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees, don't look so hot. And yep, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick probably fall into that too, while Drew Stanton is quarterbacking the Cardinals. Ask yourself, who gives you the most confidence that they will be a good NFC quarterback in three years?
I would say Aaron Rodgers is a definite, and I feel fine about Kap, Wilson, and Ryan. Tony Romo will be 37 and Brees will be 38. However, over the AFC, it's not like the future is a whole lot brighter with the impending decline of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Philip Rivers. Perhaps the need to juice the quarterback (no pun intended) for all he's worth in the three or four seasons he plays on a rookie contract, and the expectation that they should all come out of the gate like Andrew Luck and Wilson did, really is having a negative effect on their careers.
Or, the recent classes of 2013 and 2014 just aren't that good. Not that they can't get better, I'm not implying that Blake Bortles should be in the Pro Bowl just because Luck, Wilson, and RGIII were as rookies (though Bortles is p bad) but the early returns aren't so good.
I'm trying to go fast through this and I just said all that shit that didn't have anything to do with DVOA.
The Cardinals dropped to 17th following the loss, the Niners are "turnin' it up to 11," and the Rams stayed at 24.
Week 13 Opponent - The San Francisco 49ers
DVOA: Overall - 11 ; Offense - 18 ; Defense - 2 ; Special Teams - 30
Never heard of 'em. Must be some expansion team.
Russell Wilson stats update
Wilson, or, "Swaggy 2 Dope" as I like to call him, was on point in the stats department on Sunday: 17-of-22, 211 yards, one touchdown, no picks, passer rating of 121.6, 9.59 Y/A, 10 rushes for 73 yards. He seemed to be gunning for touchdown number two before the Seahawks had the audacity to win the game with honor and take a knee deep inside Arizona territory.
Swaggy had the highest completion percentage of his season and third-highest of his career. The passer rating was the second-best of his season and 11th-highest of his career. The yards-per-attempt was the second-best of his season. When Wilson and the Seahawks beat the Cardinals 58-0 in 2012, Wilson had 11.38 Y/A, but only threw 13 passes with a rating of 88 and he actually threw a pick.
That was some kinda game, I tell ya.
2 Dope's run game continues to be banana pants. He has rushed for at least 70 yards in three straight games and he's at 644 for the year. With five games to go, he needs 71.2 yards per game to join Michael Vick as the only QBs to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. I certainly hope he doesn't "have" to keep running it, but damn it's fun when he does it so successfully.
Wilson raised his season QB rating to 93, and we'd really like to see him raise up and become the first QB to get a rating of 100 in each of his first three seasons. I know fans elsewhere think that Wilson has "regressed" and is showing that he was "overrated" the past two years, but those fans are what experts might call: Stupid af.
I think he's playing about the same. There were missed throws and interceptions in the past (writers note: Wilson has thrown five interceptions, and his INT% has gone down from 2.2 to 1.6) and he's throwing too high ... Again, I seem to recall that happening in the past. We just overlooked it more often because the games were all going so splendidly. Wilson and Lynch are quite literally carrying this offense.
Maybe he's just too dope for you.