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Seahawks Defense Comes Through Once Again In Week 7 Win Over Cardinals

For the third straight game, the Seahawks defense came through with a dominant performance, this time leading the way in a 20-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals.


There are numerous stats that illustrate how well the Seahawks have been playing on defense over their last three games, from the total of 30 points allowed—only three of which have come in the second half—to the fact that three straight opponents have been held under 250 yards, to the lack of explosive plays.

Or, there's this quote from linebacker Jordyn Brooks. 

"It's been fun," Brooks said. "Dudes been getting hit."

Dudes have, in fact, been getting hit frequently and violently by Seattle's defense over the past month, and that was again the case in the Seahawks' 20-10 win over the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon.

The Cardinals managed just 249 yards, avenging 4.0 yards per play, and scored 10 points, but even those impressive numbers for Seattle's defense don't fully illustrate how good that unit played. For starters, the Cardinals got a field goal after a turnover, scoring without gaining a first down on the drive, and their lone touchdown, which capped what was by far their best drive of the game, came one play after a Devon Witherspoon interception was negated by a debatable roughing the passer call. Even so, the Seahawks defense held up very well, especially considering Seattle's offense and special teams units turned the ball over three times, usually a recipe for disaster in the NFL.

"Where the consistency showed up was with our defense," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "They did a fantastic job again today to go back out at halftime, after halftime and shut them down and not give anything up and just play really good football. To answer the bell, we had three horrible turnovers in this game. It's so hard to win it, minus-3 in a game. So the game stays close because of that but the defensive guys did a great job going out answering the bell. I think they got three points out of the three turnovers. That's huge. It's a big source of pride to us that we do that well. And we have been doing it well during the season already and we just did it again. I'm really fired about that. The pass rush was alive again today. A lot of opportunities for us to go get it. And I was really fired up that we finished it. That's the way we like to finish games here at Lumen, and chasing the quarterback around, getting sacks and ending it like that."

Brooks, who was one of the best players on the field Sunday—and this bears repeating, only nine months after ACL surgery—said he feels like the defense, has "really been finding our identity" dating back to the Week 3 win over Carolina. "I'm just happy where we are, and excited to see where we're going."

So what is that identity, other than dudes getting hit?

"I think it's a lot of things in one: violent, disciplined; as far as being where we need to be gap wise and pass fits," Brook said. "I think we need to limit the flags, myself included, but other than that I think we're disciplined, we're fast, we're violent, all those things in one."

When he was asked about looking like he was having fun on his way to nine tackles, two tackles for loss, half a sack and a pass defense, Brooks noted all the talent around him.

"Look who I'm playing with," he said. "I'm playing Bobby Wagner, I'm playing with Jamal (Adams), (Quandre) Diggs, young Spoon (Devon Witherspoon), Riq Woolen, Chenna (Nwosu), (Jarran) Reed. It's a bunch of guys who can play ball. When you look around and see that, if that don't make you excited, I don't know what does."

And the best, Brooks says, is still to come. 

"I feel like we still haven't even been at our best," he said. "We've got so much room for improvement, and that's what makes me excited."

Another factor in Seattle's recent defensive surge has been the return of Jamal Adams, who added six tackle and a pass defensed, and continues to bring energy and physicality to the defense.

Adams said the defensive improvements have resulted from, "just attention-to-detail. We understand our assignment, we understand where everybody else is at on the field, just know our job. We know the three-receiver hook, we know who has the wheel route, we know who has the weak hook, so we're just feeding off one another. That just goes back through the week about communication as far as knowing what our assignment is, knowing where guys are. If we keep that up, the sky is the limit."

And though the stat sheet doesn't tell the story of his game, the player who arguably had everyone the most excited about his play was rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon. Witherspoon was credited with three tackles and a pass defensed, but what those modest stats don't show is that he also had an interception and a sack taken away by debatable penalties, or that one of those three tackles was a devastating blow that would make the hardest hitting linebacker or safety proud.

"He gets me fired up," Brooks said. "Because he's nothing but a buck-25, but he's out there hitting. It's exciting to see him."

Added Carroll, "Oh man, did we know Witherspoon was out there today? Spoon was out there. Golly. Two great plays, another great hit, three great plays in the game. Unfortunately, the penalties take those plays away. But you know he's out there. And really an exciting, young player."

Asked if Witherspoon reminds him of any other rookie he has seen, Adams quickly said, "He reminds me of Devon Witherspoon, man. He's that guy. I'm excited since he came here. One of the smartest rookies I've ever been around. Just a complete baller, game changer, can do it all. That's my guy… He's a phenomenal football player. Hats off to him. He's very smart, he's very coachable, and he listens. It's a rare find, and it's a reason why he's a top five pick." 

With playmakers at all three levels, with a run defense that has been stingy all year, with Adams back, with Witherspoon looking like a rookie of the year candidate, and with a defensive front getting the job done against the run and rushing the passer, the Seahawks have seen their defense turn the corner in a big way in recent weeks, and they feel like they're just getting started.

"You can tell, we've got something going here," Carroll said. "And I'm really excited about it."

Check out some of the best action shots from Week 7 vs. the Cardinals at Lumen Field on October 22, 2023. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery.

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