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The Setup
Cards cinched a playoff spot last week when Dallas and Philly failed to reach a tie in Sunday's game. Benefitting from a questionable roughing the passer call, home field advantage, stingy defense, stifling field position and a rash of Niner injuries, Seattle pounded out a 17- 7 win over SF and, if they beat Arizona this Sunday, will have a shot at gaining bye and home field advantage. The previous Thursday, the Cardinals took care of business by winning a "pitchers battle" over the Rams to reach the 11-win mark. The victory may have come at a bitter cost when Drew Stanton was sacked and hurt his knee. Fortunately, it was only a sprain (i.e. no ligaments were torn) and Stanton is considered day-to-day (& ecpected to play backup to #3 QB Ryan Lindley(. No doubt the Cardinal brass is weighing the risk of further injury by playing Stanton right away against the pros and cons of going all-out vs. Seattle and SF to secure a top or high seed.

The Lede
Big plays and smashmouth propelled Seahawks to 35 - 6 win.


The Bottom Line:
The seahawks shrugged off 3 missed field goals and a huge deficit in penalty yards like a bull does fleas to win dominantly over the Desert Birds. Physical toughness with a few big plays mixed in were enough to hold the Cardinals to zero TD's while stacking 35-points on the board offensively. Seattle now has the inside track on home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Game Recap
The Cards drew first blood and were only down 14 - 6 going into the 4th quarter, but Seattle blew open the game with 21 unanswered 4th quarter points to win going away.

1st Quarter
  • Seattle received. TB on the KO. Their 10-play drive featuring lots of Turbin, finally ended at their own 45. Ryan's punt was fair-caught by Ginn at the Cardinal 16. After an initial 3rd down conversion, Lindley was incomplete three straight times. Butler's punt (with a Seattle holding penalty tacked on) gave Seattle the ball at its own 15.They used lots of running plays to make it out to the Cardinal 47, but their drive stalled and Ryan's punt was fair caught again by Ginn at the Cardinal 7 (Seattle is winning the field position battle).

  • A 36-yard pass interference penalty (on a deep throw to Floyd) helped move the Cards out to their own 47 where a holding call was tacked onto Butler's punt and put the ball on the Seattle 7. Quarter ended two plays later.

1st Quarter Score: Cards 0 - Seattle 0.

2nd Quarter
  • Hauschka's 52-yard FG attempt on the fourth play of the quarter was wide-right.

  • Cards started out from their own 42. A sort pass to Taylor for +18 yards helped propell a 10-play drive that ended at the Seattle 7 and was capped by a 27 yard Capanzaro FG. Cards 3 - Seattle 0.

  • TB on the KO. Two plays later (on a 2nd and 10), Wilson hit Luke Willson (who was wide-open down the seam) for an 80-yard TD. Seattle 7 - Cards 3.

  • On the kickoff, Ginn was pushed out of bounds at the Cardinal 9. Cards went 3 & out and punted from their 8. Settle parlayed a 22-yard Wilson scramble into a 6-play TD drive ending with a 6-yrd TD run by Lynch. Seattle 14 - Cards 3.

  • Minutes till halftime: 3:41. A sack followed by two incompletions forced the Cards to punt from their own 35. Punted (with penalty tacked on) was downed at the Seattle 11.Seahawks moved to the Cardinal 43 but ran out of time, and the half ended on another Seahawk penalty (this one for an ineligble man downfield).

First Half Score: Seattle 14 - Cards 3.

3rd Quarter
  • Ginn returned the KO to the Cardinal 17, but the Cards went 3 & out. Butler's punt went out of bounds at the Seattle 47. A 20-yard completion to Baldwin helped set up a 50-yard Hauschka field goal try that was wide right. 'Cards took over on their own 40, but failed to pick up a 1st down and punted. Punt was fair caught by Walters at the Seattle 5. Seattle went 3 & out and punted from their own 11.

  • Punt was fair caught by Ginn at the Cardinal 44, but we went 3 & out still another time. Butler's punt rolled into the end zone for a touchback. On the first play of the series, Wilson hit Baldwin who was pushed out of bounds for a 49-yard gain. Seattle reached the Cardinal 29, where Hauschka was (you got it)! wide left.

  • Cards took over on their own 37 and managed to reach the Seattle 14 mostly on completions of 32 yards (to Floyd) and 12 yards (to Carlson). But the drive fizzled there and Catanzaro's kick from 32 was good. Seattle 14 - Cardinals 6.

  • Well, we got ourselves a football game (but not for long):

  • Seattle returned the ensuing KO to its own 21 and reached their own 28 two plays later to end the quarter.

Third Quarter Score: Seattle 14 - Cardinals 6.

4th Quarter
  • After being sacked for a 10-yard loss by Okafor, Wilson completed a 39-yard pass to Willson and thee plays later hit Willson for another 20-yards and a TD. Seattle expands its lead to: Seattle 21 - Cardinals 6.

  • TB on the KO. Lindley was able to move the Cards from their own 20 to their own 37. Butler's punt was fair caught at the Seattle 26. After a false-start flag moved Seattle 5-yards backward. Lynch took a handoff and scooted up the middle (through and around sloppy tacklers) en route to a 79-yard touchdown that broke the back of a proud Cardinal defense. Seattle 28 - Cardinals 6.

  • TB on the KO. On the 4th play of the Cardinal possession, Lindley's pass for Floyd was intercepted by Sherman who returned it 53 yards to the Cardinal 40. Short passes to Richardson and Baldwin helped set p a 5-yard Wilson ramble around left end. Seattle 35 - Cardinals 6.

  • 4:40 left. Cards couldn't get much going in two possessions (nor the Seahawks on one possession. Game ended on a sack of Lindley by King.

Final Score: Seattle 35 - Cardinals 6.

Game Stats.

  • Passing Efficiency: Lindley was 18 for 44, 216 yards , no TD's and an interception. (By contrast, Wilson was 20 of 31 for 339 yards 2 Td's and no picks.

  • Run Game: Lynch gained 113 yards on 10 carries (though most of this was from his 79 yard TD gallop). Taylor led all Cardinal runners with 19 yards on 11 carries (Whoop de doo)!

  • Receiving: Willson led all receivers with 139 yards on 3 completions, but Baldwin led in number of catches with 7 (for 113 yards). Fitz led the Cards in catches with 4 (for 33-yards) followed by John Brown with 3 catches for 54 yards. Four other Cardinal players were tied with 2 catches apiece.
  • Cardinal Run/Pass Ratio: 15 Runs/ 49 Passes (vs. 34 Runs/33 Passes for Seattle).

  • Sacks: Wilson was sacked once (by Okafor). Seahawks got to Lindley 4 times.

  • Leading Cardinal Tacklers: R Johnson led with 8 followed by T Jefferson (with 7), Okafor (with 6) and Mathieu (with 5). Everyone else had 4 or fewer tackles.

  • Field Goals: Catanzaro was 2 for 2.

  • Turnover Ratio: minus-1. (No fumbles recovered. Only interception was Sherman's off Lindley).

  • Penalties: Seattle: 11/ Cards 1)..

  • 3rd Down Efficiency: Seattle - 5 of 12 (41%). Cards - 3 of 15 (20%).

  • Time of Possession: Seattle 33:03. Cards: 26:57).

Bright Spots

  • Cards sucked without Stanton on the field (Perhaps they'll look better with Stanton as QB).

  • Nice catch by Carlson.

  • Catanzaro was 2 for 2..

  • Okafor continues to impress. Mathieu is beginning to look like his old self.

The Dark Side

  • Peterson failed to make a makeable play when he missed that interception
  • .
  • Too many would-be Cardinal tacklers either bounced off Russell Wilson or missed him altogether.

    Cardinal receivers were lackluster.

  • Lindley doesn't look as though he can fire the ball accurately at receivers on short to medium routes.

  • The Cardinal running game was atrocious.

    We gave up too many big plays (including 3 by their TE and one by "The Beast." .

    Cards didn't looked as though they belonged on the same field as the Seahawks (or at least that they didn't believe they belonged on the same field...)

Last Word:
Lindley wasn't very impressive. Too many 3 & outs, and Lindley and accuracy don't belong in the same sentence. He also tended to throw (with not very much velocity) off his back foot. Cardinal fans had better wish fervently and often that Drew Stanton is ready to return, because, IMHO, I don't think we can win with Lindley. Also disappoiinting was the way our defense tired in the 4Q andthen finally collapsed with a big "whooosh!" This cannot happen if we're to be serious playoff contenders. Hopefully our defensive letdown was merely a speed bump. Not so, unfortunately, at the QB position. Lindley's problems seem unfixable both in the long and short run. One last thing that didn't escape my attention - a bunch of Seattle players jumping up and down, hee-hawing late in the game and post-game. I really really hope we get to play those guys again.

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Copyright 1996 Gollin & Associates. Last modified: 11/26/2012