By far one of the most frustrating aspects of how poorly the Seattle Seahawks defense has played is the fact that they’ve been playing opposing offenses missing multiple key players. This weekend against the Arizona Cardinals, the Seahawks will once again have the chance to benefit from a shorthanded group.
Arizona’s top two running backs, James Conner and Darrel Williams, are both out with respective injuries. Their only healthy options are Eno Benjamin and rookie Keaontay Ingram, who’s yet to play in an NFL game. Of course, the Cards haven’t had superstar receiver DeAndre Hopkins at all this year due to a failed PED test. This is the end of his six-game suspension, after which he should be available for the Week 9 rematch down in Arizona. In the meantime, he’s still out for this weekend.
As things stand, a Cardinals offense that ranks 22nd in DVOA, 18th in points scored — they have yet to even score at all in the first quarter — is down two running backs and still missing its best receiver. Depending on what we find out on Friday, they may also be down starting center Rodney Hudson, who missed Thursday’s practice with a knee injury. Seems advantageous for the Seahawks, but....
The Detroit Lions were missing star running back D’Andre Swift, wide receiver standout Amon-Ra St. Brown, as well as fellow receiver D.J. Chark and guard Jonah Jackson. As you know, Seattle still allowed 45 points. Detroit scored touchdowns on their final four possessions and basically forced the Seahawks to score on every drive or else we’d be talking about a 1-4 squad.
The New Orleans Saints were down starting quarterback Jameis Winston, wide receivers Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry, and lost Chris Olave mid-game due to a concussion on a touchdown catch. That didn’t stop the Saints from putting up 39 points, over 400 yards of offense, and 100-yard rushing performances by Taysom Hill and Alvin Kamara. Hill was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his four-touchdown outing.
Even the San Francisco 49ers game didn’t involve tight end George Kittle, starting running back Elijah Mitchell, and mid-game Trey Lance broke his ankle. The 49ers still scored 27 points and rushed for a season-high 189 yards. Kittle’s backup, Ross Dwelley, caught a 38-yard touchdown on a busted coverage.
I suppose the only commonality among the three matchups is that they were all on the road. Maybe playing at home can cure some of what ails the Seahawks D, which apart from Jamal Adams has had virtually all of its biggest names available on a weekly basis. If we get a continuation of the previous two weeks and the Cardinals start lighting up the scoreboard, then there might not be any turnaround in sight for this group in 2022.
Hey, at least Colt McCoy isn’t scheduled to play...