A way to beat the Seahawks

Posted by Darren Urban on January 31, 2014 – 2:17 pm

The Seahawks have lost just three times this season in 18 games, including the postseason. The largest margin of those losses was the seven points that separated the Cardinals and Seahawks during the Cards’ 17-10 win in Seattle in December. The Cardinals did it with a stifling defense and a good enough running game — parts that don’t particularly run parallel to the Seahawks’ Super Bowl opponent, Denver. The Broncos have been able to run and their offense was much more productive than the Cardinals (much more productive than any other team, actually), with a defense that doesn’t compare to what the Cards have.

Nevertheless, how the Cardinals knocked off the Seahawks was a demonstration in basic football. On offense, the Cards played it safe– 43 run plays, 27 pass plays — and played keep-away — time of possession was more than 37 minutes for Arizona. When the Cards did run, they were fairly effective, with their running backs gaining 142 yards on 38 carries (a not-spectacular-but-good-enough 3.7 yards a try). They often ran into the heart of the Seattle defense, not allowing the Seahawks’ speed to help run down the ballcarrier for little gain and looking to wear on them as the game went along.

Carson Palmer was only sacked twice so the protection held up most of the day. The Broncos shouldn’t have an issue since Peyton Manning is the best ever at getting the ball out quickly and to the right place almost all of the time. Palmer tried a couple times to make quick choices, but there was a reason he had four interceptions that day. Those four picks, by the way, should have cost the Cardinals the game.

They didn’t. Why? Because the Cardinals’ defense was unreal and to me, that is the ultimate hinge of this Super Bowl — can the Broncos keep Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson in check long enough to allow Manning time to get done what he needs done. Lynch got off to a decent start against the Cards that day but his production quickly fizzled, highlighted by his inability to force his way into the end zone late in the first-half after a terrible Cardinals’ turnover. The Cards’ defense stoned Lynch then, the Seahawks missed the gimme field goal, and that was a turning point.

Lynch, as everyone knows, is a pain in the rear to bring down. The Broncos have to be able to swarm, even when it looks like the play might be over. Then there is Wilson, who had probably his worst day as a pro against the Cards: 11-for-27 for only 108 yards, a touchdown but also a pick, four sacks and only two rushing attempts (for 32 yards.) Wilson was inaccurate all day, and the Cards got pressure through a Seattle offensive line that isn’t very good.

Of course, for as well as the defense did, it took some luck for the Cardinals that day as well, for instance the third-and-3 scramble out of the pocket by Palmer that led to an improbable 17-yard pass play to tight end Jake Ballard on the game-winning drive. But that drive was mostly about the run before Palmer flung his touchdown toss to Michael Floyd. One thing about Peyton Manning — he’s never forced passes when he thinks the run can work. And if it means tiring the Seattle defense/keeping Wilson off the field, I could see Manning doing that.

What I don’t think the Broncos can overcome is turnovers. The Cardinals were lucky Palmer’s picks didn’t turn into disaster. Manning’s abilities aside, the Seahawks feed off of that. But if there is a way to slow Lynch, the Seahawks’ offense has been less than dynamic of late. That, even with a great defense available, would seem to call for a close game. And in a close game, anyone can win.

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Posted in Blog | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “A way to beat the Seahawks”

  1. By D on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    Simplest breakdown of the game; it will be about matchups…S. Williams/T Knighton vs Lynch…if Denver can stop Lynch and Seattle can’t play time of possession then it’s over…Peyton will destroy Seattle’s nickel defense…Which would be great for Paris Lennon…DRC will probably sell his SB ring for comic books…

  2. By beardinals on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    Cardinals could’ve had at least 10 more points if not for inopportune INTs. They can compete in this division. Can they win .500 or more?

  3. By trakarshaitanaku on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    The Denver Offense has a marginal advantage over the Seattle Defense, the Seattle Offense has a major advantage over the Denver Defense. The Denver Offense will score less points than the Seattle Offense. Should be a good game.

  4. By Hammy on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    Only way the Seagirls win this game is if they pound the rock with Lynch and Russel Wilson doesnt turn the ball over. We know that defense is a beast in itself and they can contain Manning but not completely stop him. I think thats impossible. Peyton Manning if you are reading this blog(I highly doubt it), I want you to lose because you left us hanging a couple years ago…Shame on you! (Im actually crying inside) because we could have been in the Superbowl this year with you as our starting Quarterback! Grrrrr!! Anyways cant wait till its finally over so we can stop talking about other teams not named the Arizona Cardinals! Offseason here we go!

  5. By ored on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    i see each team trying to be physical to set the tone,both have had success doing just that,that’s what seattle hangs their hat on so denver has to match that.denver needs to turn seattle over and get a short field.seattle needs to grind on denver and convert on 3rd downs and keep drives alive.

    if denver gets turnovers or chunk plays for quick points,it may take seattle out of their plan.too bad von millers out,he could be a big piece.

  6. By Eazy E on Feb 1, 2014 | Reply

    I disagree with you Darren about the Seattle O-Line. They have a very good O-Line. From Okung to Giacomini, it is pretty damn good. I think along with most people the game will be awesome and you can legitimately say these are the 2 best teams not only by seed but they beat the best teams in their respective conferences with wins over New Orleans and San Fran, and San Diego and New England. #Seattle 24-21

  7. By 'Zona Fan on Feb 1, 2014 | Reply

    Here’s how to beat the Seahawks – punch those suckers in the mouth with a punishing D like we did back in December! And put those cocky Seachicken DB’s in their place with a couple big throws down the stretch. Palmer to Floyd anyone?? Go Cards!!

  8. By red bird of death! on Feb 2, 2014 | Reply

    How awesome was watching the hawks reaction after that game!

  9. By Dr. G. on Feb 2, 2014 | Reply

    OK! It’s game day… My guess is that the Seattle corners will have nothing to scream into the mic about after the game… because Manning will dink and dunk on crossing patterns and quick in/out routes all game. If the corners want to play, they will have to jam up near the line…and then Manning will go long on them.

    Today, it is Wisdom vs Happy Feet… Wilson has kept the Seahawks’ play alive by running and running… Today, this QB plan will be marginalized….

    The run game will be very valuable for both sides today….

  10. By Dr. G. on Feb 2, 2014 | Reply

    A sappy patriot am I. Renee Fleming did a fine job honoring AMERICA! She did not make it about herself…just true professionalism with the Anthem.

    Christina Aguilera humiliated us when she made it all about herself while rambling random words not part of the Anthem.

    Game time! Later………

  11. By Scott H on Feb 3, 2014 | Reply

    Well, congrats to the Seahawks on their SB win. They looked AWESOME in that game. You could say that the Broncos really didn’t show up, and I think that is partially accurate. But maybe they DID show up…and maybe the Seahawks were just that much better.

    So, enjoy your SB win, Seahawks. And let the SB hangover begin.

    And don’t forget that the last team to put you on your ass was the Arizona Cardinals. You might have scared the Broncos. But you don’t scare us.

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