The Seattle Seahawks got a much-needed 22-16 win over the Arizona Cardinals, but it came at the expense of Richard Sherman’s season-ending Achilles injury. Duane Brown also might be out for at least a game with a sprained ankle, C.J. Prosise hurt his other ankle, Jarran Reed hurt his hamstring, Kam Chancellor has a stinger, the medical tent has to be renovated into a medical mansion, and I didn’t even bring up just how many injuries the Cardinals dealt with.
Let’s get to Winners and Losers for Thursday’s game and then focus on the Monday night showdown vs. the Atlanta Falcons.
Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin
For this play, and this play only.
There’s not much more you can say about that.
At least for the next few days, Jimmy Graham is now tied for first with Zach Ertz (who’s on a bye) for most touchdowns by a TE, with six. I only wish it didn’t take until the end of his contract for him to finally be a major threat in goal line situations. Frankly speaking, I also wish he wasn’t reduced to catching short passes all the time, because he’s still averaging under 10 yards per reception, but we do like touchdowns, and Graham is getting them.
Chancellor had a vintage “deathbacker” performance. He stripped Adrian Peterson on Arizona’s first offensive play, later tackled Peterson in the end zone for a safety, and delivered some huge hits throughout the game. I’m hoping that the “stinger” he suffered isn’t something that’s too serious, because Seattle cannot afford any more injuries in the secondary.
Richardson had a fumble recovery, would’ve had a sack if he wasn’t egregiously held (the refs did call it!), and was one of the reasons the Cardinals couldn’t run the ball whatsoever.
Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright
Name me a current linebacker duo better than this one. Off the top of my head, Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis Sr. are the only ones in contention, and I’d still pick Wagner/Wright without hesitation. Wagner was his usual dominant self, and Wright forced the initial penetration in the backfield that led to Peterson getting smothered by Kam for a safety.
Essentially written off as a major draft bust, Jordan made his Seahawks debut and immediately contributed. He bullrushed his way to Seattle’s first sack of the game, and had a couple of hits and hurries. Seattle needs all of the defensive line depth it can get right now, and Jordan’s debut was impressive.
Speaking of defensive line depth, the rookie continues to make an impact as a pass rusher. He took advantage of Arizona’s... interesting pass protection scheme, and walloped Drew Stanton for a key sack to essentially end the Cardinals’ best chances of a comeback. Jones is now up to two sacks on the season, and depending on Jarran Reed’s injury, we may see Jones’ snap count increase.
He needed to be good after costing Seattle dearly last Sunday by going 0-for-3 on field goals, and he bounced back with two made field goals and two made extra points.
Los Angeles Rams
They obviously don’t have the NFC West locked up, and in fact have a pretty difficult upcoming schedule (after they wipe out the Houston Texans), but I don’t think they have any incredibly major injuries right now, and that’s really gone under-the-radar. Seahawks fans know all too well the importance of a healthy team during the back-stretch of the regular season, and the Rams are thriving because of that relatively clean injury sheet.
I thought that most of Seattle’s penalties in the Washington loss were deserved and mostly just bad discipline from the Seahawks. Thursday night was rotten. Shaquill Griffin’s pass interference “penalty” was nonsense. Justin Coleman got called for hands to the face twice, and both were ticky-tack. Arizona effectively got spotted ten points because the referees continued to conveniently extend drives off of third-down infractions. Drew Stanton begged for a face mask on Michael Bennett and Walt Anderson’s crew obliged. Russell Wilson gets sacked on the game’s opening possession, clearly gets face masked, no call. Don’t get me started on Andre Ellington’s “fumble” being overturned despite taking four steps before falling to the ground. It was absolutely atrocious to watch and we know nothing will be done about it because this is the National Football League.
NBC’s SkyCam broadcast
It’s not like the Madden video game camera, Cris Collinsworth. When NBC had to revert to SkyCam for half of the Falcons-Patriots game a few weeks back, I guess that inspired them to do this more often, and in fact that’ll be their primary angle for next week’s Thursday night matchup between the Titans and Steelers. I’m a fan of using it occasionally, but not predominantly. Maybe they have something better lined up so that the camera zooms out more like you see in Madden, but I’m not really enthused about this new broadcasting direction.
The run game
It will not get any better, so just deal with it. The offensive line isn’t good at run blocking, and I think the running backs themselves are also part of the problem, because Thomas Rawls is a total bull in a china shop right now. JD McKissic isn’t a between the tackles runner — side note, Darrell Bevell FINALLY called a misdirection pitch play to him — Eddie Lacy is slow, and C.J. Prosise is always injured. I see little reason to be optimistic about Seattle being anything more than a one-dimensional offense.
Oday Aboushi and Germain Ifedi
Another penalty apiece for both men, and they were definitely overwhelmed in pass protection on more than one occasion. Aboushi has really not been up to par in recent weeks, and I’m wondering whether or not it’d be a good idea to stick Ethan Pocic at right guard if/when Luke Joeckel returns.
You might be wondering why I’m getting on the defense’s case when the Seahawks held the Cardinals to 16 points and stifled Adrian Peterson, but the pass rush was dismal for most of the evening. That’s not Tom Brady at quarterback, it’s Drew freaking Stanton with a backup left tackle for almost the entire game. Richard was content to rush four and drop seven into coverage all night, and things could’ve been a lot closer if Stanton didn’t think his receivers were 25 feet tall. It felt like a really conservative defensive gameplan from Kris Richard against a QB who shouldn’t be commanding that much respect.
Not only was Arians’ run-heavy gameplan with a 107-year-old Adrian Peterson (who had 37 carries on Sunday!) destined to fail, but you also have to check out his reaction when Doug Baldwin made that sideline snag and took off for a game-changing 54-yard catch-and-run.
lol bruce arians in the back pic.twitter.com/CUsyND5icx— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) November 10, 2017