There aren’t enough good things to say about the Seattle Seahawks and their performance in Week 6 against the Arizona Cardinals. A tough divisional matchup against a perceived stud quarterback and an above-average defense meant nothing as Seattle marched to an easy 19-9 victory that wasn’t nearly as close as the score would indicate.
The offense wasn’t as explosive as it has been recently, with Geno Smith throwing for just 197 yards on 31 attempts. Even stranger is that the elite receiving duo of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett was underutilized this week, hauling in just four catches for 51 yards combined. Of course, they were targeted 12 times so this likely isn’t a sign of things to come, but it’s still quite the anomaly. It was tight end Noah Fant who led receivers with six catches for 45 yards, but my favorite story is the second-year receiver Dee Eskridge, who caught three passes for 39 yards.
The real question was how the Seahawks could balance their offensive attack with the injury to tailback Rashaad Penny. It turns out, however, that rookie Kenneth Walker III is that guy, going for 97 yards on 21 carries and the lone Seahawks touchdown on an 11-yard gain to seal the win in the fourth quarter.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without kicker Jason Myers, who kept the Seahawks on top with four made field goals over the course of the game from 39, 27, 34 and 32 yards respectively.
Possibly the most intriguing part of the game was the defense that held Kyler Murray and the Arizona offense to just 315 total yards, as well as turning the ball over twice. Shockingly enough (note the sarcasm), rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen was at the center of both turnovers, recovering the fumble forced out by Coby Bryant in the third quarter and then hauling in an interception late in the fourth. Woolen’s performance won him the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award, and it was well-deserved.
The rest of the defense stepped up as well. They held the Cardinals to under 100 rushing yards on designed runs despite putting up some of the worst run-stopping numbers in the league. They sacked Murray six times despite just eight sacks in the previous five games combined. Bryant has now forced four fumbles in six games, the NFL leader in that category. Woolen is now tied for the most interceptions in the league with Buffalo’s safety Jordan Poyer.
The Seattle cornerbacks are starting to establish themselves as some quality players. Their defensive line just stopped one of the hardest-to-contain quarterbacks in the NFL. They played dominant football in a division that is still very contentious. At 3-3, the Seahawks are in a three-way tie for first in their division with the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams, neither of whom are establishing much confidence in their ability to run away with it.
This Seahawks team is worth watching out for, especially in the coming years. They own both of the first round picks for the Denver Broncos in the next two drafts, and they don’t look good. They are competitive and should have great draft capital in the next two years to rebuild and turn into a truly scary team that could go on another set of deep playoff runs. Seattle fans got lucky with the competence of their football team, and their eyes should be glued to the screen every Sunday.