Michael Booth (@TampaTwoNFL) believes the Seahawks offence could be in for a huge day against the Cardinals
The Cardinals host the Seahawks in a week 4 match-up that is crucial at this early stage of the season for both teams. Seattle have a tough slate of games coming up in the next few weeks, and given the Rams and 49ers are both 3-0, keeping pace is the name of the game. For the Cardinals, this is a chance to save their season – In the modern playoff era, only one team has ever made the playoffs after a 0-4 start, and that was the 1992 Chargers.
Rashaad Penny and Neiko Thorpe both returned as limited participants for Thursday practice for Seattle, but it is looking unlikely that Ziggy Ansah, Ethan Pocic or Quinton Jefferson will be ready for Sunday’s game. Damian Byrd is the most notable inactive for the Cardinals heading into Week 4.
For the Cardinals, sustaining pressure on Russell Wilson is crucial. Already this season, we have seen teams get to Wilson early, and throttle the run game, before seeing adjustments by Schottenheimer leading to big scores in the second half of games. This is easier said than done, however, but will be aided by the injuries to offensive linemen for the Seahawks, and inconsistent pass protection.
Teams have had some success with the deep ball against the Seahawks, and if the Kyler Murray experience is lift off this week, it will likely be looking to expose the depth at the cornerback position. The Cardinals will need to have chunk plays if they are to win this game, and take the few opportunities Seattle’s defensive line affords them.
The Seahawks will look to dictate the pace of this game as they hope to do with the likes of Chris Carson able to rip of serious yardage when given the opportunity. Against most opponents, Seattle aim to keep the score tight and take games into the fourth quarter, but this feels like a “get-right” fixture for Seattle, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they put up 30-40 points in this game.
Wilson is not currently on pace to have a significant rushing season, especially when compared to his 849yd 2014 season, but his passer rating has never been higher. This could well be the game DK Metcalf gets multiple touchdowns, with Tyler Lockett seeing the bulk of the receptions. Could this also be the week Germain Ifedi has more total penalty yards than Seattle has in total on offense? I am being facetious of course, but it has become a significant hindrance to the progress of this offensive scheme.
There is a precedent for the Cardinals surprising the Seahawks in these games, even when they are considered the heavy underdog. The statistics for the Cardinals when hosting Seattle are not such positive reading, however. 2012 was the last time the Cardinals beat the Seahawks at home, which was the beginning of the Wilson era in Seattle (The return fixture saw Seattle cruise to a 58-0 victory).
Both sets of fans will be hoping there is no repeat of the rather dull 2016 fixture, which eventually saw two missed field goals in overtime to result in a tie game (6-6 final score).
Ones to watch
This game is also likely to be a tale of two running backs. Can David Johnson and Chris Carson kick start their seasons, as both have provided disappointing returns in the first few weeks? They are crucial elements to their respective offensive schemes. Carson had significant issues carrying the ball in the wet conditions at CenturyLink field against the Saints, and Johnson averaged just 3.4 yards per carry against the Panthers.
Seahawks 34 Cardinals 12