NFC West: Tom Crabtree

Where Seahawks' pass game hits groove

December, 8, 2012
12/08/12
12:00
PM ET
Our Friday look at the St. Louis Rams' deep passing game required sorting quarterback production by how far passes traveled past the line of scrimmage.

The Rams' Sam Bradford was more effective than most on passes traveling more than 35 yards past the line, for example.

In filtering passes by distance, I noticed a sweet spot for Seattle's Russell Wilson between 16 and 25 yards downfield.

Wilson leads the NFL in passer rating and Total QBR on passes traveling that distance. He attempted only one of them against Arizona in Week 1, completing it for a 27-yard gain while going into two-minute mode shortly before halftime. The Seahawks were conservative in their handling of the rookie quarterback in that game. They're giving him more of the playbook heading into a Week 14 rematch with Arizona.

Arizona's defense ranks second in passer rating allowed and fourth in QBR allowed. The team Wilson dissected last week, Chicago, ranks higher in both. And as the chart shows, the Cardinals' defense has had problems defending passes thrown in the 16-25 range where Wilson has flourished. Arizona has allowed pass plays of 25-plus yards on these throws to Tom Crabtree, Roddy White, Lance Kendricks, Wes Welker, Brent Celek, James Jones, Zach Miller, Harry Douglas and Vernon Davis.

Sidney Rice leads the Seahawks with 10 receptions for 222 yards and a touchdown on these throws. Miller has seven catches for 165 yards on them, followed by Golden Tate with three for 93 yards, Doug Baldwin with three for 62 yards, Ben Obomanu with two for 52 yards and Anthony McCoy with two for 42.

Rice had four catches for 36 yards and a touchdown against Arizona in Week 1.

Wrap-up: Packers 31, Cardinals 17

November, 4, 2012
11/04/12
4:19
PM ET

Thoughts on the Arizona Cardinals' 31-17 defeat to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Week 9:

What it means: The Cardinals fell to 4-5 with their fifth consecutive defeat. The slope appears to get more slippery following a Week 10 bye. The team visits the Atlanta Falcons to kick off a four-game stretch featuring three road games. Running back Beanie Wells is expected to return Nov. 25, but the Cardinals' troubles go beyond one player. Even their defense is sagging. Arizona has allowed 17, 19, 21, 24 and 31 points during its slide.

What I liked: Arizona's defense held the Packers to a three-and-out and missed field goal after Green Bay opened its first possession from the Cardinals' 20-yard line. Defensive ends Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett shared a sack to set back the Packers on that drive. Receiver Larry Fitzgerald's diving effort to cap his 31-yard scoring reception gave Arizona life in the second half. Andre Roberts had a 40-yard reception, Michael Floyd had a 37-yarder and Rob Housler had a 22-yarder. The Cardinals downed four of Dave Zastudil's punts inside the Green Bay 20-yard line. The coaching staff gave rookie Nate Potter a chance at left tackle. Potter had issues, but this was a good time to give him reps. Quarterback John Skelton took only two sacks, a low number for Arizona.

What I didn't like: The Cardinals gave up four touchdown passes to Aaron Rodgers, including two to Randall Cobb. And when Tom Crabtree slipped behind inside linebacker Paris Lenon for a 72-yard scoring grab in the second half, the Cardinals were pretty much finished. The Arizona ground game continued to struggle without Wells and Ryan Williams. LaRod Stephens-Howling and William Powell found little room to run. Early Doucet continued to struggle with dropped passes. The two he dropped gave him six drops for the season, twice his total for 2011. Outside linebacker O'Brien Schofield suffered an injured ankle. Patrick Peterson averaged only 4.8 yards per punt return. He has zero returns for touchdowns after getting four as a rookie in 2011. The Cardinals, meanwhile, allowed a 28-yard return and 15.3-yard average to Cobb.

What's next: The Cardinals have a bye before visiting the Falcons in Week 11.

MNF inactives: Jennings in, Baldwin out

September, 24, 2012
9/24/12
7:27
PM ET
SEATTLE -- Receiver news highlighted the players Seattle and Green Bay named inactive for their Monday night game.

The Packers will have Greg Jennings, who had missed the team's most recent game after suffering a groin injury. Seattle will play without Doug Baldwin, who had been listed as questionable with a shoulder injury.

Baldwin led the Seahawks in receiving last season, but the Seahawks have targeted him only six times this season, completing three passes for 13 yards. Sidney Rice leads Seattle in targets with 13, followed by Braylon Edwards with eight. Golden Tate returned from a knee injury last week and was targeted four times, catching three passes for 38 yards.

Seattle named Baldwin, Jaye Howard, James Carpenter, Byron Maxwell, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Danny Gorrer and Winston Guy inactive for this game. The Packers' inactive list featured Jarrett Boykin, Sean Richardson, Davon House, James Starks, Terrell Manning, Jamari Lattimore and Tom Crabtree.

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