Seattle Seahawks logoSeattle Seahawks

5 Things We Learned from Seattle Seahawks' 23-20 OT Loss to Arizona Cardinals

Darin PikeContributor IJanuary 1, 2012

5 Things We Learned from Seattle Seahawks' 23-20 OT Loss to Arizona Cardinals

1 of 6

    The NFC West divisional game between the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals looked as though it could have playoff implications a few weeks ago.

    The cards didn't fall that way, leaving the two squads playing for the second place schedule during the 2012 season and draft position.

    It turns out both sides were playing for pride, too.

    After a sloppy first half, the Seahawks (7-9) responded in the second half with energy and speed to force overtime with the Cardinals (8-8). Missed opportunities and dropped passes plagued the team throughout the day, though.

    The Cardinals rode Larry Fitzgerald on their overtime possession, securing the win with a Jay Feely field goal.

    The loss gave the Seahawks their second 7-9 regular season record under Pete Carroll, but there are still some positives for this team looking forward.

5. The NFC West Can't Be Called the Weakest Division in the NFL

2 of 6

    Failing to have a team reach the .500 mark last season, hindered an already weak reputation by the NFC West. Despite solid postseason success, the division has not landed two teams in the playoffs since the 2004 season.

    The last time the NFC West earned a first round bye was the 2005 Seahawks squad that reached the Super Bowl.

    The San Francisco 49ers (13-3) put an end to that string this season as the two-seed from the NFC. With a combined 15 wins from Arizona and Seattle, the division is well ahead of the AFC South and on-par with the NFC East.

    The AFC West had one more win, but none of their teams posted a winning record.

    The St. Louis Rams have some ground to make up, but the NFC West has three teams that should be fighting for playoff spots in 2012.

4. The Seattle Seahawks Have Solid WR and OL Depth

3 of 6

    Seattle lost their two starting wide receivers and three of their offensive linemen to injury. This level of loss would be devastating for most teams, and is the type of injury issue that led to the demise of the 2008 team.

    Seattle's offense hasn't had a significant drop-off, even though there have been obvious gaps in execution, breadth of the playbook and production.

    Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate have stepped up to fill the void at receiver, along with some contributions from Deon Butler. Ben Obomanu was expected to fill a big part of the void, but he's been plagued with dropped passes.

    Seattle fans also saw a glimpse of what Ricardo Lockette offers this team in 2012 and beyond. He has good size (6'2" 211 lbs), track speed and good hands. He figures to be a part of the equation in 2012, particularly with the expectation that Mike Williams will not be available for much of the season.

3. Seattle Needs to Add a Solid Pass Rusher in the Offseason

4 of 6

    Raheem Brock has provided some assistance this season with a pass rush, but hasn't been able to repeat the success he had during the 2010 season. Red Bryant is a solid run-stuffer, but is not proficient with pressing into the backfield.

    The interior of the line isn't schemed to get sacks, but hasn't stepped up with a stiff bull-rush, either.

    This leaves most of the responsibility to pressure the quarterback on Chris Clemons. 

    Seattle managed just two sacks on the day against the team in a last-place tie with the Rams for sacks allowed. They gave John Skelton adequate time to find Larry Fitzgerald in the second half and overtime. 

    The extra time afforded to opposing quarterbacks puts extra pressure on the Seahawks secondary. They responded fairly well, making several nice plays, including a Richard Sherman interception. He almost managed to return it for what could have been a game-winning touchdown.

    Seattle's defense still has a few gaps to fill. A little more depth and a slight talent upgrade, along with the youth having a full season and an entire offseason under their belts, should help with consistency.

    Look for Seattle to add a pass rusher early in the 2012 NFL draft—and possibly two. They need a pass-rusher at defensive end and may look for a linebacker with blitz capabilities.

2. Marshawn Lynch Needs to Be Paid...by Mars and Seattle

5 of 6

    Pete Carroll and John Schneider saw something they liked with Marshawn Lynch. They went about building an offensive line and blocking scheme to fit his running style.

    Lynch put together a solid season, though he failed to extend his streak of games played with a touchdown. He also came up a bit short of hitting 100 yards in the final game of the season.

    It will be interesting to see how the free agent market responds to Lynch. Not every offense is built around a hard-nosed ground game, and Lynch has found most of his success in an offense built to be a power running team.

    Still, there should be several teams lining up for his services. Seattle will have the inside track, but could have saved significant salary cap dollars by signing him to an extension over the summer.

    Lynch also looks to have the inside track for an endorsement deal with Mars, Inc. the makers of Skittles.

    Lynch's love of the candy, which was his reward for scoring a touchdown when he was young, has actually cost him $10,000. The NFL didn't take kindly to the Skittles graphic on his cleats during Seattle's game with the San Francisco 49ers.

    While his agent is working on a new contract with Seattle, a call or two with the fine folks at Mars candy can also be expected.

     

    OPP

    RESULT

    ATT

    YDS

    AVG

    TD

    REC

    YDS

    AVG

    TD

    SF

    17-33

    13

    33

    2.5

    0

    2

    14

    7.0

    0

    PIT

    0-24

    6

    11

    1.8

    0

    1

    1

    1.0

    0

    ARI

    13-10

    19

    73

    3.8

    0

    1

    2

    2.0

    0

    ATL

    28-30

    8

    24

    3.0

    1

    3

    33

    11.0

    0

    NYG

    36-25

    12

    98

    8.2

    1

    4

    33

    8.3

    0

    CIN

    12-34

    16

    24

    1.5

    1

    0

    0

    .0

    0

    DAL

    13-23

    23

    135

    5.9

    1

    1

    8

    8.0

    0

    BAL

    22-17

    32

    109

    3.4

    1

    5

    58

    11.6

    0

    STL

    24-7

    27

    88

    3.3

    1

    2

    1

    .5

    0

    WSH

    17-23

    24

    111

    4.6

    0

    1

    20

    20.0

    1

    PHI

    31-14

    22

    148

    6.7

    2

    0

    0

    .0

    0

    STL

    30-13

    23

    115

    5.0

    1

    2

    8

    4.0

    0

    CHI

    38-14

    20

    42

    2.1

    2

    2

    5

    2.5

    0

    SF

    17-19

    21

    107

    5.1

    1

    2

    24

    12.0

    0

    ARI

    L 20-23

    19

    86

    4.5

    0

    2

    5

    2.5

    0

    Totals

    7-9

    285

    1,204

    4.2

    12

    28

    212

    8.0

    1


1. Seattle Needs to Make a Run at Matt Flynn

6 of 6

    Tarvaris Jackson has shown Seahawks' fans more than they expected this season. It hasn't been enough, though.

    Jackson was close to putting together a solid game against the Cardinals. But once again, he was plagued by dropped passes and a few bad decisions.

    Ben Obomanu was the biggest culprit, dropping two passes that would have put six on the board for Seattle, along with a few others that would have moved the chains on drives that stalled shortly thereafter.

    Jackson has proven to be an average game manager in Seattle. That won't be enough for this team if they are going to make a deep playoff run, and bring the Seahawks their first championship.

    I have commented several times over the season and prior to the 2011 NFL draft, that Seattle's next quarterback could be Matt Flynn. His performance against the Detroit Lions (31/44, 480 YDS, six TDs, one INT) has done nothing but increase his value.

    Flynn is due to be an unrestricted free agent in the spring. It will be interesting to see if the Packers offer him a franchise tag, and then try to trade Flynn instead of just letting him walk.

    It will be a gamble, as they don't have the salary cap room to keep him at that price.

    Either way, expect John Schneider to make a hard run at his former draft pick.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices