Perspective is important. This was an ugly game but let’s just remember a few things, now that the Seahawks have beaten the Cardinals 27-24:
1. When the Seahawks beat the Cardinals in Arizona in week four, Pete Carroll played that game exactly the same as this one. They were facing a rookie quarterback playing behind a bad offensive line. Trust the defense and running game to win it for you. Accept a close game and trust in the process. Seattle did win both games in almost identical fashion. Job done.
2. The Seahawks play a tough, physical brand of offense. It’s very difficult to play at maximum intensity when you know, consciously or sub-consciously, the most important thing today was to avoid injuries.
3. It’s even tougher to play your tough, physical style of offense missing your starting left guard, your starting right guard and your backup right guard. It’s even worse when you have to kick your right tackle, who is returning from injury, into the right guard slot and start a guy who’s been playing tight end at right tackle. That’s a lot to take. So yes, the offensive line was bad today. It’s hardly a surprise.
4. The Cardinals have given Seattle fits for years with creative blitz packages. Throw that into the mix too. But here’s the thing — the Seahawks also recorded six sacks in this game. Both D-lines dominated overmatched O-lines missing key players.
5. It’s better to have a special teams nightmare today than next week. Two blocked punts (one returned for a touchdown) and too many returns. That can’t happen in Dallas. The Seahawks need a clean game in all three phases to beat a Cowboys team that has won a lot of games in the second half of the season and been consistent winners at home.
6. Instead of focusing on the negatives, embrace how well Frank Clark, Jarran Reed and Chris Carson continue to play. Clark is destined for the franchise tag. Reed will almost certainly get a contract extension in the off-season. The new core is emerging to go with the starting O-line, Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner.
7. No major injuries occurred in this game.
8. Give the Cardinals some credit. They didn’t mail it in like a lot of other teams in week 17. Win one for Larry Fitzgerald? For Steve Wilks? For pride? Whatever it was, they came to play on defense. Sometimes it’s easy to forget there’s actually another team playing the game. So while Seahawks Twitter provided the usual in-game running commentary, overreacting to every single negative, maybe just take the win and congratulate the Cardinals for making it a game?
This is a Seattle team that won 10 games and made the post-season against the odds. The offense was highly productive. The defense has been fun. The whole team has entertained us a lot more than they did a year ago. The Seahawks aren’t flawless and they can improve. We’ll have plenty of time to discuss that in the off-season.
For now, it’s onto the playoffs.
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