Seattle Seahawks: 5 takeaways from win versus Cardinals
By Jake Luppino
Seahawks retake first place beating the Cardinals 28-21 on Thursday Night Football.
Prior to the Week 11 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, a lot of people were selling their stock on the Seattle Seahawks. Granted, they were coming off back-to-back sloppy performances against the Bills and Rams. But, although there are no excuses, the Seahawks have been pretty banged up.
Most importantly, in the secondary and in the backfield. With the lack of rushing, Wilson was asked to do more and as a result, threw more interceptions. We knew coming into this Thursday Night game that Carlos Hyde would be back. While Carson remained sidelined once again, the power run game helped alleviate the pressure off Wilson.
While the defense remains banged up, they heard all the noise about how they are historically bad this season. Well, they responded and played a very solid game all around. They were able to pressure Murray in the backfield, contain DeAndre Hopkins and most importantly, help this team win the ball game. With the win, the Seahawks are now 7-3, retake first place in the NFC West and have the easiest schedule remaining down the stretch.
Things are looking bright for Seattle. Let’s take a lot at this week’s 5 takeaways from the win over the Arizona Cardinals.
The Seahawks were once again efficient on third down
All year long, the Seahawks have struggled on third down conversions. As of late, it’s been worse with the injuries to the offensive line and lack of depth in the backfield. But, against the Cardinals as the Seahawks were somewhat healthier, they were very effective on third down.
With the return of Carlos Hyde (whose been a lead back in years past), the Seahawks simplified their offensive plan. In other words, Wilson was not asked to be Superman on every single play. The Seahawks finished the game 8-14 (57%) on third down conversions. By converting over 50% of their third downs, they were able to establish nice, long drives that were balanced with a run game and pass game.
At times, on 3rd and 4, the Seahawks were running the ball. That doesn’t happen without Hyde being active. By having a lead back in the game plan, the Cardinals had to worry about the run. As a result, the Seahawks didn’t pin themselves against the wall on third downs. Against the Bills and Rams, they were facing many 3rd and 10s or 3rd and 8s. It’s way easier to approach the line of scrimmage and only need 4 yards to gain in order to move the chains. The Seahawks did improve on third last week but were even better this week.
Defensively, the Cardinals converted on 6-11 (55%) third downs. This is something that needs to be improved upon for this Seattle defense as the season goes on. But, to their credit, they were able to force numerous 3 and outs in this game. In fact, to start the 2nd half, they should have started it with a 3-and-out if it weren’t for an unnecessary roughness call on Quandre Diggs.