Setting the Stage:
Thursday nighter in Glendale. Seahawks lost a 17 - 14 squeaker to the Redskins. Last Sunday in San Francisico, Santa Claus almost came 2 months early, when the Cards left ten 1st half points on the field (via a missed FG and a red zone interception) and gave up another 4Q touchdown opportunity which threatened to give SF new life in a 20-10 Cardinal win. Seattle is now 5 & 3 going into week 10. Cards are 4 & 4.
Opponent's Last Game
Game was in Seattle. Seahawks couldn't make up for a 3-point deficit on the last play of the game when Russell Wilson was unable to connect with a Hail Mary pass at the back of the end zone.
Skins received. Returned KO to their own 22, got as far as their own 35 in 6 plays before punting. Punt downed at Seattle 33. Seattle held to 3 & out. Punt returned for no gain. Wash ball on their own 23. CFour plays later, Cousins fumbled the snap. Seattle ball on Wash 42.. Another 3 & out. Pimt dpwmed at Wash 6. Cousins sacked by Wagner for a safety. Seattle 2 - Skins 0.
Free kick rreturned to the Seattle 31. 'Hawks moved to Skin 26 in 6 plays. 44-yd FG attempt was no good. Skin ball on their own 34. A sack (by Reed and N Jones) and a penalty contributed to a Wash 3 & out. Punt returned by Lockett to Seahawk 45. On 4th play of possession, Wilson to Baldwin pass was intercepted. Skins ran off one play as quarter ended. .
First Quarter Score: Seattle 2 - Skins 0.
Skins finished up a 3 & out. Punt o-o-b at Seattle 29. Cousins put together a 13-play TD drive capped by a 1-yd TD run by Kelley.(Key play - Cousins to V Davis for +23 yd). Skins 7 - Seattle 2
2:52 leftt till halftiime - TB on KO. Seattle had to punt from their own 20. Punt o-o-b at the Skins 29. 1:23 til halftime - Wash went 3 & out. Punt returned to Seattle 33 with 0:45 left. Walsh's FG attempt on the 9th play of the drive (& final play of the 1H) was no good.
1st Half Score: Skins 7 - Seattle 2
Seattle received. (TB on KO). 3 & out. Punt retiurned to Wash 33. Cousins managed to move the Skins to the Seattle 10, where Rose was good from 28-yds. Wash 10 - Seattle 2
KO returned to Seattle 18. On the 8th play of the Seattle possession, Wilson's pass for Baldwin was picked off and returned to the Skins 46.Bit Skins held to 3 & out. On the 8th play of the next Seattle possession, punt was downed at the Wash 24. An aborted snap caused Washington to go 3 & out (2 plays in 3Q/2 plays in 4Q).
Third Quarter Score: Skins 10 - Seatle 2
Skins punt (net penalty gave Seattle the ball on their own 34. A 22-yd complletion to Rawls was a key play in a 6-play Seattle TD drive capped by a 10-yd TD pass from Wilson to Willson. Two-ponter was no good. Wash 10 - Seattle 8.
KO returned to Wash 22. A fumble and a couple of penalties resulted in a p-unt returned to the Seattle 32. Hawks held to 3 & out. Punt TB. Wash ball on their own 20. They ran off 5:32 worth of clock in 14 plays before punting. Punt returned to Seattle 29 with 2:22 left in game. On the 5th play of the Seattle possession, Wilson hit Baldwin for a 30-yd TD. 2-pointer failed. Skins 10 - Seattle 14
8:43 left to play. On-sider recovered by Wash on its own 30. A 38-yd pass fromCousins to Docston set up a 1-yd TD run by Kelley. Skins 17 - Seattle 14
0:59 left. Clock ran out when a Mary attempt on the final play of an 8-play drive fell incomplete in the end zone.
Final Score: Skins 17 - Seattle 14
Key Game Stats
Team Stats to Date
Wilson was 24 of 45 297 yds, 2 TD's and 2 interceptions. (Cousins went 21 of 31 for 247yards, 0 TD's and no interceptions)
Wilson was the top Seattle ground gainer with 77 yds on 10 carries. (Rawls only gained 39 yds on 9 carrries). (They held Wash to 51 yds on 23 carries).
Baldwin (7) and Graham (5) led the 'Hawks in catches. 0 Seahawks caught passes.
Defensively, Wagner (12 tackles) was the dominant Seattle defender. Wright had 7 tackles. Sherman and Coleman had 6 apiece.
Brown and McClain were credited with 2 sacks. Compton and Fuller had a pick apiece. Seattle gave up 5 Washington sacks.
Seattle converted 5 of 14 (35%) 3rd downs (50%) Wash was 4 of 13 (30%)
Seattle gained 5.3 yds per rushing play (Wash runners racked up 2.2 ypc).
Seattle Net Punting average was 39.3
Seattle penalized 16 times (Wash was penalized 7 times)
Seattle was 1 for 2 (50%) in the Red Zone (wash was 2 for 3 (667%)
Turnover Ratio: Minus-1. Wilson was picked off twice/Cousins zero. But Wash lost one fumble/Seattle didn't fumble away the ball.
Offensive Yards - Seattle 378.6 / Cards 337.5
Passing Yards - Seattle 274.8/ Cards 261.1
Rushing Yards - Seattle 103.9 /Cards 76.4
Points/Game - Seattle 23.6/Cards 17.4
3rd Down Conversions - Seattle 42.2/37.4
Yards Per Game Allowed - Seattle 322.5/Cards 349.8
Passing Yards Per Game Allowed - Seattle 213.1/Cards 249.2
Rush Yards Per Game Allowed - Seattle 109.4 /Cards 100.5
Points Per Game Allowed - Seattle 18.6/Cards 25.1
3rd Down Conversions Allowed - Seattle 34.9/Cards 46.0
Key Player Stats
Passing: - Wilson: 188 of 303 2305 yds, 17 TD's..
Rushing: SE -Wilson - 271 on 46 carries, (5.9 ypc) 1 TD. .Carson: 208 yds on 49 carries for (4.2 ypc), 0 TDs. AZ - Peterson: 314 yds on 74 carries (4.2 ypc), 2 TD's
Receiving: SE - Baldwin (538 yds on 49 catches 11.0 ypc 3TD's)...Richardson: (415 yds on 25catches) 16.6 ypc...5 TD's Lockett (355 yds on 28 catches 12.7 ypc 0 TD's), Graham: 328 yds on 33 catches 9.9 4 ypc...Arizona: Fitz: 50 catches for 244 yds (11.1ypc), 1 TD. Nelson: 20 catches for163 yds (16.3 ypc). 2 TD's. Ellington: 30 catches for 271 yds (9.0 pc). Jaron Brown - 21 catches for 314 yds (15.0 ypc...2 TDs
Field Goals -SF: Gould is 6 for 6. Dawson is 5 for 8.
Punting - Ryan - 38 punts...44 ypp...16 Inside 20...1 TB. Seattle Opponents - 39 punts...46.7 avg...12 inside 20.
Punt ReturnsSeattle - 15 Ret/10 FC/ 94 total yds...Seattle Opponents - 17 Ret...9 FC. 118 Total Yds
Kickoff Returns - Lockett - 10 Ret 23.0 YPR...Seattle Opponents - 17 Returns...19.2 YPR
Tackles - Wagner 60, Wright 57, three others in 30's
Sacks - Seattle 17 Seattle Opponents 16...Bennett (5.5)...F Clark (4.5)...M Smith (1.5)
Interceptions - Seattle 8 / Seattle Opponents 5...Thomas (2), Sherman (2) Four others 1 apiece..
Munyer Out.. 6 other players did not practice Nov. 6
13 players did not practice on Nov 6
WR.....89 Baldwin............16 Lockett
LT......76 .D Brown............70 Odhiambo...73 Tobin
LG ..77 Pocic................63 Glowinski...Roos...78 Joeckel
OC .68 Britt...
TE......88 Graham............82 Willson...81 Vannett
WR ..10 P Richardson...19 McEvoy...84 Darboh
QB ....03 Wilson.............06 Davis
RB.....34 Rawls..............27 Lacy...22 Prosise...21 McKissic
LDE 97 Mauro..........72 Pierre.............94 X Williams
DT 98 Peters (A).....95 Gunter
DT 92 Rucker.........90 Nkemdiche
SLB 55 C Jones........54 Albright
ILB 20 Bucannon....58 Wright
ILB 56 Dansby........57 Bynes
WLB xx Reddick.......96 K Martin
LCB 21 Peterson.....26 B Williams
RCB 25 T Williams....28 Bethel.
SS 27 Branch........41 Bethea
FS 32 Mathieu ......36 Baker............30 Ford
Matchup: Seattle Passing Attack vs. Cardinal Pass Defense
Wilson, though explosive, has been more mistake-prone than in past year. His main targets: Baldwin, Richardson, Lockett and Graham ( a quality group but less scary than in the past.. Their OL is one of a handful of NFL units best described as "shredded." The addition of D Brown at LT should help, but the question has to be: "How long will it take him to adjust to the Seattle offensive scheme?" Wilson has spent most of the season running for his life, but he has the wheels to make lemonade out of lemons.
When let loose in man/blitz schemes, the Cardinal pass rushers (led by Chandler Jones) is beginning to look like the Cardinal pass-rush of old. Nkemdiche seems to have returned to good health and is beginning to make his mark inside. Problems start to occur when, for down, distance and situation reasons, Bettcher feels he has to play softer.. For whatever reasons, our DB's seem to have technique problems in zone coverage. Respectfully suggest that Bettcher either play less zone or get his DB's up to speed.
Challenges for the Cardinals: Put pressure on Russell Wilson, but don't let him escape contain. Don't let Baldwin, Lockett, richardson or Graham build up a head of steam.
Key Matchups: Willson vs. T Mathieu.. D Brown vs. C Jones...Baldwin vs. Peterson....Graham vs. Dansby...Peterson. Cardinal D-Line vs Niner O-Line.
Matchup: Seattle Rushing Attack vs. Cardinal Run Defense
In past years - regardless of whether it was via M Lynch, Rawls or whomever - Seattle, more often than not, would pound the Cardinals into submission. This year, the Seahawk run offense seems to be different. They still have Rawls, but this year's "bell cow" has turned out to be...Russell Wilson.
Cardinal run defense (when they stay focused) is up to the task, but sometimes will get discombobulated, leave their assigned gaps, overrun plays and blow contain. Can't do it vs. Seattle... and survive. I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to make the Badger a 100% spy on Wilson.
Challenges for Cardinals: Keep Wilson contained...Don't let Rawls build up a head of steam.
Key Matchup: Wilson vs. Mathieu...Cardinal DL vs. Seattle OL...Rawls vs. Cardinal LB's
WR1 11 Fitzgerald......14 Nelson.....16 C Williams
LT 74 Humphries.....73 Wetzel
C 53 Shipley...........70 Boehm.....79 Tuerk
RT........68 Veldheer........69 Holden
TE .87 Niklas............80 Momah
WR2 .13 Ja Brown......12 Jo Brown.....10 Golden
QB 05 Stanton........07 Gabbert
RB 23 Peterson.......33 K Williams.....38 Ellington....35 Penny.....37 Foster
TE 84 Gresham ......
LDE.....72 Bennett............67 Jackson...99 Jefferson
LDT.....90 Reed................98 G Smith
RDT.....91 Richardson......92 N Jones
OLB....57 Wilhoite............52 Garvin...58 Alexander
LCB...25 Sherman..........28 Coleman...23 Thorpe
SS......31 .Chancellor.....42 Hill...33 Thompson
FS......29 Thomas..........30 McDougald
Matchup: Cardinal Passing Attack vs. Seattle Pass Defense
Drew Stanton did what he needed to do to beat the Niners, Sunday - Manage the game, keep mistakes to a minimum and let the Cardinals' superior talent level eventually win out. Three areas of concern - Cardinal receivers had trouble handling Stanton's fastball...Uneven accuracy...untimely ball-possession issues. One optimistic sign- - The Cardinal OL is beginning play better as a unit.
Seattle has relied pretty much on a gritty defense to earn its 5 & 3 record. 3/4 of their starting DB's (Sherman, Thomas and Chancellor) are IMHO future hall of famers (& for all we know, there may be a fourth HOF corner flying below the horizon). Seattle's DL (Bennett, Reed, Richardson & Clark) are all first rate. The "W" Squad (Wilhoite, Wagner and KJ Wright are all top notch
Challenges for the Cardinals - Uncovering and exploiting a weakness that has to be evident somewhere. (More likely, this game figures to be a "war of attrition" that could wind up in the single=-digits. Key to victory may very well be "who makes the fewest bonehead mistakes").
Key Matchups: Jo Brown, Ja Brown or Nelson vs. Griffin....Humphriies vs. Bennett...Gresha vs. Wagner.
Matchup: Cardinal Running Attack vs. Seattle Run Defense
Adrian Peterson has shown he can be our bell cow - except when he can't. He had an auspicious opening debut followed by a miserable in his second game as a Cardinal. Then (just as Cardinal fans were beginning to lose confidence) he went out Sunday and racked up 150+ running yards. It wouldn't be hard to imagine BA to put together a low-scoring "war of attrition" game plan that rides the back of AP and dares the Seahawks to stop us on the ground.
Key Matchups: A Peterson vs, Wagner....Cardinal OL vs. Seattle Front Seven
K 07 Walsh
P 09 Ryan
H 09 Ryan
LS 69 Ott
KR 16 Lockett
PR 16 Lockett
K 04 Dawson
P 02 Lee
H 02 Lee
LS 49 Drescher
KR 33 K Williams
PR 33 K Williams
Matchup: Seattle Special Teams vs. Cardinal Special Teams
Seattle- Walsh has had accuracy problems of late.
Cardinals - Dawson seems to be obliged to miss one chip-shot FG's a game, but usually will come thru to make good on a couple other attempts. Both Lee and Ryan punt well. Lockett is a scarier return man than K Williams. Budda Baker is beginning to be a disruptive force as a gunner on coverage teams..
Key matchups: None of note.
Seattle - HC Pete Carroll...OC Darrell Bevell.... DC Kris Richard... ST Brian Schneiderr. Carroll has his own "New Age" approach to handlng his players (& it seems to work). One question - Has the departure of former Seattle assistants (Quinn comes to mind) contributed to a decidely un-Seattle style of play this season?
Cards - Cards have been flirting with .500 throughout the year. One thing we've noticed - If there's a noticeablr weakness we get away with earlier in the season, it will come back to cost us at least one game later on. Overall challenge for the Cardinals: To avoid the "roller coaster" and maintain a consistently high level of play.
How to Beat Seattle
We have two options: (1) Out-gut them or (2) Out-manouver them. This may not be the year for Option #2, but - with the added presence of Adrian Peterson - we might have a golden opportunity to out-work them, out-tough them and out execute them. We see this contest as one of those 10 - 7 "pitchers duals" Seattle is becoming famous for. Key to winning is to (a) keep things close to the vest and (b) wait for the other guy to make the biggest mistake.
The season may very well rest on this game.