13 points in five trips to the red zone. That was the story for the Seattle Seahawks' offensive performance on Sunday against the Bengals. A game in which the defense held Joe Burrow and the high-powered Bengals to only 17 points. It's hard to not look at a game like that and get frustrated about it as a Seahawks fan. It felt like a game that if they had won, could've catapulted the Seahawks into that conversation with the Bengals, 49ers, Eagles, Chiefs, and Cowboys as legit Super Bowl contenders.
But after two crucial interceptions from Geno Smith, and mind-boggling penalties and mistakes, the Seahawks would unfortunately take the loss in Cincy. But there will be plenty of tests in this tough Seattle schedule, and fans shouldn't be too worried or discouraged. If anything, Seattle was a few plays away from beating a legitimate Super Bowl contender and that alone should give fans confidence.
The Cardinals team they face this week though will definitely be a test. It's never easy to play a division rival, even one with the struggles of the Arizona Cardinals. But if the Seahawks can establish their brand of football, and not make out-of-character mistakes, then they can easily cruise to a 4-2 start on the year.
Biggest priorities for the Seattle Seahawks in Week 7
Seattle Has to Play Their Style of Football
We all know how Pete Carroll and the Seahawks want to win games. They want to run the football offensively, stay ahead of the chains, make plays, and fly around defensively.
Given how poorly the Cardinals have played since the beginning of the year, Seattle should have no problem establishing this game plan. Especially offensively, Arizona has allowed the 24th most rushing yards per game in the league. Combine this with the 243 passing yards per game that they allow, and this makes for a very good matchup for a very talented Seattle offense.
Defense Needs to Continue Playing At Elite Level
The Seahawk defense has been flat-out fantastic this season. Ranking top 10 in sacks, rushing defense, and 13th in takeaways per game.
This has been by far the most impressive start from the Seattle defense since the Legion of Boom days. The additions of Bobby Wagner and Jarran Reed to this front seven has done wonders in term of rushing defense. Wagner himself has had multiple 15+ tackle games, and it seems like every week Jarran Reed is making plays.
In the secondary, rookie Devon Witherspoon has been playing at an extremely high-end level. He's been utilized mostly in the slot this season but that doesn't change the fact that he's making standout plays every week. As we all know, Tariq Woolen had a fantastic rookie season, finishing as runner-up to Sauce Gardner for defensive rookie of the year and leading the NFL in interceptions. He's continued his play so far this year as well, despite the injury issues he's had to start the year.
It seems that everything's coming together defensively for the Seahawks, and if they sustain this elite level of play they'll be able to compete with anybody in the league.
Get Geno (And the Offense) Going Again
Let's face the facts here, Geno Smith has not had an ideal start to the season. He's had multiple games under 150 passing yards, and really ill-timed interceptions. That being said, there's still plenty of hope for Smith to bounce back and there's plenty of reason to suspect that he will. Just watching him play you can see that he's still the same QB he was last year. There hasn't been a noticeable change in athleticism or arm talent. He can still make next-level throws and move around really well for a 33-year-old.
This Cardinals matchup couldn't have come at a better time for Smith either. Coming off of what many consider to be his worst game of the season, despite throwing for 300+ yards. Smith had two costly interceptions (one of them was a miscommunication between him and DK Metcalf, one that Metcalf has since taken the blame for) and didn't seem to extend plays at the rate he normally does.
In conclusion, this is a very important game for Smith and the offense. It's time to see the Geno Smith we saw for most of the 2022 season. The one that used his legs to extend plays and made throws only 3 or 4 other QBs can make in this league. Not only Smith, but the offense as a whole has an opportunity to kick things into full gear this week and try things that they wouldn't try normally. A big week for the Seahawks, as they look to rise to 4-2 on the season, with all eyes on the Cleveland Browns and their stout defense the week after.