Seahawks Get Revenge, Beat The Cardinals, And Was A Weird One (In A Good Way)

Efficient Russ is the best Russ

In my preview leading to this game, I felt confidence that the Seattle Seahawks were going to right their ship, and beat the Arizona Cardinals. I predicted a final score of 38-31.

I can put a feather in my cap that I got the winning team right, and I can put another feather in it for getting the final point differential correct. Where I obviously got things wrong was in my feelings that Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray would both be cooking a bit more.

On paper, looking at this final score, if one were to not have watched the game, one would likely not think anything odd about it. On paper it looks like the Seattle Seahawks beat Arizona by a touchdown difference; Seahawks scored four, and Arizona scored three. Simple as that.

Well, the story-line to how Seattle reached 28 points was a bit more unconventional. They scored three touchdowns and missed an extra point, which mathematically leads to twenty points, but they also scored two field goals which would bump the score up to twenty six.

How they achieved those two extra points might actually have been the play of the game if not for Carlos Dunlap busting through blockers at the end of Arizona’s final drive and sacking Kyler Murray on fourth and ten. A couple series before that, Seattle had backed up Arizona a yard away from their own end zone when Jamal Adams forced Murray into an intentional grounding call. The next play, Arizona chose to pass and defensive lineman LJ Collier got an interior rush that drew a holding call in the end zone that gave Seattle an automatic safety which lead to the two points needed for Seattle to ultimately reach twenty eight after Jason Meyers connected on the ensuing field goal.

That interior rush by Collier was instrumental to Seattle finishing this game with the final score that they fought for and earned. No doubt that this was a rather weird unconventional way to get to twenty eight points, but this is exactly the type of play you want to see from a player that was taken at the bottom of the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. If not for the Dunlap sack at the end, this would be my play of the game.

This was a weird game in few other ways, as well, as both clubs deserve credit for fighting through their adversities. Seattle was forced to start rookie guard Damien Lewis at center due to injuries at the position, and at times, it looked like a rookie right guard was playing center. For Arizona, they were forced to play without their entire starting defensive and it showed with their inability to ultimately stop the run.

It’s often a weird game whenever both these teams play, and this one was no exception. Perhaps the weirdest thing about it for me was the amount of illegal procedure and false start calls against both offenses in a crowd-less Covid era stadium.

But hey, who am I to complain when Seattle ultimately wins it 28-21 in a weird path to get there? I will gladly take it.

Here are some further thoughts.

The Good

This game should be remembered in the 2020 Seattle Seahawk season as a return to Pete Carroll football, and thank the maker for that. For over the past month, I have been craving this sort of ball like nobody’s business. This game was won off of stingy defense, effective running, efficient quarterback play, and solid special teams. This is the sort of overall team effort that fits Pete Carroll’s model for winning football in that all three phases of the game complete each other. Make no mistake, this game was a return to this organization’s DNA over the last decade. They were physical in ways that were sorely missed in the whole Let Russ Cook thing, and most importantly, they did not turn the ball over. I am ready to see more of this going through these final games of the season.

Bravo to Ken Norton Junior for calling a solid defensive game. Seattle’s defensive coordinator has been feeling the heat immensely over the last few weeks. There has been growing outcries from fans on social media and on sports radio for Pete Carroll to fire him (even though it is highly unlikely Carroll would do so in mid season). Quietly, Norton had his defense play well enough in a losing effort in the second half of the game last week against the Rams. In this game, Norton had his much maligned defenders playing well all throughout. He did a good job mixing pressures with coverage against a Cardinal offense that wasn’t missing much weapons. Norton deserves a lot of praise for this one. There is some reason to think that this defense could be turning the corner now.

You know who I have really been missing over the past month? Efficient Russell Wilson. It was really nice to see him return for this game. This offense was severely undermanned at center, and the Arizona defense was primed to take advantage of any Seattle attempt to let Russ cook. Instead, Seattle dialed up just enough of a steady run game for Russell to do what he does best, and that is to work off of the run with efficient passing that spreads the ball around. While his passing yardage wasn’t Peyton Manning-esque, he completed 23 of 28 passes for two touchdowns and zero interceptions. He also ran for 42 yards on ten carries. That’s high level efficiency at the quarterback position, and honestly, this is what Russell Wilson does best when he is at his best. This was a great bounce back game for him.

How happy are you now that Seattle has a healthy Carlos Hyde to help run the rock? Great game for the veteran runner, and a much needed one at that.

The player of the game for me is the other Carlos, though. Carlos Dunlap provided Seattle the ability to rush Kyler Murray with four players in this game (something that they didn’t have in the first game against Arizona), and in the final play for the defense, he beat his blockers when Seattle rushed with only three and played coverage. This was a massively positive effort and a huge boost for the defense. The trade for Dunlap looks like another genius move by GM John Schneider more and more with each passing game.

The Bad

Penalties hurt Seattle’s ability to more comfortably win against the Cardinals, and they were plagued by penalties on both sides of the ball. A Damien Lewis hold negated a deep completion to DK Metcalf who beat Patrick Peterson in coverage and it cost Seattle a scoring opportunity. Safety Quandre Diggs drew a roughness call against DeAndre Hopkins on third and long when Kyler Murray threw an inaccurate pass that Hopkins couldn’t haul in, and that penalty kept Arizona’s drive alive for a would be touchdown.

For as inspired of an effort on both sides of the ball, there was still too much slop. Going down the stretch run of the season, I would love for Seattle to start cleaning more things up, and just play cleaner games. There is a favorable schedule lining up now for them to do this, so there is little excuse for not to further right their ship. They could have smoother sailed in this one, and they didn’t.

The Ugly

For me, the ugliness that I noticed didn’t actually come out of this game, but rather the ugly that came out of some fans this week. Fair warning, I’m going to do a bit of shaming and schooling here.

I have heard way too much chatter this week about firing coaches. Even worse, I have read from a well established blogger who has long followed this club that Jody Allen should fire Pete Carroll, as he is now running this team into the ground.

For goodness sake? Really?

Seattle drops two road games in a row against two pretty good clubs, and now it is all about how the game has caught up and passed Pete Carroll. Well, Seattle just beat a pretty good Arizona club playing Pete Carroll football.

A word of advice to those who follow the Seattle Seahawks and occasionally listen to the national broadcast of Colin Cowherd. Stop listening to his blowhard takes.

Colin Cowherd lives inside Russell Wilson’s jockstrap. He lives there, he eats there, he showers and goes to sleep inside there. They are also friends who share the same entertainment agency. Cowherd is so pro-Russell Wilson that he has the uncontrollable compulsion to over-credit Russell Wilson for everything that Seattle does to win a game, and then over-blame the organization for everything whenever they loose. For Colin Cowherd, the sun shines out of Russell’s butt every single day, and at ridiculous levels.

So, just gonna say this now. Whenever Seattle loses an odd game or two in a season, don’t tune into Cowherd.

With all empty calories in an conviction that he can muster during a segment, he will exhaust all breath talking about how Pete Carroll has lost his way, how Seattle hasn’t drafted well in recent years, how they aren’t doing enough to support their star quarterback. He is the ultimate Russell Wilson apologist whenever he plays poorly, which usually happens for a game or two each season (news flash; Russell Wilson is human and shit happens).

This week, he went on this predictable sort ramble in regards to the Rams game in which Russell played badly when the defense actually had a fairly decent game. He somehow shifted all blame onto the organization to take it off of his buddy. It was as stupid of an example of broad stroked babble as you will ever find. It was bullshit.

Don’t get caught up into the Cowherd bullshit.

Pete Carroll is a good football coach. Pete Carroll is a hall of fame level good football coach, and John Schneider is a good general manager. Russell Wilson is a good quarterback, Pete Carroll is a good coach, and John Schneider is a good GM. They are all good, and we has Seattle Seahawk fans should be so lucky as to have them all here.

If you are calling for John Schneider and Pete Carroll to be fired, you are free to do so. I am also free to not take you seriously as a fan, or take you seriously as someone who writes on the internet following this club.

So maybe let’s just stop with the histrionics and enjoy that fact that we get to experience winning football annually each Fall. It is something that most fans throughout the league don’t get to enjoy as much.

Maybe they get to the Super Bowl this year. Maybe they don’t. We shall see, but Pete Carroll isn’t going anywhere, so I wouldn’t waste your breath on it. Let Cowherd do that for you.

Moving Forward

Seahawks get to enjoy a much needed ten day breather as they prepare for their final stretch run towards the playoffs and a possible NFC West division crown. It will be much needed to further improve the defense and to get key starters back on the offense.

Ah, what joy a win brings in that.

With this win, Seattle now sits on top their division at 7-3 with a seemingly softer schedule than the Rams, Cardinals, and 49ers. When after the loss against the Rams, it felt like 10-6 was maybe the ceiling for this club, now it feels possible that 12-4 (or better) could well be in reach.

Seattle was wise in this game to go back to Pete Carroll football against the Cardinals. It was a good way to beat that club that was looking vulnerable against the run. As much as it has been fun to watch Russ cook at various stages this season, I think this mentality (to be more balanced) will better serve this club moving forward.

Running the football should not be taken as any criticism against Russell Wilson as a passer. Being able to run the ball should be seem has making him more efficient as a passer, and it should be seen as being helpful for the defense to stay fresher. They need to run the ball more.

Running the ball completes the circle of Pete Carroll football, and with Chris Carson coming back, and possibly Rashaad Penny finally coming back, I would expect more of this effort. It’s going to help this club get back to the playoffs again, and it’s going to help them to perhaps finally win back this competitive NFC West division.

And it will make Russell Wilson even better at quarterback. I’m looking forward to that.

Go Hawks.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s