Sunday Night wrap-up: Seahawks have too many big plays

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The Seahawks had more than enough offense to beat the Cardinals Sunday.

Actually, they had more than enough on four snaps.

The Seahawks traded on big plays and an opponent which couldn’t score, taking a 35-6 win over the Cardinals and the inside track for the NFC West title.

They racked up 596 yards, but 263 of those yards came on four plays.

They’re hurt up front and they’re thin in receiving threats, but they had enough Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch to make the difference.

Lynch came back from an upset stomach which kept him out for a quarter to run for 113 yards, including a 79-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Wilson’s 55-yard scramble was impressive, but it was his 80-yard touchdown pass to Luke Willson which gave the Seahawks a double-digit edge they weren’t going to give up. Throw in a 49-yard pass to Doug Baldwin, and they had enough home run plays to overwhelm.

Whether that’s enough to compete with teams that might actually be able to score points is another matter.

As long as they can run and play defense the way they do, they’re going to have a chance against anyone in the league.

But when they’re able to get yards in chunks the way they did this week, it might be hard for anyone to have a chance against them.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. Back in my former life as a newspaper reporter, I covered one of the truly ridiculous games in NFL history.

With both teams beset by injuries at quarterback in 2007, the Cardinals and Panthers ended up competing for the signature of Vinny Testaverde. The Panthers won the battle and the war, as the Cardinals ended up signing Tim Rattay and then beating him the following week in Arizona.

Which is a long way of saying, either Testaverde or Rattay might be a better option than Ryan Lindley right now.

Bless his heart, the poor kid simply doesn’t look competitive, especially against a defense the quality of Seattle’s. The Cardinals even tried to run Logan Thomas out there for a change of pace (to throw a deep ball, not run), but it didn’t work.

At the moment, barring a Testaverde comeback at age 51 or Drew Stanton making a quick comeback, it’s hard to see how the Cards have much of a chance in the playoffs against anyone.

2. The Seahawks played without left tackle Russell Okung and center Max Unger. But they actually protected fairly well.

The Cardinals sacked Wilson seven times in the first meeting, but got him just once this week. Credit to Alvin Bailey and Patrick Lewis for replacing injured starters and allowing their offense to continue at record pace.

That’s a solid showing for the group they scrapped together, which they hope will be back to normal soon.

3. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians gets a lot of credit (which he should), but defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was making chicken salad too, prior to Sunday

The Cards are not just competitive, they’ve been good with a defense missing three difference-makers in Darnell Dockett, Daryl Washington and John Abraham, which is emblematic of their next-man-up approach.

They don’t really have what you’d call a pass-rusher, and they’ve got a bunch of role players like Larry Foote and Frostee Rucker playing bigger roles than you’d normally expect of them.

It was hard to tell against the Seahawks once the avalanche started rolling downhill, but this can still be a dangerous defense.

4. Should we be worried about Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka missing three field goals?

Of course we should.

The misses are rare for Hauschka, and they were from distance. But kicking is a confidence game, and misses in big games can linger.

Until he hits something, it’s worthy of being concerned about, as you pick out every little weakness in a team playing well.

5. Willson, the tight end (man, that extra L in a similar last name is murder on spellcheck), can be a match-up problem for a lot of teams.

He seemed to surprise the Cardinals with his speed, but he ran a 4.51 40-yard dash prior to the 2013 NFL Draft, so he’s a legitimate threat to run away from linebackers.

It was still a bit of a shock to see him pull away from a safety, but he has the kind of size and speed to create space, and make the most of it.

77 responses to “Sunday Night wrap-up: Seahawks have too many big plays

  1. Logan Thomas must be the either the worst or at least the most green and undeveloped QB in the league right now or maybe ever.

    If the coaching staff doesn’t think he’s a better option than whatever the hell that was playing QB for the Cardinals tonight, I have very little hope for his future.

  2. LOL, where are all those Cards fan who talked about how great their defense is? What a sorry performance.

    In the words of the immortal Bo Jackson:

    “Next time, bring bus fare”

  3. All I have to say is that if the hawks really let lynch go this off-season they are smoking too much of that legal Washington state good good. They should atleast sign him for one more year. That 79 yard run has to be put up there with the original beast quake run when thinking back on this guys career 10 years from now.

    Disclosure: I’m a niner fan so I hate the Seahawks, but there’s no denying what a special player lynch is. A real treat to watch especially if you love a tough, old fashioned running game like I do.

  4. I have never liked the Seahawks, point in fact I despise them. But that shouldn’t suggest I don’t respect their ability to play football.

    Unless the Rams upset next week, expect to see this team in at least the NFCGG.

  5. Arizona’s D put up a good fight, but Seattle’s offense (which so many critics say is non-existent) controlled the clock, wore out the Card’s defense, and then went on the attack in the second half. If Seattle keeps playing like this, they’re going to be nearly impossible to stop.

  6. My takeaways:

    1) Cardinals have run out of next men

    2) Defense was trying to make impact plays and win the game on their own rather than playing defense (a by-product of having a 4th string QB)

    3) They have now reverted back to the primetime play we had been used to over the last 10 years

    4) Seattle got and deserved this win and could easily go all the way…(painful) again

  7. If Seattle’s offense decides it can make plays like they did tonight on a regular basis, this won’t be the last time they play in that stadium this year.

  8. If the cardinals were to bypass Favre and sign a 51 year old testerverde that would be an amazing story. Jeff Garcia has to be a little younger…unfortunately sign TO as well he is probably.more explosive than larry legend at this point.

  9. chinahand11 says:Dec 20, 2014 11:30 AM

    Lindley will go ape-poopy wild and light up the Seahicks for 7 TD passes.

    Pretty good, huh? Remember, you heard it from me. Now where did I put my remote, darn it
    ————–
    Pretty close guesstamation bud…

  10. Dallas still has a shot at a first round bye and if that doesn’t happen, you would put Dallas on the road which would be as dangerous cause we are the only team undefeated on the road. Congrats on your win Seahawks but the road to the Superbowl runs through Dallas. That loud stadium won’t stop us……….again.

  11. “Whether that’s enough to compete with teams that might actually be able to score points is another matter.”
    ———–
    See, the thing is that most of the teams that “are able to score points” don’t have a D like the Cards. Seahawks just broke their all-time yardage total against a great defense in their house.
    Rams game makes me nervous though. They were pretty dirty in the season finale last year and I expect the same next week.

  12. Congrats to your Cowboys, but this isn’t the same team that lost to the Cowboys early in the season. The defense is healthy and playing better than they ever did last year.

  13. The average score of 16 Sunday Night games this year is 35 to 17. Thanks for a year of blowout, un-watchable, games NBC.

  14. People wonder why the hawks and their fans talk so much trash. Well now you know. This defense is historic!! That’s right. When people talk about the great defenses years from now the hawks will be in the discussion. Hate all you want but look at the stats. These stats are being put up in the offensive era as well. They might be the best ever right now. As for the rest of the team? That story is yet to be written but I think they have a good chance to go back to back and then who knows. There’s a decent chance we’re looking at a dynasty here. Talk all you want haters but it might happen. This isn’t crazy to think of.

  15. Russell Wilson is very good and is smart enough to get paid. This team has a 25% chance of repeating, which is pretty high in today’s game. However, they will have to be split apart once the dollars and sense start coming into play.

    Enjoy the flash in the pan for now Seahawks fans. Your team looks really good, but it rarely lasts.

  16. Dear Fans of Other Teams.

    Marshawn Lynch IS under contract through NEXT YEAR… at 6 million. If Marshawn retires, so be it, but it will be with TWO Rings, baby!

    Get used to the Sonic Boom coming from the Northwest. Remember all those players we’d ‘never be able to afford?’ because of the salary cap… guess what, they are all resign and when RW and BobbyW can do it a few months, we’ll resign them, too.

  17. “Whether that’s enough to compete with teams that might actually be able to score points is another matter.”

    The Seahawks defense have allowed a total of 33 points over the last five games combined…less than they scored tonight alone.

    No team this season has scored more than 30 points against that D.

    There are several NFC teams who are really hoping the Rams win next week, so that they might not have to travel to the CLink.

  18. Obviously the injury bug has finally caught up with Arizona. It’s a testament to Bruce Arians and his staff that they have been able to keep it together this far despite those injuries. They should be an interesting team to watch next season when they have everyone back healthy and they add a few more pieces…

  19. Reading these comments, I wish the “12th Man” would display half the graciousness and humility of their quarterback, Russell Wilson. A player I greatly admire.

    “Fraudinals”? Where does that come from? We lost the game with a 3rd string QB, 3rd string RB, half the starting defense out…

    We’re frauds because we didn’t win? Okay, just be sure to put your helmet on before playing on the swing set, genius. Don’t want you getting hurt.

    You’ve got a magical team right now. Don’t waste it being jerks.

  20. And now the NFL viewing audience will get the pleasure of the greatest fans in the history of the NFL hosting the NFC playoffs! We 12’s are proud to be able to demonstrate how a rock-solid team and its rabid 12’s bring home ANOTHER Lombardi. Be jealous. Very jealous.

    #HawkDynasty #GoHawks

  21. The Seahawks set a franchise record with 596 total yards in the game.

    Against a VERY GOOD defense.

    Bring on the Rams!

  22. Greatest defense of all time because of the current rules designed to promote offense. When it’s all said and done there will be no argument. 33 points given up in 5 games is insane.

  23. Dallas fans are back? Nice how most of the time your stadium is full of fans from the other team. But hey, nice to see your team didn’t choke away the playoffs this year.

  24. QB Russell Wilson passed for a career high 339 yards, completing 20 of 31 throws for two TDs. He also rushed for 88 yards, including a career-best 55 yard run in the first quarter.

    MVP!!

  25. LOL at you Shehawks. RYAN LINDLEY, a 3rd string QB, wow……every real football fan doesn’t want the division & home field to go down to a 3rd string QB. Plus we had our starting RB out. Tell me where Seattle would be without Lynch, Wilson & Tarvaris Jackson, and come back to me.

  26. Dallas still has a shot at a first round bye and if that doesn’t happen, you would put Dallas on the road which would be as dangerous cause we are the only team undefeated on the road. Congrats on your win Seahawks but the road to the Superbowl runs through Dallas. That loud stadium won’t stop us……….again.

    Then we better make sure ROMO gets a new girlfriend before the playoffs so you have something to blame it on…. lol

  27. Good game, Cards. Hope you all can get a QB back by playoffs. You just can’t compete with Lindley. Arians should be coach of the year regardless of what happens hereafter.

  28. Cards played a great game on D. They wore down. They have to get a successor to Palmer who is getting old and fragile. Hawks had good game plan to neutralize the blitzing and RW threw it away rather than take a sack. Richardson, Baldwin, and Willson looked good. Beastmode just wears you down. Go Hawks!!!

  29. What a great game for hawk fans tonight… It was a fun game (seahawks) and a painful game (AZ) to watch. That old school running by beastmode was just amazing… It doesn’t matter if they repeat, they are fun to watch… To watch RW run from his own 3 yard line for 55 yards…. Damn….. That’s just good stuff no matter who you are…. And a 79 yard beast run while escaping 4 tacklers… Cmon man:.. Respect! I don’t know if they will repeat this year but I do know this… They are playing some really great football at the moment. It’s like trying to stop a moving locomotive by putting your hands out to stop it.. They are rolling right now. All they can do is keep playing together as a team with this same great mindset and tenacity that have now…
    I love it!!! will they encounter teams more suited for a harder matchup in the playoffs? Of course they will… BUT… Remember, other teams have to play the Hawks also. I say play your best and let the chips fall where they fall. So, seattle can and should repeat…. Unless they don’t . GO HAWKS!!!!!

  30. Maybe clueless Fisher will send all the players he got for the RGlll trade out again for the coin toss like he’s accomplished something before he gets totally destroyed by The SeaHawks…have at it Seattle! Destroy the Rams…couldn’t happen to a classier coach.

  31. Don’t blame the Cards fans…it’s not their fault they haven’t seen a real team since the last time we played them.

    Loved that shot of Arians with the stunned look on his face.

  32. Hawks can’t keep settling for 50 yard FG attempts and hope to win against teams that don’t have their fourth string QB playing. Penalties are out of control, especially when it is obvious that their opponents are playing under a different set of rules.

  33. Omg I was gonna let the Hawks fans have their moment but wow they are delusional. Let’s start from the beginning. The cardinals were playing with their 3rd STRING QB!!! You can’t be too excited that you stopped a 3rd STRING QB. Yes the defense got torched tonight, but what do you expect when you can’t get any offense out of a 3rd STRING QB??? 3 and out after 3 and out keeps that defense out there entirely too long, and I’m sorry but no defense in the league not even Seattle could be productive for 4 quarters when the offense can get a drive going. Hats off to Russell Wilson and his dynamic playmaking ability but let’s not pat yourselves on the back too much. The defense held the seahawks scoreless the entire first quarter and most of the 2nd. But they got tired. It happens when your 3rd STRING QB can’t get an offense going. If you guys want to feel great about this win, by all means, but we all know that if Seattle was on their 3rd STRING QB they wouldn’t have close to the record the Cardinals have. That is all. Congrats on the win Seattle

  34. I sure Keim was working the phones looking for a QB…. any QB that can pass a physical…. Lindley is who we knew he always was.. A third string QB… Different game if they had someone who could check down and scramble..
    Hats off to the hottest team in football!

  35. I guess the Cardinals (under .500 without their franchise QB) are finding out how hard it’s been for the Rams (under .500 without their franchise QB). Maybe Bruce Arians will take that into account next time he wants to mouth off about how good his team is compared to the Rams.

  36. Why not play Logan Thomas in the last game for the Cards? Give him experience and see what he can do. Showed three years ago he’s terribad, and he’s gotten worse since.

  37. *Lindley showed three years ago – auto-correct apparently removed him from my post, in the same way he should be removed from the NFL.

  38. I guess by now we ALL know that bringing in Tebow and giving him a chance COULD NOT have been any worse than this shell game BA tried to pull.

    The Cards Defense is good, but not good enough (like the SB Ravens Defense) to carry this team. And really, should the Cards or any other team spend any more time with Lindley since he just is far too inaccurate with most of his throws and too slow to pass the ball until the window closes?

    If the plan is to win the Super Bowl, keeping and playing Lindley and placing the entire burden on the Defense will not get you there. There comes a trade off of having a QB who knows your offensive system, but just can’t execute it to acquiring a QB who can execute plays that might be in 20% of your system. Which choice has proven to work in the past? The one where the QB can execute some of the offense as that keeps the Defense from being worn out by being on the field the entire game.

    Sorry BA and Steve Keim, but your genius cards have just been pulled and burned, especially Keim’s for his lack of planning to acquire and familiarize a competent QB for just such an occasion the Cards find themselves in.

  39. Wow that was embarrassing for AZ fans. Lindley has no business on an NFL field. The defense was exposed badly. Patrick Peterson is the most OVERRATED db in the league. He quit on that Lynch run and was continually chasing some WR I’d never heard of. Ugh what a waste of a playoff berth.

  40. This seems familiar…..They are doing what they have to to ensure they don’t loose again this year. This run will be tougher but its hard to imagine anyone winning up there in January

  41. Seahawk fan here saying don’t disrespect the Cards. They didn’t get their record from playing crappy football. They had a really off day yesterday, along with Seattle having a really on day. Neither their ‘O’ (3rd string QB) nor their ‘D’ (all of it) played well, but that happens sometimes. Seattle was ready and running on all cylinders. Keep your chins up Cards. You’re better than that.
    GO SEAHAWKS!

  42. First time I’ve watched the Cards this year and I have to say, they disappointed me. I knew their offense wouldn’t be much given their QB situation but I thought their D could carry the day. I guess not.

    I can very much see why NFC teams would want the playoff road to go through AZ and not Seattle.

  43. There is nothing to analyze with this game. Give the Seahawks Lindley and they lose too. End of story. Dude was a practice squad QB 2 weeks ago for a reason. He may actually be worse than Christian Ponder.

  44. For all you wanna-be GMs out there…..Lindley is on the team because he understands Arian’s system. No other reason. Bringing in some other scrub will not be any better..like TEBOW!!? Tebow stinks, and DOESN’T know the offense. Add the 2 together and even you people should be able to figure out the result. You don’t just learn an NFL offense in 5 days.

  45. This win cannot be dumbed down by Cards fans crying “Big deal, the Hawks beat a 3rd string QB blah blah…” No. This win has everything to do with the Hawks OFFENSE beating the mighty Cards DEFENSE! The Cards defense was punched in the mouth and embarrassed on National TV.

  46. Seattle has been slowly getting on track with their offense…using their TE’s in the passing game…the development of Richardson this years second round pick..and getting positive yards from Turbin and Michael when Lynch is being rested..has actually improved Seattle’s running game. The one aspect of Seattle’s game, the offense appears to be catching up with the defense…Lindley had nothing to do with Seattle’s producing 596 yards…or the yardage produced against SF and Philly (as well as Ariz)….all teams with ranked defenses and 3 of those games on the road …what QB has thrown for over 350 yards this year against Ariz…especially in Arizona…Seattle’s pedestrian receivers seem to be picking it up as well.
    The one area Seattle is pretty vanilla is their return game (their kicking game will be fine)…but other than that…they look to be one of the more complete teams in the NFL…Their playoff experience is starting to show as well…which is an added edge…many forget that Seattle was 30 seconds from the NFC championship game during the 2012 season…this is familiar turf…If Seattle wins at home next week against another backup QB…barring a tie with GB and Detroit…they’ll have home field advantage through the playoffs…whether people like Seattle or not…they are the one team no one wants to face in the playoffs…at home or on the road.

  47. No one is going to beat Seattle in Seattle. So they are going to the Super Bowl against either New England, Denver or maybe Pittsburgh. I don’t think anyone wants to see another Seattle-Denver Super Bowl. Once was more than enough. I don’t think New England or Pittsburgh are good enough. In other words I’d be very surprised even shocked if Seattle didn’t repeat as World Champions.

  48. Well, a lot of you were talking trash and daring the 12’s to come back with our tails between our legs after the game. Well, we’re back!!

    Anybody want to trash the Hawks today? They just proved once again that they’re still, by far, the best team in the NFL. the Hawks are still down a few players to injury, including two/fifths of the O-line. We’ll only get better. Scary, huh?

    Seahawks will win 4 straight to finish off and become back-to back Super Bowl Champions. 38 years of misery has been so worth it! Actually, the only thing that scares me is staying healthy next year so we can 3peat!!

  49. Some folks must have been watching a different game. The cards did fine for most of the first half, much of that had to do with 10 flags thrown against Seattle in the first half. Only 3 flags thrown in the second half. Clearly they got the message at half time, stop fouling.

    Recognize Seattle had three missed field goals and three dropped picks. This was way more of a blow out than the stats and scoreboard show, I’d give the cards any QB they wanted and still think Seattle would have won by 20+. The running game was completely shut out, and the offensive line was dominated and Seattle got to the QB almost every time the rushed 4. Sort of reminded me of last years super bowl, where they blew out one of the best QBs of all time, no excuses, Seattle played that good last night.

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