Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 27-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at State Farm Stadium:
Seattle decided to put this game in the hands of running back Chris Carson, and Carson didn’t disappoint, rushing for 104 yards on 22 carries and catching four passes for 41 yards — and most importantly, he avoided the fumbles that plagued him through the first three games of the season. Quarterback Russell Wilson may not have put up big numbers, but his management of the game was top-rate as Seattle focused on the run. The offense did take a step back in the second half, and there were some breakdowns in pass protection as Wilson was sacked four times. But the eight-minute drive for the final TD, coming right after Arizona made it 20-10, was just what the doctor ordered.
For the most part the Seahawks played defense exactly the way they wanted, allowing the Cardinals to gain some yards but preventing Arizona from threatening the end zone until the fourth quarter. The defense also chipped in on the scoreboard as Jadeveon Clowney came up with an interception for a touchdown in the first quarter that gave the Seahawks control of the game. There was one hiccup when Seattle allowed Arizona to drive for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to briefly make it a game. But Seattle also managed to corral Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, sacking him four times.
It was an uneventful game from a special-teams standpoint. Seattle’s special teams didn’t do anything to swing the game in the Seahawks’ favor, but they also avoided any major mistakes. Kicker Jason Myers made both his field goals with ease, and no doubt he’s happy to finally have his first successful field goals of the season.
Seattle’s coaching decisions were almost flawless in the first half, with a good mix of runs and quick throws getting the offense into rhythm, blitzes being called at the right times, and quality clock management at the end of the half helping the Seahawks head into halftime with a commanding 20-3 lead. However, the offensive play calling became overly conservative in the second half as the Seahawks seemed content to sit on their lead, and it required that late scoring drive to keep the game from getting interesting.
This was a good bounce-back performance by the Seahawks following their 33-27 home loss to the Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints last weekend. Yes, one can argue that it was just the Cardinals. But one need only look at what happened to the NFC West-rival Los Angeles Rams in their home loss to the hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday to see what can happen in the NFL. Seattle now takes some momentum into Thursday night’s key game against the Rams at CenturyLink Field.