Despite a short preparation week, the Seattle Seahawks kept on rolling, taking advantage of an opportunity to extend their NFC West lead by defeating the Arizona Cardinals 34-22 on the road on national television Thursday night.
Seattle had been coming off a victory laden with mistakes and missed opportunities last Sunday at home against the Titans, and were looking to lessen the number of turnovers and capitalize more in the red zone. Even though the Hawks still fumbled the ball on Thursday, they made sure they scored touchdowns instead of field goals in the red zone, and it was one of the keys to a sound road win.
Sidney Rice celebrates his touchdown catch (Photo credit: upi.com)
Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes, one to Sidney Rice, another to Zach Miller (who had previously been injured), and the third to Kellen Davis. The pass to Rice was a 31-yard throw off his back foot while he was feeling the pressure in the pocket. Seeing Wilson hook up with the veteran Rice in the end zone brought back memories of last season, when the two would connect frequently. Rice made a number of solid catches in the game, and seeing Rice get more involved and dependable for Wilson is a great sign for the future.
Once again, the Seattle defense looked phenomenal. They put on a spectacle for football fans throughout the nation. They intercepted Carson Palmer twice and sacked him seven times, completely neutralized Larry Fitzgerald, and stifled Arizona’s already pedestrian running game. The way they’re playing, it’s incredibly hard to imagine any NFL offense breaking them.
In fact, when taking a look at the remaining schedule for the Seahawks, it gets wonderfully harder to imagine.
Of the nine remaining games, five are at CenturyLink Field, including their arguably hardest game against the Saints. The four road games are against St. Louis, Atlanta, San Francisco, and the New York Giants. Atlanta is a tough atmosphere, but injuries and inconsistency have plagued the Falcons this year. Seattle has already dominated the 49ers this year, though it will be tougher to do it at Candlestick Park. As for the Rams and the Giants, if anyone is to try and tell me those will be difficult games to win, then I look at them with an expression of exhaustion and ever so slight amusement. Trust me, they’ll win.
As mentioned before, the Saints’ game at home presents the toughest challenge. The other four are against St. Louis, Arizona, Tampa Bay, and Minnesota. In other words, win, win, win, and win (barring a complete lack of concentration on the Seahawks’ part, of course).
Realistically, Seattle fans could enjoy a 15-1 regular season. Will that happen? Perhaps, perhaps not. San Francisco might grind out a win at home, and Drew Brees might out-duel Russell Wilson. And if those happen, Seattle ends at 13-3 going into the playoffs. That sounds pretty good too, doesn’t it, Seattle?
Bottom line, the rest of the schedule looks extremely favorable to the Seahawks. Expect this team to keep on cruising.