Russell Wilson was slated to be the fifth rookie starter today.
He wanted to show the world he belonged and I think the Seahawks liked what they saw against a good Arizona Cardinals' defense.
Every time the Seahawks and Cardinals go at it the talons come out.
You could tell after the first to plays provided big scrums afterwords that this would be a hard fought game.
Here are five things we learned during the game.
1. The combination of Skelton and Kolb showed up to play. After an abysmal preseason Skelton played well. He went 14/28 with 149 and a fluky interception where he was trying to throw the ball out of bounds and Richard Shurman made a really athletic interception.
He left the game early with an ankle injury and Kolb was called upon. After losing the starting job to Skelton he came in and showed why the Cardinals traded for him in the first place going 6/8 for 66 yards and threw the game-winning TD. Both quarterbacks showed that with a little protection they can sling the ball pretty well.
2. Russell Wilson is going to do good things this year with the football. He ended up with a stat line of 18/34 for 159 yards with a TD and an INT and rushed for 20 yards on eight attemps.
But that wasn't the whole story. He made mostly good decisions with the ball. The one interception was a deep throw in the end zone that Patrick Peterson picked off.
If you are going to throw an interception, that is the way you want it to happen. During the 3rd quarter Marshawn Lynch fumbled the ball and Russell Wilson made and athletic play to come up with it.
Most quarterbacks would not be there to make that play. Wilson clearly followed the play after he handed the ball off. In the final minutes of the game he drove the ball down the field and gave the Seahawks a chance to win in the fourth quarter with a beautiful pass to Doug Baldwin but Baldwin could not hang on.
I expect Wilson to get better and better during the season and Seahawk fans should be excited for the 3rd-round QB out of Wisconsin.
3. Leon Washington is one of the best return men in the league. Washington had 55-yard punt return at the beginning of the 4th quarter that set up a Hauschka field goal. Washington ended the game with 189 total return yards and should be a dangerous return man all season.
4. The Cardinals could not run the ball at all. They had six people rush the ball for a total of 43 rushing yards on 20 attempts. They will need to rush the ball better if they want to win more games.
I don't think that Skelton, Kolb and the defense will be able to carry the team all year. The Cardinals expect more from the combination of Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams.
5. The replacement refs almost influenced the outcome of the game. Giving Seattle an extra time out late in the fourth quarter was the first big mistake that the replacement refs have made this year. After giving Seattle an important 4th timeout they took a very long time to come up with an explanation as to why they did it.
They said that because the play that injured Baldwin in the end zone was an incomplete pass, the clock stopped and they never charged Seattle with their 3rd and FINAL time out.
Even if that was the reason it is wrong. In the last two minutes of each half, if a player is injured you are charged with a timeout. It does not matter if the play resulted in a completion or not. After the refs had a pretty good showing in the first set of games they showed their inexperience at the end of this game.
This is exactly what coaches, players and fans were worried about when we were told that the replacements would ref into the regular season.
When you make mistakes in the preseason it is no big deal. But when those mistakes get made in the regular season and can effect the outcome of the game it turns into a major concern for everyone including the NFL.
This is probably the first big thing that the refs can use to get what they want at the bargaining table with the NFL. Look for the refs and the NFL to have the deal done before the games next week.
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