After a few weeks of inconsistent play, marked by uncharacteristic turnovers and sloppy play on defense, the Seahawks looked more like the team that started the 2020 season 5-0. Here are some thoughts on tonight's big win:
The dynamic receiving duo was back in action.
DK Metcalf was coming off a quiet game vs. the Rams, and Tyler Lockett had missed practice this week while dealing with a shoulder injury. Both receivers came to play, looking like the dynamic pair we had gotten used to seeing in the first half of the season. Lockett led the team with 67 yards receiving and one touchdown. Despite a couple of dropped passes, and a 41-yard catch negated by penalty, Metcalf finished the day with 46 yards receiving and one touchdown. Metcalf also had a nice block for Carlos Hyde on Seattle's first drive of the day, allowing the Seahawks to convert on third down. On the next play, Russell Wilson found Metcalf in the end zone to set help set the tone for the rest of the game.
Seattle addressed turnovers issues that have been plaguing them in recent games.
The Seahawks tallied seven turnovers over the past two games and protecting the football was a huge point of emphasis for head coach Pete Carroll this week. Russell Wilson rebounded with a clean game, aside from an early fumble on a missed snap that was recovered by Seattle. There was another fumble on a missed handoff between Wilson and running back Carlos Hyde in the fourth quarter, but that too was recovered by Seattle. Wilson finished the night 23 for 28 for 197 yards passing with two touchdowns. He completed 82.1% of passes and added 42 yards rushing. While the numbers don't jump off the page like they have in some games this season, the steady approach clearly led to positive results throughout the game.
Penalties created self-inflicted wounds.
Seattle did a much better job at protecting the football on Thursday, but penalties led to missed opportunities on both sides of the ball. The Seahawks were penalized eight times for a total of 79 yards. There was a controversial holding call against rookie Damien Lewis in the first quarter that wiped out a 41-yard reception by wide receiver DK Metcalf on third-and-4. The Seahawks were poised to force a three-and-out on the Cardinals first drive of the second half, but safety Quandre Diggs was called for unnecessary roughness after hitting Arizona wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on a ball thrown behind the star receiver. Linebacker Bobby Wagner was flagged for a horse collar tackle later on the same drive, which ended in Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray finding tight end Dan Arnold in the end zone. Penalties can be a product of the short week, and Arizona committed ten of their own. Seattle now has a few extra days to rest and clean things up before heading to Philadelphia for Monday Night Football.
It was a good night for anyone named Carlos.
Starting running back Chris Carson remained sidelined Thursday, but Carlos Hyde made his first appearance since Week 7, rushing for 79 yards on 14 carries and one touchdown in his return. Seattle rushed for 165 yards, but more importantly, the team was able to wield a balanced offensive attack.
On the other side of the ball, defensive end Carlos Dunlap II made his presence known. Dunlap II recorded two sacks and three quarterback hits, including his sack of Kyler Murray on fourth-and-10 with 38 seconds left to snuff out Arizona's final hope of engineering a late comeback.
The carousel at center continued for Seattle.
The Seahawks debuted a new face at center for the second consecutive week. Kyle Fuller started in place of an injured Ethan Pocic (concussion) against the Rams, but struggled with a high ankle sprain. The next man up was rookie Damien Lewis, and he got the starting nod Thursday. Lewis has played plenty of snaps at guard this season, but his first appearance at center wasn't without a few hiccups. Wilson fumbled a snap from Lewis in the first quarter that was recovered by wide receiver David Moore. Later, a hotly debated holding call against Lewis eliminated a big catch by DK Metcalf. Starting right tackle Brandon Shell left with an ankle sprain late in the game, so further shake-ups on the offensive line could be coming. Seattle will be thankful for the extended break they'll receive after playing a Thursday Night Football game followed by a Monday Night Football game in Week 12 vs. the Eagles.
The best photos from Seahawks vs. Cardinals at Lumen Field. Fueled by Nesquik.