Seahawks vs. Cardinals: Takeaways from Seattle's 34-22 Win over Arizona
Seattle looked dominant throughout the game, but made a few key mistakes at bad times. This allowed Arizona to keep the game close in the first half.
The Seahawks now get a well-deserved and much-needed break before their next game. Before everyone settles in for 11 days without Seahawks football, it is time to take a look back on Thursday's game.
Here are eight takeaways from the win.
Seattle's Defense Is Scary
The Seahawks sacked Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer seven times and collected two interceptions.
The Cardinals only had 30 rushing yards on 18 attempts, good for an average of just 1.7 yards per carry.
Arizona finished the game with just 234 yards of offense, and averaged just 3.7 yards per play, with much of that coming in garbage time after the outcome had been decided.
Don't let the 22 points allowed fool you. This was a dominating performance by Seattle's defense.
Russell Wilson Continues to Make Plays
Quarterback Russell Wilson's numbers were solid. He finished 18-of-29 for 235 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
However, it was the way in which he compiled many of those stats that was truly impressive. Wilson faced major pressure all night, and delivered highlight-reel strikes over and over again.
The more times I see that Russell Wilson TD throw to Sidney Rice, the more impressive it gets. A 50-yard dime on the run off his back foot.— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) October 18, 2013
Even Pete Carroll had praise for Wilson, in his own very Pete Carroll kind of way:
"I thought Russell did great, he did a bunch of cool stuff" - Pete Carroll— Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) October 18, 2013
Seattle Still Has a Fumble Problem
Seattle clearly weren't able to eliminate their fumbling problems. A week after fumbling the ball five times, the Seahawks put the ball on the ground four times in this game, resulting in two turnovers.
The Seahawks now have 17 fumbles in seven games on the season. That's a trend that needs to stop.
Malcolm Smith Had a Great Game
This may have been the best game of linebacker Malcolm Smith's career. He finished with nine tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss and a pass deflection. Smith showed tremendous range and athleticism and was very disruptive for Seattle.
The move back across the formation to weak-side linebacker, the position he played last season, has clearly been good for Smith. Perhaps the Seahawks need to consider leaving him there even after Bobby Wagner returns from his ankle injury.
Marshawn Lynch Is Almost Impossible to Stop
The TV broadcast put up a graphic in the second half that said that Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch had 70 rushing yards at that point, and that 50 of them had come after contact. That is an amazing stat, and points to just how important Lynch is to Seattle's offensive success.
Lynch finished the night with 21 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown. That's a great night, especially considering that the run-blocking was often rather poor.
Chris Clemons Is a Difference Maker
The Seahawks didn't expect defensive end Chris Clemons to play on Thursday. He hyper-extended his elbow last Sunday, and was listed as questionable on the team's injury report.
Not only did he play, but Clemons dominated Arizona left tackle Bradley Sowell throughout the game. His final stat line included a sack, two QB hits and numerous pressures.
The Seahawks Need an Extra-Long Week
Safety Jeron Johnson re-injured his hamstring. Fullback Derrick Coleman injured his hamstring as well. Neither player was able to return to the game.
Guard James Carpenter incurred a shin injury, though he was able to return to the field.
Receiver Golden Tate picked up shoulder and toe injuries, but was also was able to return.
All of those were new injuries, which added to a long list of banged-up players, including starters Percy Harvin, Russell Okung, Breno Giacomini and Bobby Wagner.
The Seahawks need a chance to get healthy. A bye week would be ideal, but an 11-day gap between games will also be helpful.
All injury updates from Pete Carroll's post-game press conference.
The 12th Man Travels Well to Arizona
The picture above came from the post-game show on NFL Network. It was a crazy scene, and unlike anything that can be normally seen at NFL road games.
These Seattle fans are just insane. What a scene!— SI_DougFarrar (@SI_DougFarrar) October 18, 2013
Even the guys on set took notice, as recapped by the Seahawks' official Twitter account: