Not Winners & Losers Of The Seahawks’ Game At Arizona

It was the usual brand of ugly down in Glendale, but the Seahawks prevailed in the end to beat the winless Cardinals 20-17.  The defense looked good enough, the run game was fine, but the offense as a whole was pretty bad once again.  There just isn’t going to be an overnight fix on this thing; it’s going to take a lot of baby stepping to get this thing where it needs to be.

What I’m Geeked Out About After Four Games

Shout out to the offensive line!  I never thought I’d see them in this section so soon, but here we are!

I don’t have them here just because every other element about the Seahawks struggled (though that’s true), but because they actually looked good.  Dominant even!  We were all whacked across the face Sunday afternoon with the news that Chris Carson was sitting out with some nagging injury, so you could be forgiven if you feared for the life of our run game.  It came as a further shock to see Mike Davis getting the starter’s reps, with a fully healthy Rashaad Penny returning kicks and getting the backup’s reps.

But, Davis came out guns blazing!  21 carries, 101 yards, 2 TDs, to go along with 4 catches for 23 more yards!  While Davis is fully capable of having these types of games, it was hard not to notice how wide open those running lanes were, thanks to this O-line (backed up, once again, on the strength of D.J. Fluker on the right side).  With Sweezy holding down the left guard spot, things have really started to gel with these guys (though, I still hope to see Pocic win that job back at some point, for the long-term future of the unit).

Furthermore, Russell Wilson only took 2 sacks, and often had all day to throw the ball.  It was just a great game for a maligned group of guys and I’m happy for them.

Other Things That Caught My Eye (In A Good Way)

Speaking of Penny, he only ran the ball 9 times, but gained 49 yards in the process.  He looked more decisive and powerful than I’ve ever seen him.  This was a nice stepping stone game for him, as he acclimates to the speed and ferocity of the league.

Lots of props for the defense, particularly the front seven.

Bobby Wagner, of course, led the team in tackles.  Jarran Reed made his presence felt in the backfield, with a sack and a couple tackles for loss.  Mychal Kendricks had a couple tackles in the backfield, as did Branden Jackson.  These guys also did a pretty good job of holding Arizona’s running game in check.  David Johnson only averaged 3.2 yards per carry (22 for 71, with a TD).

Offensively for the Seahawks, not a lot there.  David Moore had a solid game (2 for 39).  Tyler Lockett continued to show up on the stat sheet (5 for 53 to lead the way).

Let’s Talk About Competitions Injuries

We just can’t play a game in that fucking stadium without losing guys to devastating injuries!  I can’t even keep it straight in my head anymore, all I know it’s been a lot.

Well, throw Will Dissly’s corpse onto the pile, because he went out on the second drive of the game with a season-ending knee injury.  Fucking terrific.  Just what I want to see from a promising rookie.  Let’s cut his first year short in the first month of the season; wouldn’t want to let him get TOO experienced!

Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, Earl Thomas appears to have re-fractured his broken leg from a couple years back, on just a nothing of a play (looks like it broke just with him running on it and maybe stepping down awkwardly).

These injuries are obviously devastating, for both the short term and the long term.  For Dissly, we’re already pretty thin at tight end (Vannett was the only other one suited up for the game yesterday).  Ed Dickson can’t return until after week 6, so we’ll have some practice squad guys coming in.  And, from what I’ve been told, this is a lot like Jimmy Graham’s injury from a few years back, so we’re talking surgery and a full year’s rehab.  If everything breaks right, Dissly could be back for the start of next year, or he could land on the PUP.  Either way, it’s probably best to expect a slow start to his 2019 season, which just sucks, because Dissly really looks like a bona fide #1 starting tight end for this team.

And, with Earl, I mean, what can you say?  He’s the best free safety in the league.  So, obviously, the downgrade to Tedric Thompson or Delano Hill (at strong safety, with McDougald moving over to replace Earl) is pretty severe.  On top of that, there’s no longer the potential to trade Earl for draft picks, which was obviously in our back pocket as the trade deadline approaches.

If the Seahawks were never serious about extending him, I can understand everyone’s frustrations with this team for not trading him and getting back whatever value we could get.  You run the risk – hoping other teams’ injuries force them into giving us more in trade – and you get burned when your own guy goes down.  It’s doubly painful when you start to think about how we almost certainly won’t get a compensatory pick back for him.  There’s just too many things going against us:

  1. Earl’s injury might make other teams wary to give him a huge, long-term contract.  He might have to go somewhere on an incentive-laden, 1-year prove-it deal.  The value of the contract determines the possible compensatory pick, and a deal like that wouldn’t be worth much more than a 6th or 7th rounder.
  2. Even if Earl does get a max deal, that’s not a guarantee that the Seahawks get that possible 3rd round pick in return.  The Seahawks are going to have a lot of money to spend in 2019, with a bunch of veterans coming off the books.  As the Seahawks have a lot of holes to fill in 2019, I would expect we sign more incoming free agents than we lose our own guys to other teams.  If that’s the case, Earl Thomas could sign the biggest contract in NFL history and the Seahawks still won’t get any picks back for him.

All that being said, if you’re mad about Earl Thomas flipping off the Seahawks, you need to calm the fuck down.  He’s an emotional guy, and that’s an emotional situation.  This thing was never going to end well.  Stop clutching your pearls about a middle finger; I’m sure he’s said things a million times worse about this organization away from the media.  He’s an elite player in the final year of his deal and all he wanted was to get paid what he feels he’s worth, as well as have that financial security going forward to protect against this VERY scenario.  To see his worst nightmares come to fruition has to be the most enraging thing for him to experience; I think he’s a model of restraint for ONLY flipping off the sideline.

Earl Thomas is one of the most talented football player to ever don a Seahawks uniform, that’s never going to change.  Kenny Easley walked away from this organization with hurt feelings too.  When his career is over and cooler heads prevail, Earl Thomas will be back one day to raise that 12 Flag and see his name go up in that Ring of Honor.  And, when he becomes a first-ballot hall of famer, he’ll see his number retired.  It’s all out there waiting for him.  Just give it time for the heat to die down.

Other Things That Caught My Eye (In A Bad Way)

It doesn’t get any worse than 0 for 10 on third downs.  You can thank Doug Baldwin for coming up short on two of them (combined with Russell for throwing short of the sticks on both of those), you can thank Brandon Marshall for one glaring drop, and you can thank penalties all over the place (you weren’t perfect, O-line, so don’t think you get off easy on this one).

The play calling also left a lot to be desired.  3rd & long draw plays were the name of the game in this one.  Which, normally, whatever.  But, they also ran the ball on the outskirts of field goal position, when throwing for a nice chunk gain – even if those passes would’ve come short of first down territory – would’ve been the better move.  It’s the worst part of a conservative coaching staff to see your offense get down to the opponent’s 30 yard line and then coast to the field goal try, as if it’s fucking automatic.  NOTHING IS AUTOMATIC!  And, of course, Janikowski missed 2 more very-makeable field goals.  The fact that he made it at the end of the game is irrelevant; the fact that we kept settling for LONG field goals – when it would’ve been better to hurry up and try for shorter ones – is the issue here.  That’s on the coaching staff, and it fucking needs to stop.

Paul Allen, hear my plea!  When it’s time to replace Pete Carroll, go find the next hot-shot offensive mind to get this unit humming!  And then bring the Brink’s truck to Wade Phillips’ house and pay him whatever he wants to coach up the defense!

I won’t totally kill the coaching staff, because they did turn around the running game like they said they would.  Listen, I get the ire from the fans; 0/10 on third down is unacceptable.  At the same time, this running game IS looking good again, so you can’t bemoan the Seahawks for not running the ball … and then complain when they DO run the ball and run it well!

The fact of the matter is, the Seahawks have 2 good run games out of the 4 we’ve played, and it’s no coincidence that the team is 2-0 in those weeks.  We have to help our defense by running clock, and we have to help our O-line by limiting the number of drop-backs for Russell Wilson.  No turnovers, good punting, and it spells out a hard-fought road victory within our division.  That’s how this team is going to win football games.

Finally, before I go, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about Josh Rosen’s day.  He looked, dare I say it, somewhat competent?  Even bordering on *gulp* GOOD!?  The Cardinals had at least 4 crucial drops, and he was fitting some beautiful passes into some tight windows.  That’s just what we need, another team in our division with their quarterback issues completely solved.

The Seahawks Should Get To .500 In Arizona

The Arizona Cardinals are a bad football team.  No point in sugar-coating it, they’re fucking terrible.  They MIGHT even be the worst team in the entire league, what with Buffalo dismantling the Vikings last week; at least we know the Bills have SOME level of goodness in them.  The Cardinals appear to have absolutely none, having lost to the Redskins, Rams, and Bears by a combined score of 74-20.

Last week, the Cards came close.  They were up 14-0 on the Bears in the first quarter, they held a 14-3 lead at halftime, and were clinging to a 14-13 lead heading into the final frame.  But, the reason why the Bears kept scoring in the second half was directly attributable to Sam Bradford going INT-INT-Fumble on his final three drives before being benched for rookie Josh Rosen.  Rosen entered with just over 4 minutes to go in the game – down 16-14 – and drove the Cards to the Bears’ side of the field before throwing a pick on 4th down.  The Cards had one more chance with less than a minute to go and no time outs and couldn’t do anything.

If I can just take a moment to bitch about Sam Bradford, because SERIOUSLY, how do you bungle that game?  Just sit on the ball in the second half!  HOW DOES HE KEEP GETTING HIGH-PAYING CONTRACTS AND STARTING JOBS IN THE NFL???  I’m the first to admit I know next-to-nothing about the intricacies of professional football, but even I know Sam Bradford is a fucking useless pile of shit!  Dude will have earned upwards of $130 million in his career and he’s easily the worst quarterback that keeps getting chances to start.  I hate to pull the Colin Kaepernick card, but really?  Sam Bradford gets $20 million and Kaepernick isn’t “worth the headache”?  It boggles the mind.

I mean, seriously, hasn’t Larry Fitzgerald suffered enough?!  He’s the one respectable thing about the Arizona Cardinals organization, and yet you keep putting him in harm’s way by having sub-replacement level quarterbacks throwing him into double coverage or right into the open shoulder of a hammering linebacker/safety.  People bitch about how the Angels are wasting Mike Trout’s prime, but they can go fuck themselves!

Anyway, it’s Josh Rosen’s show now, and I couldn’t be happier.  That guy has BUST written all over him.  He was an over-rated bum at UCLA and he’s going to be an over-rated bum in the NFL.  Not as over-rated as Sam Bradford, but then again that would be literally impossible.

I was moderately concerned about this game when Bradford was the starter, because on his very best day – if he’s making smart decisions and following the dinking n’ dunking formula that works pretty well against the Seahawks – I could maybe see the Cardinals hanging around in this one and stealing it late.  But, I can’t imagine Rosen doing anything close to that.  He’s going to struggle, he’s going to turn the ball over a couple times, and the Seahawks should walk away with this one pretty easily.

If I were in charge, I’d do exactly what the Seahawks did last week.  Run-run-pass.  Super conservative, handing the ball to Carson 25+ times, and every once in a while allowing Wilson to take some safe shots deep down field (ideally against whoever Patrick Peterson ISN’T guarding).  Just get to 17 or 20 points and let the defense do the rest.

I’ll honestly be pretty upset if the Cards score in the double-digits in this one, that’s how little faith I have in their abilities.  The Seahawks’ defense has proven it’s better than we expected coming into the season, so they should have no problem keeping David Johnson in check and forcing the rookie making his first start to beat them.

If I haven’t jinxed the Seahawks enough, just know that I’m fully anticipating us to be 2-2 after this game is over.  That’ll put us a full 2 games behind the Rams and in the driver’s seat for 2nd place in the NFC West.  To get to the Wild Card, the Seahawks are going to need to go 4-0 against the likes of the 49ers and Cardinals, so don’t let me down!

Or, whatever.  Do let me down.  I bet my brother a pizza party that the Seahawks wouldn’t make the playoffs this season, so either way I WIN MOTHERFUCKERS!!!  PIZZA FOR DAYS AND DAYS AND DAYS!