He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.
This is perhaps my favorite bible quote, and it is one that stays with me. Not only was the Prince of Peace great at curing leprosy, the dude was also hip to the Eastern philosophies of Karma. He understood that what comes around, goes around.
On a much lesser extent, this philosophy can be reflected in the game of football. It was clearly demonstrated Sunday night when the Arizona Cardinals handed the Seattle Seahawks a big dose of their own medicine for all to see. One could easily say “he who lives on miraculous play from quarterback and timely defensive plays, dies by miraculous play from quarterback and timely defensive plays.”
Thus far through the 2020 NFL season, Seattle has squeezed out narrow victories against New England, Dallas, and Minnesota playing this way. Now Arizona did it to them.
It will be interesting to see how Seattle responds playing against a red hot 49er team next week. Suddenly, victory against their uniquely hated division rival feels less certain. But maybe, this is the dose of reality that Seattle needs to have right now, if they are to reclaim the dominance that they once had. One would hope, anyways.
Here are my notes about this game.
I had a sneaking feeling that Tyler Lockett was going to have a big game against the Cardinals heading into this game, and he did not disappoint. Had Seattle found a way to win this in overtime, all the talk would have been about him being the player of the game. 15 passes hauled in for 200 yards and three touchdowns is an incredible stat line, but those stats don’t being to tell his story in this one. He made multiple miraculous catches against tight coverage, and it was an incredible display. This loss to the Cardinals stings perhaps the most because it spoiled an incredible effort from Number 16. He should have won this game. He did everything asked out of him to win it. It’s a shame.
Carlos Hyde looked great on the designed outside run plays he had come his way as he stepped in for an injured Chris Carson. That looks like a very interesting wrinkle in Brian Schottenheimer’s playbook. I could stand to see more cleverness out of the run game going down the stretch. It was another strong effort that was wasted in this loss.
Perhaps the most impressive play of the night that was wasted in this loss was DK Metcalf chasing down Budda Baker after the pesky Husky picked off Russell Wilson for what should have been an easy pick six. Seattle’s defense held off the Cardinals in the ensuing series, and had Seattle held on for the win, this would have been the play talked about all week. Brutal that DK’s effort on this play was wasted in this loss.
There’s not a ton of bright spots for me to note about the Seattle defense in this one, but I thought rookie linebacker Jordyn Brooks showed some nice plays against the potent Cardinal running attack. He looks the part of a starting NFL linebacker. Seattle needs this guy to continue stepping forward into his starting role in a big way, especially next week against the Niners.
Russell Wilson continued his MVP quest making numerous incredible throws, but at least two of his three interceptions were bad throws and probably bad decisions.
Russ simply did not cook well enough in this one. Instead of lofting a pass in the flat for a potential touchdown that was way too easily picked off by Budda Baker, he probably should’ve put more zip on the ball. His second intercepted pass in the red zone was just a bad throw that never should have been thrown in the first place, and while it looked like Isaiah Simmons made a great play on his third intercepted pass at the end of the game, it also looked as though it was another pass that probably shouldn’t have been thrown, either. In result, instead of showing upstart second year quarterback Kyler Murray who is boss quarterback in the NFC West, Russell was the more inconsistent passer in this game, and it pains me to state that.
What is even more painful to state is that Seattle has become so quarterback dependent in 2020, it practically requires Russell to have perfect games each and every week. Very, very few quarterbacks are capable of that. Even the greatest of the greats have rough outings.
Seattle has got to figure out how to protect leads and close games, or this whole Let Russ Cook thing is likely going to fall short of any deep playoff run, much less any return to the Super Bowl. This is probably why Russell was clamoring for the team to add Antonio Brown. He knows how many points that they have to pour on with this defense. He’s likely figuring that if they aren’t going to consistently hold teams down in the fourth quarter, he’s going to have to be able to score at will most games.
At this point of the season, through six games, I frankly don’t know what the solution is to fix this defense. Yes, it’s true that they have been playing without Jamal Adams the last three games, and he is an X factor. Yes, it’s also true that they are likely getting Damon Snacks Harrison activated to play defensive tackle will help against the run, and perhaps getting Rasheem Green back will help some with the pass rush, somewhat. But how much can we honestly expect out of this unit without a true pass rushing difference maker up front?
Seattle obviously needs to add another pass rusher. It’s painfully obvious to the point that the announcers are saying it during each television broadcast. At this point, I don’t even think it matters if it is another edge rusher, or if it is a pass rushing defensive tackle. Just get somebody.
I also know that they were playing Kyler a certain way with their rushes as to contain him instead of aggressively going for the sack, but they needed someone to get home on him. Jarran Reed is a fine defensive tackle, but he is not a primary pass rusher. At best, he is a complementary piece. Benson Mayowa is probably a serviceable edge rusher, but he is not enough. LJ Collier and Damontre Moore, at this point, are just guys. Same with Poona Ford.
An why wasn’t Alton Robinson factoring in more? Isn’t he supposed to be the surprise rookie edge rusher who was flashing all through training camp? He flashed in earlier games this season. I don’t think I saw him on the field once. Why?
At this point, I have long passed sounding like a broken record, but let me state it one more time. Seattle needs to add another pass rusher. If they are not going to add through free agency with a Clay Matthews type, then they need to trade for one.
And if by chance they aren’t going to pull the trigger on getting a proven veteran pass rusher, then they might as well trade for another pass catcher to give Russell even more to throw to because he’s probably going to need it at this rate. This is why I was kind of into the team signing Antonio Brown. Yes, I felt dirty as dirty can be about wanting that, but I saw the logic.
Good freaking grief. Enough is enough. Do something!
Despite that faulty defense, and Russell Wilson not being his absolute sharpest, Seattle was still in position to win this game in the fourth quarter.. until that f***ing ref called that bulls*** roughness call against Bobby Wagner.
It was a routine bang bang football play that should have been allowed. It would have forced Arizona to punt, and potentially give Seattle good field position. Instead the BS ref made a BS call that literally helped the Cardinals score seven points, which was a massive difference in this game. Massive.
If I’m Pete Carroll, I am calling into the league about that play first thing after my alarm goes off Monday morning. That was total BS, and I hate blaming refs on losses, but good lord almighty.
Unacceptable. It’s like the league is doing everything they can to take the defense out of the game so the offenses can score more points. It’s gross.
There, I’m done writing about it. Moving on.
Seattle will be hosting the San Francisco 49ers next week, and suddenly, it feels like there is more pressure to win that game. The 49ers look like they are circling back around to being a strong team again despite their long list of injuries. That’s the sign of a superbly coached team.
If Jamal Adams is able to be back for this one, and Snacks Harrison is finally ready to go at defensive tackle, it would be hugely beneficial for Seattle. Maybe even having Michael Kendricks active to rotate in at linebacker, as well.
The Seahawks going to need to be able to play fast and tackle well at linebacker and safety to handle all of the exotic run plays that San Francisco relies on. They will also need to be stout up front. I think this is why Jordyn Brooks was drafted, and why Jamal Adams was traded for, and probably why Kendricks was brought back and Snacks was signed. It’s to play against these NFC West division foes. It would have been helpful had these players played against Arizona. They are going to need them against San Francisco.
Oh, yeah. One more thing. Go get a fricking pass rusher, John Schneider. Bring one in this week. Pretty please.