Tuesday, November 6, 2012
NFC West Stock Watch
By Mike Sando
1. Early Doucet, Cardinals WR. Doucet dropped two passes during Arizona's 31-17 defeat at Green Bay. He has six drops through nine games, twice his total for the full 2011 season. Doucet's struggles have opened the door for rookie first-round pick Michael Floyd to command more playing time. That happened Sunday. The trend appears likely to continue.
2. Seahawks' run defense. Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore set single-game season highs for rushing yardage by wide margins in recent games against Seattle. As a result, the Seahawks have allowed 502 yards rushing over their past three games. Only New Orleans has allowed more yards rushing over that span. Seattle had allowed only 420 yards rushing through its first six games. That was the third-lowest figure behind Tampa Bay (375) and Chicago (329). Unlike Seattle, those teams had byes during that time.
3. Paris Lenon, Cardinals ILB. The Cardinals value Lenon's smarts and toughness. Lenon has not been as effective lately, however. His health could be one factor. Whatever the case, Lenon appeared to have the coverage when Green Bay's Tom Crabtree got open for a back-breaking touchdown covering 72 yards. Also, the Cardinals have now allowed at least 165 yards rushing to three of their past four opponents. They did not allow more than 115 yards in a game previously this season.
4. Ken Whisenhunt, Cardinals coach. Five consecutive defeats have dropped Whisenhunt below .500 for his regular-season coaching career. Whisenhunt now has a 44-45 record with Arizona. He's a good head coach and the team's problems lie elsewhere, in my view. But coaches are judged by their records ultimately. With a tough schedule ahead, Whisenhunt could be looking at his second losing season in three years.
1. Russell Wilson, Seahawks QB. Wilson turned in another solid performance as the Seahawks' starter, tossing three first-half touchdown passes to keep Seattle in the lead against Minnesota even though the Vikings were racking up rushing yardage. Only Peyton Manning (91.6) and Aaron Rodgers (89.0) have higher Total QBR scores than Wilson (83.1) over the past three weeks.
2. Seattle wide receivers. Golden Tate and Sidney Rice accounted for three Seattle touchdowns against the Vikings. Rice also completed a 25-yard pass to tight end Zach Miller, setting up a touchdown. Wilson has completed 21 of 25 passes for 201 yards and four touchdowns when targeting Tate and Rice over the past two weeks. Those plays have produced 13 first downs.
3. Darrell Bevell, Seahawks offensive coordinator. Bevell called an excellent game against his former team. He is playing to the strengths of the offense and his quarterback specifically. Seattle has mixed deep passes with short throws with zone runs with quarterback options to keep defenses guessing. This was a diverse offense on display against the Vikings.
4. Nate Potter, Cardinals LT. Arizona replaced left tackle D'Anthony Batiste with Potter during the Green Bay game. Whisenhunt praised Potter for playing well overall. He expects Potter to remain in the lineup following the Cardinals' bye. Potter was a seventh-round draft choice from Boise State this year. The Cardinals' line will now have an all-Boise State left side. Veteran guard Daryn Colledge also played there.