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Last weeks Tale of the Tape told us the Redskins were a tougher matchup than Seahawks fans wanted to acknowledge. This week it tells us the Seahawks should crush the Cardinals. There is one specific aspect of Arizona’s game that could lead to an upset if the Seahawks do not patch what has become a serious issue.

The way this works: Each offense will be pitted against the opposing defense and compared on an array of key statistical attributes based on their respective rank in the NFL. The tables that follow show the rank of each unit for each of these categories. 

This series is sponsored by Sarah Heath, a huge Seahawks fan and Hawk Blogger patron. Please thank her by checking out her site and consider working with her on your next home purchase or sale in the Seattle area. She will donate an additional $500 to Ben’s Fund for every closed transaction!

Seahawks Offense vs Cardinals Defense

This Cardinals defense is not what it once was. Calais Campbell has taken his talents to Jacksonville. Young pass rusher Markus Golden is out for the season with an injury. Tony Jefferson left for Baltimore. Before facing the lowly 49ers offense, this group had given up over 30 points in three straight games. In fact, take out the two games against San Francisco, and the Cardinals have given up 28 points or more to four straight non-49er opponents, “good” for 32 points per game. The only teams not score 28 or more points against this defense are the Colts and the 49ers. That’s it.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks offense is now ranked fourth in the NFL in yards per game. That is mind-boggling, considering how frustrating that group has been to watch for most of the season. There is every reason to think this is a mismatch on this side of the ball, but let’s take a closer look.

Cardinals key advantages on defense

Arizona is a stout run defense. Most teams have hurt them primarily through the air, but they have held up against the run. Seattle struggles in this aspect of their game, but did show some signs against Washington. Given that Seattle still seems to have no idea who they are on offense, Arizona could benefit from Seattle getting too pig-headed about running the football and matching their weakness to Arizona’s strength.

Chandler Jones is a great pass rusher. He probably will line up opposite Duane Brown, which is a great relief for Seattle, but should they choose to flip him over to the left side to face Germain Ifedi, that could be an issue. Corey Peters has played well this year at defensive tackle and could give Ethan Pocic trouble.

 

Seahawks key advantages on offense

 

Arizona has struggled mightily on third downs and in the red zone. Seattle has been at its best on third down. That could be a pivotal factor today. Similarly, the Seahawks passing offense has been productive and explosive. Those are two things the Cardinals have had trouble contending with.

Given the Seahawks improved and still improving pass protection, and the Cardinals limited options rushing the passer, look for Arizona to take chances with aggressive blitzes. That could open up the opportunities for big plays for Seattle.

 

 

Cardinals Offense vs Seahawks Defense

Without Carson Palmer or David Johnson, this offense is severely limited. They have talented receivers, but Drew Stanton has a tendency to throw to the wrong team. Adrian Peterson has put up some big rushing yards, but not against a good defense. Arizona’s offensive line is significantly worse than the Seahawks. That is true by almost all measures. The lack of Earl Thomas is always a factor, but Seattle should have what it needs to dominate. One thing, though, could undo them.

 

Cardinals key advantages on offense

Stanton is not a good quarterback, but he can hit the deep ball and Bruce Arians will always throw it. They have the receivers to get behind defenses and the Seahawks have struggled lately to contain the explosive pass play. It doomed them in the end against a Redskins team they should have held below 10 points.

The secondary cannot let the Cardinals have repeated success getting behind them. Keep the Cardinals from getting meaningful deep passes and this game likely will not be close. Fail to do that, and Seattle could lose it.

Seahawks key advantages on defense

This is a game where the Seahawks defense has enough of an advantage, and the Cardinals are desperate enough to create big plays, that Seattle should get some turnovers. The Seahawks pas rush is gaining steam. Dwight Freeney has been fantastic through two games, and Seattle welcomes Dion Jordan to the mix tonight. The Seahawks defensive line should win this game, with some help from the like of Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright.

 

Special Teams

Seahawks kicking vs Cardinals returning

 

 

Cardinals kicking vs Seahawks returning

Arizona has struggled a ton in punt coverage. Could this be the game Tyler Lockett breaks out?

 

 

 

Thanks to Sarah Heath and Chris Rood for sponsoring this series!

8 Responses

  1. Kurt Z

    Without Earl Thomas, Stanton will probably have a couple TDs, but he will throw a three pix and maybe one goes to the house. If the Cardinals get down early, this could get ugly.

    Russ loves playing down in the desert. He’ll be warmed up early and even though he won’t hit on much at first, we are a settle-for-field goals-dont-turn-the ball-over-offense historically under Pete Carroll, I think we overwhelm this team like we did with the Colts. 42-17.

    Reply
  2. Carroll & Co: adapt or fail

    After Sunday’s pathetic performance, I think it’s safe to assume all Hawks’ fans, players, and coaches expect a crushing victory tonight. Anything less than a 20-point victory will be disappointing.

    Reply
  3. Uncle Bob

    Okay, so most of the stats, and a lot of the popular belief is that the Seahawks should win this one. The usual stuff, they do well in the desert, backup qb, everybody hates BA, and so on. All stacks up as close to a sure thing……………….hmmmm……….just like last week.

    Now it’s official, Earl is definitely out for this one. You’d think none of the other 23 starters know how to play the game the way his loss is depicted. Look, he’s da best free safety out there…….no doubt to me. But if we can’t scheme to play well without him, particularly with a quality player like McDougald in there, we don’t deserve to be on the field at all.

    Since so much of the feelings about the outcome of any game are based on expectations you’ve got two choices: hope this is the one game per season where Prosise shows what he could be if he could stay healthy, or just accept that the Hawks are doomed to defeat.

    Yeah I’m messin’ with ya a bit, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a Seahawk victory tonight is as ugly as their color rush uniforms.

    Reply
  4. Wigman

    Who has more? Blair Walsh points? Rawls carries? Or penilety flags on hawks? Bet your life. I will be positive and say Walsh takes it with 9. If it’s the others it’s a likey loss. Go.hawks. cut lacy

    Reply
  5. Wigman

    Congrats to the NFL. For 45 years I have been almost a psychotic fan. I have seen every Seahawks game . Ric Mirer years when we could not play and had no chance of winning. I loved every loss. Tonight’s game was a travesty. The team I love was the best team on the field tonight and they won. Still no joy. Competitive advantage is gone. The best play is Russell failing to throw the ball out of bounds. Waiting for a yellow rectangle to light up on 3rd down is not entertainment. Does the NFL not hear the boos from fans because they see the obvious effort made to keep games close. Perfect job by the stripes the right team won but they got it down to a on sides kick. Am I expected not to notice that flags stop being thrown in 4th quarters. It’s not just hawks games and it has ruined one thing I used to love My passion has turned to frustration. It used to be almost impossible to see but with replay and how educated fans are it’s not difficult to see that automatic first down is really likely on 3rd and 14 early in games when you are down at home. Not sure what to do. One thing for sure is trying to run the ball in today’s NFL is pointless the end is all that matters . Wig out.

    Reply

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