What a fool I was. I actually thought the Seahawks had a chance to win last Sunday against the Cardinals.
I failed to realize that Seattle’s offense line is full of reserve players and rookies. The offensive line that looked good against Jacksonville, the worst pass-rushing team in the league, was exposed against a more competent Arizona defense.
I failed to realize that Seattle’s running backs aren’t good enough to make plays behind a depleted, untalented offensive line. Hell, even the best running backs around the league would have trouble finding room to run behind the current group of linemen.
I failed to realize that without great pressure on Kurt Warner, Seattle’s defensive backs just aren’t good enough to cover Arizona’s plethora of talented wide receivers. Going against a new starting safety and a group of undersized corners, the Arizona receivers made catching NFL passes look easy.
Once again, I let my homer optimism get in the way of logical thinking: the Seattle Seahawks are not a better team than the Arizona Cardinals right now.
It didn’t help that the Seahawks were down two scores before the offense ever touched the football. And to make matters worse, the first offensive drive resulted in a turnover. Qwest Field is a tough place to play, but even our fans get discouraged when that happens.
In a quick preview of the game, I listed three keys to victory:
Pressure Kurt Warner
Patrick Kerney sacked Kurt Warner twice, and the Seahawks put decent pressure on the veteran quarterback. The pressure was never consistent enough, however, to slow down Arizona’s offensive attack.
Arizona is as close to one-dimensional as you’ll see in the National Football League. If you can pressure Kurt Warner and take away the aerial threat, it may be possible to limit their scoring opportunities.
The Seahawks, however, never generated the sort of pressure that is necessary to frustrate Warner. He never lost confidence, and even with defenders nearby, the Arizona wide receivers made several spectacular catches.
The Seahawks forced two turnovers, but neither helped to erase the initial two-score deficit. The first turnover, a fumble recovered by Darryl Tapp, occurred with Seattle down 17-3 and in their own territory. The turnover did not result in points, and if anything, only helped to slow down Arizona’s offensive attack.
The second turnover was an interception as the first half came to an end. Jordan Babineaux intercepted a fifty-yard pass in the final seconds and prevented the Cardinals from achieving a miraculous score before halftime. Unfortunately, “Big-Play Babs” didn’t make any other big plays throughout the game that could’ve changed Seattle’s fortune.
No big plays
The Seahawks didn’t give up any big plays that resulted in immediate scores by the Arizona defense or special teams.
But a special teams gaffe after Arizona’s opening touchdown drive gave the Cardinals possession at the Seattle 23. And down 14-0, Matt Hasselbeck fumbled the football and Arizona was once again deep in Seattle territory.
Arizona’s big plays may not have made SportsCenter’s top plays list, but they were enough to quickly dismiss the Seahawks on Sunday.
Arizona 21, Seattle 30
Arizona 27, Seattle 3
This was, by far, my worst prediction of the season. The Seattle Seahawks are going nowhere fast, and won’t be a real contender until they play better in the trenches.