Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Seahawks keys to success It is always tough to know how any team is going to respond to a short turn around like the one the Seahawks and Cardinals are both facing.  One thing in the Seahawks favor is that while they were playing the Titans the Cardinals were playing a tough physical game against the 49ers. There are some Titans who hit but for the most part they are more of a finesse team, especially on offense, than the 49ers.   That leads me to believe the Seahawks defense will be a lot healthier going into the game than the Cardinals defenses. The Seahawks need to use that to their advantage by pounding the ball straight at the Cardinal defense early and often.  This is the type of game where I wouldn’t mind seeing Marshawn Lynch get 30 carries, 25 of which are between the tackles. If the Seahawks decide to go with that game plan I fully expect the Cardinals defense to weaken in the second half which should lead to some of the big 4th quarter runs we have seen from Lynch in the past. Cards in coverage Last week the Cardinals struggled to cover Vernon Davis.  Davis had 8 receptions for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns on Sunday.  It wasn’t an abnormality either.  Arizona has also given up over 100 yards to Jimmy Graham and Jared Cook. The Cardinals lost all three of those games, doubt it is a coincidence they won the other three. With Zach Miller coming back this week it will give Russell Wilson two tight ends to throw to (Luke Willson).  Maybe neither one needs 100-yards but Darrell Bevell’s game-plan should be set with the goal of having them somewhere in the neighborhood of 125-yards combined. This is the type of game where I wouldn’t mind seeing Lynch get 30 carries. Tate needs to step up too! On defense it will be all about big plays. The reason the Cardinals were able to keep the game in San Francisco close was because of big plays by their receivers.  Nearly half of Carson Palmer’s yardage came on two throws. A 75-yard pass to Larry Fitzgerald and a 53-yard Go-route to Brittan Golden. Golden pulled his hamstring during the game and is doubtful for Thursday. The defense should have plenty of opportunities to make big plays.  Carson Palmer has thrown at least one interception per game this season and at least two interceptions per game over the last 4. You guessed it, over the last 4 games Carson Palmer has even managed to throw more interceptions than Eli Manning. The trick for the Seahawks will be for the defensive line to break down the pocket.  Once they do they can watch Carson throw balls to the Legion of Boom all night. We Must Protect Our Balls Speaking of the ball, the Seahawks need to take better care of it this week.  I see no reason to think the Seahawks can’t be a +2 in the turnover battle. This week I’d like to focus a little energy on the Seahawks themselves.  After a few embarrassing plays last week I think it is time for them to seriously focus on limiting the mental mistakes and timely penalties. That is on everyone. Russell Wilson needs to be smarter with the football, he’s fumbling way too much and taking sacks that he really shouldn’t be taking.  Receivers, cough . . . cough. . .Sidney Rice. . .are making stupid mistakes whether it be not fighting for the ball or basically handing the ball to the defense. It’s no wonder they are so terrible on 3rd down. Golden Tate needs to stop fielding punt inside the 10-yard line.  Let’s not even get started talking about fielding punts inside the 5. Defensively the breakdowns in coverage have been maddening at times. In summation the Seahawks need to clean up their game, pressure Palmer and let him throw the game to them. Easy enough right? If they can accomplish all those things I see no reason to think the Seahawks can’t leave the desert winners.  That is something the Seahawks have struggled with in the past. My prediction is that the Seahawks win a rather close game 24-20 coming from behind in the second half. Go Hawks! CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE SEAHAWKS PAGE IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION!
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