Here are three impressions of Seattle’s 35-6 win over Arizona from beat writers Jayson Jenks and Bob Condotta. First, Jenks:
1, So about that talk about Seattle’s offense…It was just earlier this week that so much of the talk about this game centered on whether the Seahawks’ offense would be able to do anything against the Cardinals’ talented defense. But with an offensive line playing two backups, and without one of their top receivers for most of the game in Jermaine Kearse (hamstring injury), the Seahawks set a franchise record with 596 yards of offense. The Seahawks did it in all phases — on the ground with the running backs, with Russell Wilson’s legs, with quick passes and with deep shots down the field. It was a crisp and efficient game for the offense, except for the penalties. But it showed more than anything that against a good defense, Seattle doesn’t just have to rely on its defense.
2, Tight end Luke Willson showed the trait the Seahawks covet most in him. When the Seahawks drafted Willson in the fifth round two years ago, the one thing they talked so much about was his ability to stretch the field with his speed. Willson had shown that trait in bits and pieces, but he highlighted it against the Cardinals. He had three catches for 139 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown, and two touchdowns. The Seahawks need a deep threat in the middle of the field, and Willson has the potential to provide that. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds at his pro day, and he is so big and strong that defensive backs have a hard time bringing him down. He could be a game-changer for Seattle’s offense if he can play like he did against Arizona.
3, Russell Wilson had one of his most efficient games. Wilson was so quick with his decision-making, something Seattle’s coaches have wanted him to do more of. He read Arizona’s blitzes, knew where guys were coming from and got the ball to the right receivers at the right time. As good as Wilson is at scrambling and creating havoc with his legs, he can sometimes look to do that too much when the offense calls for him to get the ball out quickly. He did just that against the Cardinals. “He knew where people were coming so he was able to put the ball…If they came through the right, he replaced them with the ball,” offensive line coach Tom Cable said. “That’s throwing the football at this level. That’s blitz protection. Kudos to him because he did a nice job of throwing in the void. That’s what we’ve been missing, and he’s been great tonight, and those kids blocked the rest of them, which was cool. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
1. So Marshawn Lynch doesn’t look done, does he? No, he certainly doesn’t. He also doesn’t look like someone who is really thinking of retiring. But with Lynch, it’s probably still best to enjoy the present and worry about the future later. The present, as we saw tonight, remains as good as ever. Lynch is now up to 1,246 yards for the season, averaging 4.7 yards per carry, second-best of his career (5.0 in 2012 — he was at 4.2 last season). The offense looked okay early without Lynch — 103 rushing yards in the first quarter including 48 on 10 carries from Christine Michael and Robert Turbin. And you wonder how that first quarter might factor into evaluations made after the season. But it all went to a different level once Lynch got back in there.
2. Is there any reason to worry about Steven Hauschka? Probably not. He said there was no real reason for the misses, just a bad day at the office. Maybe it’s the Cardinals — his one bad miss a year ago came in the home game against Arizona, a 27-yarder. On this night, the misses were indicative that the special teams seems to be the one area still lagging behind a bit while the defense and offense have gone under fairly significant resurgences the last month.
3. The receivers quietly had a nice day. It was pretty easy to lose sight of the day Doug Baldwin had — seven catches for 113 yards, his second-most of the season. Paul Richardson also had a career-high five catches for 52. He may still not be quite turning in the kind of explosive plays that many anticipated when he was drafted. But he is beginning to make an every-week impact, something the Seahawks will need to see continue going forward.