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Week 10 Game Recap: Seattle Seahawks 22, Arizona Cardinals 16
What you need to know
CJ Prosise got hurt again and doesn't look like he'll be a contributor for a while, if at all this year. Richard Sherman went down with an achilles rupture and the Seahawks games could be more high-scoring for it. The running game is stuck in neutral, but it didn't boost the passing game. Jimmy Graham
continued to be a red zone force and should be the first option when the end zone is in striking distance.
If the loss itself is not a nail in the coffin of the Cardinals 2017 season, the injuries that took place likely will be. DJ Humphries, the team’s only good offensive linemen, likely tore his ACL. Tyvon Branch too suffered a knee injury, TE Ifeanyi Momah
likely broke his ankle too. The Seahawks lost a fair share of players Thursday evening as well, including Richard Sherman, once again bringing to light the health and safety issues Thursday Night Football presents. In a season in which the league has been decimated by injuries, you simply have to wonder how this is worth it for players or fans.
|QB Russell Wilson, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 32 - 238 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 19 - 0|
Wilson made the most of three or four big plays on the day. Two were short TD throws to Jimmy Graham
: on each play, he got the mismatch he wanted, with Graham towering over a DB and easily outmaneuvering him in the end zone to make the catch. One other was to Paul Richardson
, taking advantage of his speed; and finally, the highlight of the game, after quite possibly his longest scramble of the season, Wilson tossed one toward the sideline and found Doug Baldwin
– who actually drew a blocking assignment on the initial play – who leapt for it and subsequently turned it into a 54 yard gain. For most of the game, he had a hard time finding an open receiver in the face of a formidable Cardinals secondary. In the end, Wilson’s patience won the day. Rather than make risky throws, he kept it simple and did just enough for the victory. The Cardinals also did a good job of containing him as a runner.
|RB Thomas Rawls, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 27 - 0, Rec: 2 - 12 - 0 (2 targets)|
Rawls had the lead back duties all to himself for a change. Unfortunately, the Seattle offense is not yet ready to open holes up for him, so he didn’t do much with the chance. He looked all right on his one long carry, which gave him most of his yards on the day. On that play, and ONLY on that play, suddenly the line opened up a running lane for him. We’re far enough into the season to say that try as they may, the Seahawks are simply unable to establish a consistent running game. Consider Rawls a desperation play only, even if he’s the primary ballcarrier.
|RB J.D. McKissic, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 26 - 0, Rec: 4 - 20 - 0 (5 targets)|
McKissic remains the most intriguing option out of the backfield, but currently doesn’t get enough carries to be a difference maker. What is promising is that he was a target or ball carrier on half of the snaps that he played (10-of-20), and caught 4 of 5 targets. He’s easily the fastest RB on the team but isn’t suited to inside running due to his size. On the other hand, the Seattle line can’t seem to create any holes inside, so that’s a moot point. It would be interesting to see the Seahawks commit to him for a game, running outside and throwing him the ball. He often played passing downs and lined up outside, so his skills there are for real. Still a very deep speculation pick.
|WR Doug Baldwin, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 95 - 0 (6 targets)|
Baldwin had a slow start to the season but has really picked up his game over the past 4 matchups. In this one, he was at first relied on only for short gains in the first half. Later on, he two bigger chances, in each case, after a long scramble by Russell Wilson
. The first was incomplete, but the second was clearly the play of the game. As Wilson flashed his now patented scrambling skills out of the pocket, Baldwin left his blocking assignment and got open as Wilson desperately tossed one his way. The catch surprised everyone, including maybe Baldwin as well, who then turned it into a 54-yard gain.
Richardson was questionable heading into the match. Though he was pronounced active before the game, for much of it, one had to wonder if he was on the field at all. Despite being on the field for thirty snaps, he only saw two targets. On the first, he had excellent position on a slant pattern but the defender got a hand in the way to knock the ball out. The good news is that he made the most of his one catch, a timely big play of 43 yards just before the half. And on the catch, he blew by the defenders with an awesome show of speed, so the groin injury did not appear to be slowing him down. Richardson is a bit of an enigma; clearly capable of bigger games, but in the Seahawks “WRBC”, he is merely a small part of a well-oiled machine.
|WR Tyler Lockett, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (2 targets)|
Lockett seemed more visible than usual, possibly due to Paul Richardson
nursing a groin injury – but in the end, he only had the one catch on two targets, same as Richardson. Lockett did have a chance at a deep ball, but the coverage was simply too good for him to bring it in. Lockett and Richardson are both talented and are essentially sharing the productivity of one receiver, dampening each of their values considerably.
|TE Jimmy Graham, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 27 - 2 (9 targets)|
Graham made a series of short catches, none of which were anything to write home about, except… two of them were touchdown catches. The Seahawks know what they have in Graham, and he was the first play call on both red zone drives. They got the mismatch they wanted (Graham vs. ANY DB, since they simply can’t overcome his size differential), and Graham capitalized, twice. He is also quite capable of big yardage games, but even with the small total, it doesn’t get much better than this at the TE position.
|QB Drew Stanton, 80 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 47 - 273 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0|
Stanton put forth a truly admirable performance Thursday night. Scrambling frequently and taking hits often, Stanton gave full effort to provide enough of an offensive spark to overcome the division rival. The combination of injuries, poor offensive play around him, and his own shortcomings unfortunately prevented that from happening. Stanton’s biggest issue, his inaccuracy, plagued him early and often, but far too often his supporting cast failed to help their Quarterback. Whether it was the makeshift offensive line, now without DJ Humphries, who was lost to a knee injury in the first quarter, or the receiving corps dropping nearly every contested catch, Stanton was consistently failed by those around him. The Cardinals were always going to have to play near perfect to walk away with a win, a tall order considering the team’s overall health and talent, but it remains disappointing to see a backup quarterback at least attempt to rise to the occasion while so many of the team’s starters never could.
|RB Adrian Peterson, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 21 - 29 - 0, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (2 targets)|
Peterson fumbled away the team’s opening possession and that set the ton for the offense all night. Coming off a career high 37 carries, there was not as much indication Peterson was worn out as the offensive line simply could not open any holes. Peterson’s paltry 1.4 yards per carry shows just how little room the running back had. Peterson later failed to escape the end zone, a play resulting in a safety, but much of the blame there can be directed towards the punt team who opted to filed a punt at the two-yard line.
Despite a few uncharacteristic drops, Fitzgerald was the only offensive player put forth an actually impressive game. On a night in which Fitzgerald made history, becoming the sixth player in NFL history to amass 15,000 receiving yards, Fitzgerald was the same strong and dependable target he always is. Despite so few other receiving options, Fitzgerald continues to beat defenders and find holes in zone coverage. Fitzgerald’s 14 targets doubled the next closest receiver, by far making him Stanton’s preferred target. The majority of Fitzgerald’s damage was done working the middle, intermediate area of the field; one of the few areas Stanton thrives throwing to. As the team has crumbled around him, Fitzgerald continues to produce as he always has.
|WR John Brown, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 27 - 0 (6 targets)|
Brown was an utter non-factor in the game, but by default of playing on such an unproductive receiving corps, managed to earn the group’s second-most targets. As has been the case all season, Brown failed to do anything with those opportunities. The failures were not all on Brown; Stanton was never really close on any of his deep balls which Brown was often the target for, but the once game-changing threat is nothing more than an afterthought at this point.
Every season Gresham has a few games that he rises above his usual play and puts on a bit of a show. Thursday night was one of those games for Gresham, scoring the team’s only “real” touchdown, and providing Stanton with an important security blanket all even long. Gresham finished second on the team in targets, receptions and yards, and his first quarter touchdown kept the team in the game far longer than anyone anticipated. That play, a simple tight end screen, saw the Cardinals taking advantage of an active Seattle pass rush allowing Gresham to all but waltz into the end zone for the score. In typical Gresham fashion, he later dropped what could have been another touchdown, but credit where due Gresham played one of his better games of the season.