SEAHAWKS/CARDINALS PREVIEW PART II: What A Seahawks Win Might Look Like
Seattle and Arizona may be in the same division, but they are not in the same league. Arizona is a very bad team, one of the worst in the NFL. Their 3-2 record is so deceiving, somebody should sue them for fraud. Look at their three victories.
They managed to win in St. Louis–something they deserve credit for since Seattle couldn’t manage it–but turned the ball over four times. Their 24-23 home win against Oakland included a Cardinals special teams touchdown and easy missed field goals that would have won the game for the Raiders. The Cardinals were out-gained against the Raiders by a margin 364 yards to 227, including only 108 yards of passing. Their “statement” victory over New Orleans featured 194 yards of offense, zero offensive touchdowns, a 65 QB rating for their starter, and 1.7 YPC for their running game.
The Cardinals rank 30th in the NFL in passing offense, 29th in rushing offense, 26th in defending the pass, and 29th in defending the run. Both of their quarterbacks sport QB ratings below 60. Their two losses have been by the combined score of 82-17. Football Outsiders DVOA rankings have Arizona as the worst team in the NFL, below Buffalo. This is a bad team.
Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett should be licking their chops looking at a team that allows an average of 140 yards rushing/game. Of Seattle’s five opponents so far, only Denver comes close to being this bad against the run. The Seahawks enjoyed a season-high 5.5 YPC against the Broncos, in Denver, without Russell Okung or Marshawn Lynch.
Arizona is tied for 5th in the NFL with seven interceptions, but if Matt can be patient, he will find options. The Cardinals are 26th in the NFL in sacks with only eight.
The 12th man is going to be at peak volume early and often. Seattle’s new bandit defense and blitz packages will be going against a team that has given up the 3rd most sacks in the NFL, even though they have only played five games. To put that in perspective, the Bears are worst in the NFL at 4.5 sacks allowed/game. The Cardinals are allowing 3.8 sacks/game. Get out your slide rule because there could be some crooked sack numbers put up on Sunday.
As long as the Seahawks take this game seriously, it will be a comfortable victory. If they play like they did against Chicago, this game will be over by the 2nd quarter.