Seahawks beat Cardinals when defense plays very well
By Lee Vowell
The Seahawks moved back into first place in the NFC West with a victory over the Cardinals in week 11.
The Seahawks don’t always make their wins easy for 12s, but in week 11 Seattle defeated the Arizona Cardinals in a way that just felt, well, different. In a game filled with penalties (the teams combined for 18 – Arizona had 10 and Seattle had 8), Seattle controlled the ball for 35 minutes to Arizona’s 24 and ran well.
But this game came down to Russell Wilson efficiency and Jamal Adams and Carlos Dunlap’s defensive strengths. Wilson was 23 for 28 for 197 yards and 2 touchdowns. Far from his most brilliant day statistically, Wilson did just wanted he needed to do which he had not done for most of the last month.
Wilson, and Seattle overall, did not have any turnovers. Of course, neither did the Cardinals but Seattle simply finds a way to win when the turnover battle is either even or in their favor. Wilson also ran for 42 yards on 10 carries and took just 3 sacks, all in the first half. Wilson threw the ball away when he needed to and managed the game perfectly.
Seattle also ended up with 3 sacks and recently acquired Carlos Dunlap had 2 of them. Dunlap had 3 quarterback hits and 2 tackles for loss. He is making an immense difference in the few games since he came to Seattle.
Jamal Adams statistically had only 3 tackles and 1 quarterback hit but his presence simply changed the way the Cardinals approached the Seattle defense compared to the teams’ first matchup. On an important drive in the fourth quarter when the Cardinals had a chance to drive and take the lead, Adams’ pressure on Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray forced Murray to throw a pass that resulted in intentional grounding.
On the next play, the Cardinals were called for holding in the end zone and the Seahawks got a safety which also forced Arizona to kick the ball back to Seattle. On the ensuing drive, Seattle took nearly 7 minutes off the clock and kicked a field goal to make the game 28-21.
Carlos Dunlap’s difference
The Cardinals made one last effort to try to tie the game but their final drive ended with Murray being sacked by Carlos Dunlap on a fourth and 10. Murray was simply standing back and not finding an open receiver, Dunlap got almost immediate pressure and sacked Murray. This is something Seattle simply hasn’t had this year.
In three games for Seattle this year, Dunlap has 3 sacks, 5 tackles for loss and 6 quarterback hits.
Wilson was also helped by the return of running back Carlos Hyde who ran for 79 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. Overall, Seattle ran for 165 yards and a 5.3 yards per carry average compared to Arizona’s 57 yards rushing and just 3.2 yards a rush.
Now Seattle gets bit of a rest before facing the Eagles, Giants, Jets and Washington Football team in the next four games. All these games are ones Seattle should win so Seattle could be 11-3 in week 16 when they face the Rams again.