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The Setup
The Seahawks had beaten the Titans and were 5 & 1. Statistically, none of Seattle's individual player stats blow you away, but they run really well, are solid across the board and have few if any apparent weaknesses.

The Lede
Cards Start Slow; Never Quite Catch Up.

The Bottom Line:
The Cards continued their pattern of digging themselves a deep hole early in games and digging their way out only to fade late in games against better teams and come up a bit short time and time again. The 1st quarter was marked by a blown coverage for a TD followed by an interception which eventually led to a 14 -0 2nd quarter deficit. But (thanks in part to a sack and fumble recovery deep in Seattle territory near the end of the half, the Cards managed to claw their way back to 14 - 10 (17 - 10 by halftime). But the Cards gave up 2 TD's in 3Q and were down 31 - 13 with the 4Q left to play. They managed to narrow the margin to 34 - 22 but it was too little too late.

Game Recap

1st Quarter
  • Cards received (touchback) and managed to hold onto the ball for 11 plays. A minus-14 yard sack of Palmer on the 7th play of the possession stalled the Cardinal drive at their own 44 and they punted. Seattle returned the punt to their own 17 and ran off 5 consecutive plays of +11, +23, +3, +15 and +31 (a TD pass by a scrambling Wilson to a wide open Rice who got behind Bell and another DB). Seattle 7 - Cards 0.

    Arenas returned the KO to his own 17. Palmer moved his team in 5 plays to the Arizona 41, but his next pass was bobbled by Fitzgerald and intercepted by Earl Thomas and returned to the Seahawk 28. Wilson moved the Seahawks to the Cardinal 34 in 8 plays to end the quarter. 1st Quarter Score: Seattle 7 - Cards 0.

2nd Quarter

  • A roughing penalty on Abraham helped set up a 15-yard TD pass to Z Miller (who got behind split safeties in the end zone). Seattle 14 - Cards 0.

    (TB on the KO). Cards were held to 3 & out (thanks in part to a 9-yard sack of Palmer by Clemons). A Seattle punt return TD was nullified by a penalty. Seattle took over on their own 48 and turned the ball over on downs on a 4th & 1 (Campbell credited witth the tackle). Cards' ball on their own 43. An 11 play Cardinal drive ended on the Seattle 31, where, after Palmer was sacked, Feely was good from 49. Seattle 14 - Cards 3.

    (TB on the KO). 4:02 till halftime. On the second play from scrimmage, Wilson was sacked by Shaughnessy, fumbled and Campbell recovered. Card ball on the Seattle 3. On the first play of the series, Mendenhall on an inside run, cut back over the middle for a 3-yard TD. (We're back in it)! Seattle 14 - Cards 10.

    (TB on the KO). 3:40 till halftime. Seahawks mounted a 12-play 3:35 drive which got them to the Arizona 33, where Hauschka kicked a 51-yarder. (Seattle actually got as close as the 18, but a couple of penalties pushed them back to the 33). Quarter ended after Mathieu returned the squibbed KO to the Card 31. First Half Score: Seattle 17 - Cards 10.

3rd Quarter

  • (TB on the KO). Abraham's 10-yard sack and Washington's minus-3 yard stuff of Lynch contributed to a Seattle 3 & out. Punt was fair caught by PP21 at the Cardinal 48. An interference call on Sherman helped set up a 52-yard Feely FG to narrow the gap to 4-points. Seattle 17 - Cards 13.

    (TB on the KO). A 25-yard pass to Tate (over PP21), a deep pass to Baldwin (over Mathieu) and a 17-yard run up the middle by Lynch (over and around everyone) set up a 1-yard completion to K Davis capping a 10-play Seattle drive. Seattle 24 - Cards 13.

    (TB on the KO). Cards moved to their own 46 in 6 plays when Palmer (under pressure) threw off his back foot into triple coverage where it was intercepted by Browner and returned to the Cardinal 1. (Game changer). Two plays later, Lynch blasted in from the 2. Seattle 31 - Cards 13.

    (TB on the KO). Two consecutive sacks (totalling minus-17 yards) forced Arizona to punt from their own 47. Punt went into the end zone for a TB. On the second play from scrimmage, Wilson was sacked by Abraham, fumbled and recovered by Shaughnessy at the Seattle 15. Cards got to the Seattle 15 as the quarter ended. 3rd Quarter Score: Seattle 31 - Cards 13.

4th Quarter
  • But Palmer couldn't punch 'er in, and we had to settle for a 22-yard Feely FG. Seattle 31 - Cards 16.

    (TB on the KO). An off-sides flag on Benard helped sustain an 8-play Seattle drive which ended with a 42-yard FG. Seattle 34 - Cards 16.

    Arenas returned the KO to the Cardinal 19. Still plenty of time - 10:21. Another sack of Palmer resulted in a 3 & out. Muffed punt gave Seattle the ball on thier own 28. A false-start penalty contributed to a Seattle 3 & out. Punt was fair caught at the Cardinal 29. (8:02 left to play). Palmer was deadly in the short-passing game against a Seattle prevent defense, ripping off gains of +2, +5, +18, +7, Interference, +15, +6, +5 and, finally an 18-yard TD completion to Jaron Brown in the back of the end zone. 2-pointer was no good. Seattle 34 - Cards 22.

    Squib KO was downed at the Seattle 24. Seattle went 3 & out. Cards downed the punt at their own 30. 3:54 still left. We managed to get to the Seattle26 in 10 plays but couldn't convert a 4th & 3. Clock down to 0:24. Wilson took a knee. Final Score: Seattle 34 - Cards 22

Game Stats

  • Palmer threw 30 completions in 45 attempts for 258 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions.

  •  18 of our 70 total offensive plays were running plays.

  • Housler led the team with 7 catches for 53 yards followe by Floyd with 6 catches and Roberts with 4.

    We gained a whopping 30-yards on te ground.

    We surrendered 2 turnovers (2 interceptions; no fumbles)and

    We gave up 7 sacks (and sacked Wilson three times (twice by Abraham and once by Shaughnessy).

    Campbell led the team in tackles with 8, followed by Bell (7) and 4 players with 5.

    Our 3rd Down Efficiency was 33% (Seattle's was 58%).

    We were only penalized 3 times (Seattle was penalized 10 times).

    We were penalized 6 times(vs. 4 for the Niners.

    We won Time of Possession: 32:20 to 27:40

  • Bright Spots

    The defense played well enough to keep us in the game.

    Palmer's final TD drive was a model of consistency.

    Our OLB's (Shaughnessy and Abraham racked up 3 sacks between them and were all over the field making plays.

    Third down conversion percentage continues to improve.

    The team continued to playhard thru the final whistle.

    The Dark Side

    • Palmer had several opportunities but was unable to make things happen with any consistency.

      The O-line gave up 7 sacks..

      I continue to see little improvement in pass blocking, run blocking and, therefore, less than expected improvement in our passing and running offense. By Game #7, you expect to see something.

      Our defense (as it was last season) continues to be a gambling high-risk/high reward proposition - which means that, for every couple of big plays made, we're likely to be fooled, torched or "gotten" by opposing offenses..

      (It's always something). Winning teams usually have one or two relatively mistake-free games as part of their resumes. Where's ours?

    Last Word:
    "We are who they thought we were" - "better", "interesting", "changed", "full of hope" - but not good enough to beat the Niners in SF or Seattle in our home court. A case could be made that "we can run with the big dawgs" athletically, but fall short in so-called "intangibles" (like turnovers and blown assignments). Well, that's part of football and the Niners, Seahawks and other elite teams play sounder football than we do. What's more than a little depressing is that the absence of improvement. Each week, we hear vows to "clean things up", but those problems continue to exist. Net-net: If we want to validate a consistently gritty effort by our defense and be a playoff teams, we've got to get better at all the little things and clean up our deficiencies. We can do this, but the question remains: "Will we?"
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    Copyright 1996 Gollin & Associates. Last modified: 11/26/2012