Sunday, September 25, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Seahawks 13, Cardinals 10
By Mike Sando
SEATTLE -- Thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks' 13-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field in Week 3:
What it means: The Cardinals and Seahawks are tied with1-2 records, one game behind the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West.
What I liked: Both offensive lines generally fared well clearing lanes in the ground game. Seattle was markedly improved in this area. Arizona fared better than expected, save for short-yardage situations, given Beanie Wells' unavailability stemming from a hamstring injury suffered Friday. Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson did a much better job using his mobility to scramble. He finally found a passing rhythm during a 14-play, 72-yard drive that ended with Jackson diving into defenders and across the goal line. Sidney Rice topped 100 yards in his Seattle debut, and the secondary made timely plays, including interceptions by Marcus Trufant and safety Kam Chancellor. For the Cardinals, quarterback Kevin Kolb found receiver Larry Fitzgerald for a memorable 28-yard scoring reception against double coverage. Kolb was retreating to his left and threw a jump ball off his back foot from the Seattle 27-yard line. Fitzgerald made his leaping grab about five yards deep in the end zone.
What I didn't like: Kolb couldn't get much going for too long during the second half. He also blew a scoring chance before halftime when throwing aggressively to Fitzgerald, only to have Seattle's Trufant break on the ball for an interception. He threw another interception with the game on the line in the fourth quarter. Turnovers in those situations were costly because the game was so close. For Seattle, the offense continued to struggle despite occasional signs of life. Procedural penalties kept setting back Seattle. Jackson's fumbled shotgun snap in the fourth quarter was costly and could have been disastrous if Arizona had recovered. Neither team got the ball to its 2010 receiving leaders enough. Fitzgerald had five catches for 64 yards. Mike Williams, who caught 22 passes against Arizona last season, had none Sunday.
For the record: Fitzgerald's first-half touchdown reception was the 67th of his career, breaking Roy Green's franchise record. Also, Cardinals tight end Todd Heap moved past Ben Coates into 14th place on the NFL's all-time receiving yardage list for tight ends. Jeremy Shockey, Riley Odoms and Mike Ditka stand immediately ahead of Heap on the list and within striking distance this season, although Shockey continues to improve his totals.
Okung's infractions: Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung entered Week 3 leading NFL players in most penalties, accepted or declined. He continued to have penalty problems in this game, possibly an indication he isn't playing with full confidence after suffering repeated ankle injuries.
Injuries of note: Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington returned from a calf injury and started. Teammates Richard Marshall, Heap and Levi Brown returned to the game after suffering injuries. Cardinals linebacker Paris Lenon aggravated a groin injury and left the game.
What's next: The Cardinals are home against the New York Giants. The Seahawks are home against the Atlanta Falcons.