Outside of possibly the Philadelphia Eagles, there might not be a hotter team in the NFL right now than the Seattle Seahawks. Stop rubbing your eyes, and do not turn away from your screen. This is not hyperbole.
Through the last three weeks, these Seahawks have beaten teams who have been perceived to be more talented than they are, and they have been beating them decisively. They have been beating them with defense, with offense, and with special teams.
They have been winning with stellar quarterback play, they have been winning with exciting rookies, they have been winning in the trenches, and they are winning our hearts, our minds, and our imaginations as Twelves. Above all, through these last three weeks, they have been winning together as a team playing for each other. In my opinion, that’s the best way to win.
Don’t look now, but there is a very 2022 Seattle Mariner vibe about these 2022 Seahawks. In fact, it is so strong that in the final minutes of the game last Sunday, a ref announced a penalty over the mic, he called the Seahawks the Seattle Mariners.
Conversely, there is a kinda Celebrity Rehab vibe about the Arizona Cardinals right now. Kyler Murray seems to have such a video game addiction that he will bite the head off of anyone who tells him that he can’t just rely on his physical talents. His head coach Kliff Kingsbury has the vibe of someone more interested in seeing how many Paradise Valley trophy wives he can fit into his jacuzzi than he is about making smart decisions as a play-caller. This team has all kinds of talent, but they don’t have the feel of a unit that is playing together particularly well.
To their credit, their defense actually plays a pretty respectable game, and they seem to be coached well enough there, but collectively, as an entire team, they seem to lack joy. In fact, their quarterback has been more inclined to cuss out his coach when he throws an interception than to just give a “my bad” to his teammates who are trying to play their asses off for him.
As I look at this Arizona team right now, I don’t think they’re a bunch that deserves to win, frankly. This isn’t just my biased view as a Seahawk fan, either. There is a greater reasoning at play here.
Dysfunction doesn’t deserve victory. In fact, it might be better for them to just suck the whole rest of the season so that proper changes happen for them. They need to feel their bottom because the organizations that they compete with in the NFC West are all better run. They are coached better, and more importantly, their cultures function better than what is going on in Arizona.
So when I look at the Seattle Seahawks, and I see a quarterback in Geno Smith who is consistently playing really good ball with bright talent around him, and I see a defense that has been playing impressive ball lately, and I look at this mess with the Cardinals, I’m seeing Seattle traveling down there, and winning another game in convincing fashion. I don’t think these Cardinals are going to lay down for them in any way, but I think Seattle comfortably wins this game in the end.
On top of the dysfunction of Kliff and Kyler, Arizona has a banged up offensive line again in this one. Seattle took advantage of it last time, and I don’t expect anything to change in their second match.
One of the most underrated aspects to Seattle’s turnaround on defense is just how well their defensive tackles have been playing. They are an underrated unit in this league. When you look at the fact that Arizona doesn’t possess much of a ground game outside of Kyler scrambling, eventually these interior defensive linemen (along with the dynamic play of the edge rushers led by Uchenna Nwosu) are going to be able to pin their ears back.
Furthermore, the memo is out on how to stop a small scrambling quarterback in this league, and every Seahawk fan should know this because of their own former short quarterback. That memo becomes much easier of a task if the small QB doesn’t have a run game supporting him, and it reads as follows.
You contain him with your edge rushers, and you get good inside push from your tackles. Poona Ford, Shelby Harris, and Quinton Jefferson are good at getting inside push. Trust me, Seattle probably wants Kyler contained to a pocket, and passing, even with DeAndre Hopkins back as receiver.
Offensively for Seattle, I am putting my trust in Geno Smith to continue making good decisions and doing everything he needs to do to secure victory. Geno didn’t have his best game a few weeks back against these Cardinal defenders, and he was the first to say that in his post game presser, but he didn’t play terrible, either. He game managed well enough, and I think traveling down there to face them again, he will have a much better sense about what that defense does, which is very feast and famine with the blitz.
Will Geno better recognize weaknesses when they blitz? I would not bet against that. Geno Smith seems to be very good at football right now, and I think a lot of that has been in his recognition of what a defense is doing.
I also suspect that we are going to see yet another impressive day from rookie running back Ken Walker III (affectionately now known as K9). There will be things he does in this game that will continue to wow because that is what this dude does. I sense we could see his impact play more out as a receiver in this one.
I think the Seahawks win this one 33-17. Am I nuts to say this? Sure, I absolutely could be, but we will see.
I think Seattle’s defense is legit and can sustain itself this Sunday. They did a good job against Kyler last time, and I am sure that Arizona will have made adjustments on how they want to attack it, but I also sense that Seattle will likely be ready for it.
Offensively, I can see the Seahawks controlling clock more than the Cardinals, and while that might not lead to touchdowns on every scoring drive, it can lead to a lot of field goals, and time drained off the clock. Thus, I can envision Pete Carroll winning this one the way in which he truly loves to win at football; seeing his offense sustaining long drives, controlling clock, getting points on the board, and forcing the other team’s offense into a one dimensional style in which it will become harder for them to play against his defense.
I think the Seahawks stay hot in this one.