What we learned from the Seahawks Week 9 victory over Arizona

Mandatory Credit: Joe Rondone-Arizona Republic
Mandatory Credit: Joe Rondone-Arizona Republic /
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Mandatory Credit: Joe Rondone-Arizona Republic
Mandatory Credit: Joe Rondone-Arizona Republic /

The Seahawks’ defense has finally cemented itself as a solid unit

When this team left Detroit with a 48-45 win a month ago, they looked like a squad that would be scrappy, but still mediocre at best. The offense had just played their third solid game of the season, but the defense had yet to look truly good. While they had managed to create more than a few turnovers in the preceding weeks, they had also treated the line of scrimmage more like the Maginot Line, continuing to retreat further and further behind it.

A week ago, they dismantled the Giants’ offense by shutting down Saquon Barkley, marking the first time they had shut down a team’s offense both on the ground and through the air. They had held teams to limited rushing yards before — Austin Ekeler ran for just over 3 yards a pop against them the week prior — but that had usually come at the expense of allowing plenty of yards after the catch.

This week, they put everything together against a team with no lack of weapons. Kyler Murray threw for just 175 yards, James Conner never got a chance to build momentum, and the returning DeAndre Hopkins was completely boxed out of the game by a certain rookie cornerback.

Furthermore, the front seven bullied and brutalized Arizona’s star QB all day long, picking up five sacks and forcing the Cardinals to play way out of their element. It’s one thing to shut down part of an elite offense. It’s another thing to hold an entire offense in check. It’s something else far beyond that to hold an offense as talented and as fast as the Arizona Cardinals to basically nothing for 25 minutes of game clock.

This defense has officially put the rest of the NFL on notice. They’re not some gimmicky bunch who can only function when they blitz their safety every other play without the offense ever once taking advantage of the hole left behind. This is a fast, aggressive defense that gets after the ball better than it has since Kam Chancellor was forced to hang up the cleats.