The debut of wide receiver Sidney Rice and another strong outing by the Seattle Seahawks defense was just enough to defeat the Arizona Cardinals 13-10. Tarvaris Jackson had another questionable performance but still didn’t lose the game for Seattle.
Defensively the Seahawks came out strong setting the tone early and never let up shutting down Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinal offense. Early in the first quarter Earl Thomas intercepted a tipped-ball intended for Andre Roberts and during the return strong safety Kam Chancellor leveled Cardinals tight end Todd Heap.
From that moment on it set the tone for a strong performance by the Seahawks defense that held Arizona to 234 yards passing and only five receptions for Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald and Kolb’s loan touchdown connection came on a 2nd and 5 when Kolb threw a jump-ball in double coverage midway through the second quarter.
Steven Hauschka converted on a 52-yard field goal with :42 seconds left in the half to pull Seattle within four. After half time the Seahawks defense finished off the job holding the Cardinals offense to 153 yards. Seattle’s only touchdown came on an 11-yard run by Tarvaris Jackson to put Seattle in front 13-10 midway through the third.
Offensively Seattle was still suspect racking up just 261 yards of total offense. Sidney Rice, who missed the first two weeks of the season, bailed out Jackson on several throws and exceeded expectations in his first start. He finished the game with eight catches for 109 yards on 10 targets.
After Rice the receivers with the highest catch total were Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate, Ben Obomanu, and tight end Zach Miller with two receptions a piece. With each game it’s becoming more and more apparent that Tarvaris Jackson cannot get the job done as an effective starting quarterback for Seattle.
Tarvaris finished the game 18 of 31 for 171 yards and one interception. An effective starting quarterback in the NFL has one primary receiver (Larry Fitzgerald/Sidney Rice) but also spreads the ball around to other receivers. With the combination of size and speed the Seahawks have at wide receiver and tight end the Seahawks offense should have more than 171 yards passing.
While Seattle’s offense struggles the defense has stepped up and so has defensive end Chris Clemons. Clemons had seven tackles and one sack against Arizona and was relentless all game. Coming off his first season starting 16 games Carroll and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley are expanding his roll and it’s showing.
Marcus Trufant also recorded an interception that Fox Sports color commentator referred to as “a true football play”. Second year safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas were also active in coverage and blitz packages.
One thing that Carroll can take away from this win is the fact that his defense is going to keep this team in almost every game. Offensively Darrell Bevell will have to do something to make Jackson effective enough to get over 200 yards passing.
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