Seahawks vs. Cardinals: Live Game Grades and Analysis for Seattle

Marlon Maloney@@marlonmaloneyCorrespondent IOctober 17, 2013

Oct 13, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) during the game against the Tennessee Titans at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Titans 20-13. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals did everything they could Thursday night to keep this division clash close, but the Seattle Seahawks proved to be too much for them. Seattle scored 14 points early in the third quarter to put the game away before the Cardinals could continue to mount their comeback. The win moves the Seahawks to 6-1 for the first time in franchise history.



Seattle - 34 

Arizona - 22

Seattle Seahawks Game Grades
Position UnitFirst-Half GradeFinal Grade
Pass OffenseB+B
Run OffenseA-B
Pass DefenseBA
Run DefenseA+A+
Special TeamsAA
vs. Cardinals Week 7


Final Analysis

Pass Offense: Russell Wilson got the passing game going early and often in this one, leading his team down the field for 235 yards and three touchdowns. Golden Tate continued his improved play, pulling down four catches for 77 yards to lead the receiving corps. Wilson's day was marred a bit by three fumbles, two of which resulted in turnovers. With his offensive line being so porous, Wilson will need to shorten his mental timer to avoid taking as many hits in the future. He was sacked three times.

Run Offense: Marshawn Lynch had another solid day, picking up tough yardage when needed and adding on to it with some garbage-time carries. Lynch ended the game with 91 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Wilson was kept quiet on the ground when compared to his rushing performances in the weeks leading up to tonight. He finished with 29 yards on eight carries. 

Pass Defense: Carson Palmer ended the day with 225 yards passing, but was sitting on just more than 100 yards passing entering the entering the third quarter. The Cardinals picked up much of the passing yardage after the game was out of reach. Brandon Browner intercepted a Carson Palmer pass in the third quarter and likely would have returned it for a touchdown if he wasn't tackled by the "turf monster." The Seattle front seven dominated Arizona's offensive line, picking up seven sacks in the game.

Run Defense: After allowing just 22 yards on the ground in the first half, the Seahawks ended up allowing only eight more in the second for a total of 30 in the game. The Cardinals averaged 1.7 yards per carry for the night. This part of the Arizona's game plan was nonexistent in the second half.

Special Teams: Steven Hauschka knocked through one more field goal in the second half, while punter Jon Ryan averaged 41.3 yards per punt. The coverage units never allowed the dangerous Patrick Peterson to come even close to making a game-changing return and ended a streak of giving up touchdowns.

Coaching: As usual, the Seahawks came out and dominated in the second half, showing that they are deserving of all the hype they've received to date. The defense played another terrific game all around and the offense seems to be improving every week.

Oct 17, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons (91) celebrates his first half sack against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


First-Half Analysis

Pass Offense: Russell Wilson has come out and orchestrated back-to-back touchdown drives ending with passing touchdowns to Sidney Rice and Luke Willson. Then in a rare lapse of judgement, he holds on to the ball too long, taking a sack and fumbling inside his own 5-yard line to keep this game close. He still managed to finish the half 12-of-18 for 152 yards and two touchdowns en route to a half-ending field goal.

Run Offense: Russell Wilson's ability to run has become just as big a feature of this offense as Marshawn Lynch as highlighted by his early read-option success. So far he hasn't scrambled too often, taking off three times for 13 yards. Lynch has been tough to take down, breaking off runs at 4.6 a clip with a long of 15. The Cardinals defense has managed to come up with a few stuffs toward the end of the half, however, and will be a situation to monitor as the game wears on.

Pass Defense: Carson Palmer threw an early interception to Earl Thomas on an underthrown deep pass to Larry Fitzgerald and was nearly intercepted by Richard Sherman on another underthrown ball. Other than those two throws, Palmer's been able to find open receivers underneath with regularity, completing 8 of 12 for 70 yards. The Seahawks defenders are doing a great job of keeping the Cardinals receivers in front of them and making tackles in the open field, and have managed to get to the statuesque Palmer for three sacks already.

Run Defense: Rashard Mendenhall has struggled mightily to find any room running the ball. The Seahawks defense has swarmed around the ball-carrier on running plays, racking up four tackles for a loss. He has 10 carries for 16 yards and one touchdown, and Arizona has a total of 22 yards on the ground for the half. Seattle should expect to see more of Andre Ellington in the second half as a change-of-pace back.

Special Teams: Golden Tate nearly had his first punt return touchdown of the season, but had it called back for an illegal block in the back penalty. Steven Hauschka came out for a late 51-yard field goal to give Seattle a seven-point lead. We haven't seen much else of the special teams units.

Coaching: Pete Carroll was able to win another challenge this week, resulting in Earl Thomas' interception to set up the team's second score of the game. Once again, the Seahawks came out looking sharp, but the score does not reflect it. We'll see if the Seahawks can blow this one open in the second half.