Setting the Stage
Last week, Seattle lost to the Saints 33 - 27, and the Cards were taken to the woodshed by Carolina. Teams that open the season 0 & 4 seldom get to within a whiff of the playoffs. With a loss this Sunday, the Cards would go to 0 - 3 - 1. The only sizable escape-hatch for 0 & 4 teams would be to sweep the division, and for the Cards, this would mean holding serve vs. Seattle. Pete Carroll maintined that the Seahawks did a lot of good things vs. a very solid NO team, but beat themselves by committing too many miscues. Two areas of contrast - (1) they play us at our house. . (2) Pete Carroll knows what he's doing, while Kliff Kingsbury is still finding its way.
Seattle's Last Game
NO used 2 turnovers to run up 13 early points and run up a 27 - 7 lead to start the 4Q before Seattle rallied to close the gap to 33 - 27 to end the game. Russell Wilson threw 3 TD passes but it wasn't enough to overcome the NO lead.
NO TD D Harris Punt Return - 53 yds - NO 7 - Seattle 0
Sea TD T Lockett 8 yd pass fr R Wilson - NO 7 - Seattle 7
First Quarter Score - NO 7 - Seattle 7
NO TD - V Bell fumble ret 33 yds (kick failed) - NO 13 - Seattle 7
NO TD - Kamara 29 yd pass fr Bridgewater - NO 20 - Seattle 7
2nd Quarter Score - NO 20 - Seattle 7
NO TD - M Thomas - 1 yd pass fr Bridgewater - NO 27 - Seattle 7
3rd Quarter Score - NO 27 - Seattle 7
Sea TD R Wilson 2 yd run NO 27 - Seattle 14
NO TD Kamara 1 yd run 2x run failed) NO 33 - Seattle 14
Sea TD R Wilson 8 yd run - NO 33 - Seattle 21
Sea TD Dizzly 4 yd pass fr R Wilson NO 33 - Seattle 27
Final Score - NO 33 - Seattle 27
Seattle in a Nutshell
Russell Wilson and a stingy defense.
QB ....03 R Wilson...07 G Smith
RB....xx Carson...20 R Penny...22 Prsosise....25 Homer
WR...14 Metcalf...83 Moore....11 Jennings
RWR .16 Lockett...18 J Brown....17 Turner...15 Ursua
TE....88 Dissly...81 Vannett
LT.....76 D Brown....73 Jones
LG..70 Iupati...77 Pocic
OC...68 Britt...53 Hunt
RT..65 .Ifedi....74 Fant
Defensive Interior Line
LDE - 97 Z Allen...90 Bullard...91 Dogbe
NT - 98 Peters, 72 M Brown
RDE - 95 Gunter, 93 McDonald
SAM - 55 C Jones, 50 Reed
ILB - 43 Reddick, 59 Walker
MLB - 58 Hicks, 42 Gardeck...47 Z Turner
WILL - 56 Suggs, 54 Marsh
RCB - 33 Murphy...27 K Peterson
LCB - 20 Brock...25 C Jones,
SS - 36 Swearinger...35 D Thompson,,
FS - 32 Baker...38 J Thompson... 28 C Washington... 40 Tillman*
Matchup: Seattle Passing Attack vs. Cardinal Pass Defense
Wilson is completing 71.4% of his throws. (7 TD's and no picks). He can be pinpoint deadly throwing the ball, but his true danger is in how he can beat you with his legs and using that threat to keep the defense honest. Lockett leads Seahawk receivers with 28 targets and 22 catches.. Their TE Dissly (14 targets) is next up with 12 catches) ...Metcalf (9 catches) was targeted 19 times. Their RB (Carson) caught 10 passes after being targeted 11 times.
Cardinal defenders were boldly squashed by the Carolina offense. It's hard to see whether the problem is physical /uncorrectable or whether it's just part of the growing pains involved in learning a new scheme.
Key Matchups - Wilson vs. Murphy or Brock..Seattle OL vs. Suggs and C Jones...Disssly vs. Baker....Carson vs Reddick
Matchup: Seattle Rushing Attack vs. Cardinal Run Defense
Seattle relies mainly in Carson to lug the leather....He's gained 159 yds on 45 carries. Actually, R Wilson is second best Seattle ballcarrier with 81 yds on 17 attempts. (Some of us see in Wilson what Kyler Murray can eventually be).
Key Matchups - Seattle OL vs Allen, Peters and Gunter...Hicks or Swearinger vs. Carson...Spy (Baker?) vs. Wilson
01 Murray, 07 Hundley
31 D Johnson, 29 Edmonds, 37 Foster
WR - 11 Fitzgerald...89 Isabella,
WR - 13 Kirk...19 KS Johnson
14 Byrd...16 Sherfield
TE - 85 Clay, 87 M Williams...xx Daniels
LT- ...74 Humphries...66 Miles,
LG - 67 Pugh
OC- 53 Shipley, 52 Cole
RG- 64 Sweezy, 65 Gailliard.
RT - 71 J Murray...79 J Mills...78 Toth
I scan the following defensive roster and become very concerned - It's a solid looking unit from top to bottom. Clowney is a new addition and hasn't made his presence totally felt yet. Wagner leads all Seahawk tacklers 33 followed by Kendricks, McDougald Shaquil Griffin leads the Seahawks in tackles with Wright with 26 and Flowers with 17. Kendrick and McDougald follow with 13 and 12 tackles respectively.
DE....90 Clowney...95 Collier
DT....72 Woods ..99 Q Jefferson
NT...97 .P Ford.....79 Mone
LEO...94 Ansah...98 .R Green....93 B Jackson
SLB....56 Kendricks...49 Sqm Griffin
MLB....54 Wagner....57 Barton
OLB...50 Wright...55 Burr-Kirven
LCB....26 Sql Griffin...36 King
SS....30 McDougald..42 .L Hill
FS.....33 T Thompson...27 Blair...28 Amadi
RCB..21 Flowers...23 Thorpe...24 J Taylor
Matchup: Cardinal Passing Attack vs. Seattle Pass Defense
Kiler Murray looks like a talented rookie (i.e. sensational play followed by a rookie mistake)..It's still too early to fully know what we've got. He's still learning how to fully mesh with his receivers -( Fitz provides stability. Kirk has one year of experience) but the rhythm-based offense still isn;t fully clicking (i.e. too many drops...receivers not always separating enough).
K Murray and the Cardinal OL vs. Clowney, Wagner, Kendricks, Wright and Ansah...Fitz and Kirk vs. Griffin and Flowers...Byrd, Sherfield, KS Johnson vs. King and Thorpe. .
Matchup: Cardinal Running Attack vs. Seattle Run Defense
D Johnson has flashed some of his old explosiveness but has been largely up and down. wagner and Clowney are capable of taking him out of most of the game.
Clowney and Wagner vs. D Johnson....Shipley and Sweezy vs. Ford, Woods
Lee's gotten knicked up and may be replaced by Winslow. Dunno know much about Myers and Dickson as kicker / punter. Gonzalez has been solid as a rock. Lockett is a potential nightmare in the return game. Kirk is dependable but hasn't been all that dangerous. Isabella - on and off the active game-day roster - has yet to take it to the house
Seattle Special Teams
K .05 Myers
P ..... 04 Dickson
H 04 Dickson
LS 69 Ott
KR ..16 Lockett
PR 16 Lockett
Cardinals Special Teams
P - ...02 Lee....09 Winslow
K- ....05 Gonzalez
H - ...02 Lee
LS - 46 Brewer
KR - 89 Isabella
PR - 13 Kirk
Matchup Seattle Special Teams vs. Cardinal Special Teams
Cards seem to have an edge in kicking/ punting, but Lockett gives Seattle a big leg up in the return game
We like Gonzalez over Myers...Dickson figures to be better than an injured Lee or backup Winslow...Lockett is more dangerous than Kirk...Isabella hasn't had much of a chance to show much.
Coaching / Intangibles
HC Pete Carroll...OC: Brian Schottenheimer...DC Ken Norton Jr...ST: Brian Schneider.... 42 years of coaching experience by the top 3 assistants....Carroll has established a unique "new age" culture to the Seattle football team. It seems to have stood the Seattle franchise in good stead.
How to Beat Seattle
Last week vs. NO, Seattle showed it could be mistake-prone, but had enough weapons (and team-grit) to come back late and almost win the game. On offense, they have Russell Wilson engineering the Seattle Victory Train with enough offensive weapons (Lockett, Metcalf, Dssly, Carson) to make it happen. They recently added Clowney to an already stingy defense.
Since their most obvious way to success would be for R Wilson to keep Seattle in the game while its defense tightens its noose around the enemy's neck, the Cards will have to (1) keep mistakes to a minimum while capitalizing on a few opportunistic chunk plays on offense. (So far this hasn't been the Cardinal MO, but that, IMHO is what it will take.