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Week 4 Game Recap: Seattle Seahawks 20, Arizona Cardinals 17


What you need to know

Seattle Seahawks

Since when did the Seahawks become a run first team? For the past two weeks, they have boasted 100-yard rushers (Chris Carson last week, and now Mike Davis). While this may be good for the overall fortunes of the Seahawks, it is most likely bad news for anyone who invested in the passing attack fantasy-wise. Russell Wilsonís usual heroics took a back seat to a conservative approach, both on the ground and in the air. Back in action was WR Doug Baldwin, who proved to be a favored target once again, but still only made short gains on conservative routes.

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals made positive steps in Week 4, Josh Rosenís first NFL start. While they did not secure the home win against division rival Arizona, they showed promise on offense thanks to Rosenís mobility, accuracy, and willingness to pull the trigger on intermediate and deeper routes. Also, David Johnson was back on track with 112 total yards. The keyword is optimism with Josh Rosen under center, who showed poise and accuracy, through a few critical drops by receivers, down to the final snap.

Seattle Seahawks

QB Russell Wilson, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 26 - 172 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 21 - 0
We can stop short at calling Wilson a Ďgame managerí in this one, but itís close. The ground game was working nicely, and the passing game was fairly conservative Ė at least by Russell Wilson standards. Taking a cue from last week, Wilson had most of his success with short, quick reads, which meant that he didnít even try to get the ball far downfield. He did his share of trademark scrambling, but again, never looked very far downfield on those plays. The plays that made a difference wonít show up on the score sheet: a nice little shovel pass to Mike Davis to escape a sure sack; Staying with the play after a Mike Davis handoff and laying a key down block on the TD run. Wilson spread the ball out well to all receivers and backs; with Doug Baldwin returned from injury, Wilson leaned on him slightly more heavily but not by much.

RB Mike Davis, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 21 - 101 - 2, Rec: 4 - 23 - 0 (4 targets)
Davis filled in for the injured Chris Carson, and was leaned on heavily right from the start. He looked good following his blockers Ė in fact, the blocking itself looked better than usual -- finding open spaces that Carson typically hadnít, which led to 23 yards on his first three carries. Itís likely that a time share was planned with Rashaad Penny, but he became the Ďhot handí and garnered most of the carries. Davis had a goal line TD called back due to an illegal formation, but got another opportunity on the same drive and powered through for the score. He was fast enough to take it outside with success, and showed enough straight ahead power for short yardage gains. In the 4th quarter, he hadnít lost any steam. He picked up a 15 yard gain on a screen pass, and on a shorter run, broke two tackles, which gained him five yards instead of taking a loss. Another positive is that is that he was effective when called on to pass block. With Carson back next week, itís hard to say who will get most of the carries, but Davis made the most of his opportunity and will likely be a part of the committee, at the very least.

RB Rashaad Penny, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 49 - 0
Penny came in as a change of pace for starter Mike Davis, and looked fast as he scooted through a hole up the middle on his first carry for nine yards. In the second quarter, he got an extended look on a drive and this time worked patiently and found a nice little seam outside to break through for a first down. Late in the game, Penny showed he can excel in short yardage situations as well, gaining a first down on a draw play out of the shotgun, when he again showed good vision and patience in waiting for the right moment to make his move. Skewing his numbers was a loss of 10 yards due to botched pitch. Also of note: Penny seems to have taken over kickoff return duties.

WR Tyler Lockett, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 53 - 0 (6 targets)
This would mark Lockettís first game of the season in which he did not score. In addition to giving way on kickoff returns to Rashaad Penny, Lockett did not see much work in the first half as a receiver, either. Near the end of the half, he made a short reception, and in the second half was a little busier, but it was nothing to write home about. The highlight was a short gain on a screen pass, as the Seahawks passing game was extremely conservative. His targets were in line with other three games this season, but unlike those games, he was afforded no downfield opportunities.

WR Doug Baldwin, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 41 - 0 (7 targets)
Baldwinís first action this year was a mixed bag of results. On one hand, he didnít seem hampered by his injury; but on the other, he didnít do anything to distinguish himself either. His catches were of the shorter variety, a quick slant, and another in which he found an opening and made the catch after a little bit of scrambling by Wilson. The big pluses are that he seems healthy going forward, and heís lost no love from QB Russell Wilson, and still appears to be his favored target. His couple of missed targets were hard to reach passes, so donít read into that too much. Going forward, Baldwin should still be as reliable as they come.

WR Brandon Marshall, 24 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (3 targets)
With Doug Baldwin returning, Marshall was mainly counted on for underneath routes, limiting his already thin fantasy value further to being touchdown dependent. He was twice targeted in end zone but was well covered each time.

TE Will Dissly, 8 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets)
Dissly made a short catch at the start of the game, showing that he was definitely still a part of the passing game. But he would later be carted off the field, with what is being called a patella tendon injury, which is likely a long term injury.

TE Nick Vannett, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (2 targets)
Vannett was an end zone target in the third quarter, when his diving attempt at the ball drew an important Pass Interference call. But even with Will Dissly out of the game, Vanett was never a true receiving threat in this offense.


Arizona Cardinals

QB Josh Rosen, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 15 - 27 - 180 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 13 - 0
Rosenís first NFL start was a positive, especially looking through the lens of beyond the box score. Rosen was accurate, mobile, and decisive for an offense previously flat-lining for much of three games under Sam Bradford. The offensive line issues remains in Week 4, but Rosen persevered through three critical dropped passes and pressure from Seattleís defensive front. Rosen was bold downfield, including hyper-accurate throws to Chad Williams into double coverage (reviewed Williams was just out of bounds), J.J. Nelson (dropped pass), and two deep throws to Ricky Seals-Jones, all 20 or more yards downfield. Rosen was even let down by the kicker with a missed game-winning field goal attempt after driving the field to take the lead late in the game. The key word is optimism after Rosenís first start, showing the tools to lead the offense in a positive direction and sustain David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, and Ricky Seals-Jones as key contributors.

RB David Johnson, 55 offensive snaps, Rush: 22 - 71 - 1, Rec: 3 - 41 - 0 (4 targets)
After topping out at 16 touches in a game through three weeks, David Johnson was the foundation back of the offense in Week 4 with 25 touches and 112 total yards. While Arizona still showed limitations as a passing offense, Johnson exhibited strong cuts on multiple chunk runs of 10+ yards, finding the backside of the play. Johnson converted his lone short-range opportunity with a goal line touchdown and utilized quality blocking for 30+ yards on a screen reception. On the negative side, Johnson lost a fumble and the sustaining element to Johnsonís production for the offense was lacking as his few chunk plays were surrounded by tough-sledding due to the lacking run-blocking offensive line. The best news for Johnson is the overall volume (25 touches) and season-high 41 receiving yards, both staples to his game.

WR Christian Kirk, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0, Rec: 4 - 28 - 0 (5 targets)
After Kirkís breakout Week 3 (90 yards), he led Arizona with four catches against the Seahawks. On the positive side, Kirk ran a variety of routes and showed yards-after-catch acumen with a third down screen conversion and on a speed crossing route. Kirk also drew a defensive pass interference penalty on a deep end zone target beyond the box score. Kirk did drop a pass to prevent a bigger game. With Josh Rosen under the center, the entire offense saw a boost in Week 4. Kirk will see a much better matchup in Week 5 against the vulnerable San Francisco secondary.

WR Larry Fitzgerald, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 28 - 0 (7 targets)
Fitzgerald was one of the Arizona skill position options not to take advantage of Josh Rosenís uptick as the new starter at quarterback. Fitzgerald logged two uncharacteristic drops amidst his seven targets and in general struggled to separate, primarily over the middle of the field. Fitzgeraldís lone highlight came on a third down contested snare of a Josh Rosen fastball. After three down games in a row, Fitzgerald gets the suspect 49ers coverage unit in Week 5.

TE Ricky Seals-Jones, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 52 - 0 (4 targets)
Seals-Jones was silent until late in the third quarter against Seattle. While Seals-Jones added a drop in the game, he also corralled two of Josh Rosenís best throws on a deep sideline route and a corner route, both times exhibiting quality ball skills. Seals-Jones, a converted wide receiver, is at his best when making a play above the rim and down the field. With Rosen under center, expect Seals-Jones to be at his best with more downfield opportunities.