Friday, October 18, 2013

Seahawks Dominate in the Desert

Seahawks    34
Cardinals     22

Traditionally, the Seahawks haven't played well on the road.  They had lost 6 of their last 7 games in Arizona. Historically, Seahawks fans do not travel well.  Seattle is usually the destination people transplant to, not the other way around. Then again, Seattle has never been 6-1 before.

I think it's safe to say we're in the midst of a new era of Seahawk football.

Seattle came off the short week and punched Arizona in the mouth. They put up points in every quarter against an impressive Cardinals defense.  Sure, Arizona hasn't shown to be up to the level people expected them to be at this season, but they have definitely improved from last season.

If I had to nit pick something about the Seahawks performance, there's still plenty to be fed up with regarding the Seahawks offensive line.  Seattle continues to struggle in pass blocking week to week.  I get it-- we've played some of the best defenses in the league and we're playing with a lot of key players injured.  Still, it's not crazy to expect to see improvement from week to week and we're just not getting that.

On the first of his three touchdowns of the game, Russell Wilson rolled out to escape pressure and made an incredible down field throw to Sidney Rice.  It was a brilliant throw from the second year quarterback and a great catch by the receiver.  However, if you watch the replay, you'll notice that with the exception of Max Unger, the entire offensive line were beaten like rented mules. The only thing consistent about this offensive line is that you can expect them to get beaten like this several times a game.

Seattle also continued their streak of fumbling the ball. Seattle has now fumbled an uncharacteristic 9 times in the last 2 games. Wilson had 3 fumbles, 2 of them lost, and each one was entirely on him.  At this point, he has to realize that he will have little to know time to make each play and he needs to calibrate that internal clock of his to compensate for the ineptitude of the offensive line.  Tuck & run or roll out, Russ. You can't just pat the ball in the pocket and hope the protection will hold up.  It won't.

Unlike the offense, Seattle's defense continues to grow with each performance.  Carson Palmer was picked off twice and sacked seven times.  Chris Clemons had two of those sacks despite being a game time decision with a hyper-extended elbow.  Malcom Smith played well in the absence of Bobby Wagner and my dude Clinton McDonald continues to be the most underrated player on this defense.

But I have to shine the light on Brandon Browner this week. He's taken a lot of grief for his performance in the past few games where his lack of speed has been exploited, but he really stepped it up last night.  Browner had 4 tackles and an interception that he almost took to the house but inexplicably collapsed inside the 5 yard line. It almost looked like his foot fell asleep right before he got to the endzone. Either way, Browner had a helluva night.

Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson were essentially non factors last night.  We'd heard so much noise about how spectacular those two were and last night, I just didn't see it.  Seattle held Arizona to a measly 30 yards rushing in the Cardinals house. All in all, I think we saw enough improvement in this tough road win to feel really good about our Seahawks going down the stretch.

The Seahawks have 11 days before they head to St. Louis for Monday Night Football. They're 6-1 and are showing the improvement necessary to go deep in the playoffs. The next 4 games before their bye week are incredibly winnable and could very well be 10-1 when they host the Saints at the CLink for another Monday Night game in December.  Over the next few weeks, Percy Harvin, Russell Okung, Breno Giacomini and Bobby Wagner will be returning to the team and we can only expect them to be better.

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