Behind Enemy Lines: Seahawks limp into Thursday clash with Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals aren’t bragging about their 4-4 record heading into an NFC West matchup Thursday against the Seattle Seahawks, but their opponents aren’t flying so high, either.
Seattle saw a four-game winning streak end with a 17-14, Week 9 home loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday. Quarterback play, penalties and kicking problems were all issues.
Even though the Cardinals head in coming off a 20-10 win against the San Francisco 49ers and riding veteran back Adrian Peterson and quarterback Drew Stanton, worries linger for Arizona as well.
Thursday’s winner at University of Phoenix Stadium will remain in shouting distance of the division-leading Los Angeles Rams. All week, we’ll take you to Seattle to give you an inside look at the story lines and players surrounding the divisional showdown.
It’s Behind Enemy Lines.
Thursday, November 9
Another week, another tailback for the Seahawks. How will Thomas Rawls fare? How about behind an offensive line committing fewer penalties?
Jordan was the No. 3 overall pick of the 2013 draft by Miami out of Oregon but has not played since 2014, suspended in 2015 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and then missing the 2016 season with a knee injury.
• Eddie Lacy out, Earl Thomas doubtful for Seahawks’ TNF matchup against Cardinals (MyNorthwest.com)
It’s looking like the Seahawks will be without veteran safety Earl Thomas once again when they head to Arizona to face the NFC West rival Cardinals (4-4) Thursday. Thomas is officially listed as doubtful with a hamstring strain, though the Seahawks will likely keep him out to rest him over the long week that follows before a Nov. 20 primetime game at home.
• Seahawks Insider: Offense is getting the yards, but missing the point(s) (MyNorthwest.com)
“We’re doing a good job of moving the ball,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. “But that’s not really the point of the game, right? The point of the game is put the ball in the end zone.”
The Seahawks’ disappointing loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday dropped them to 5-3 and just outside of what would be the sixth and final playoff spot if the regular season ended today.
Wednesday, November 8
• Dion Jordan expected to play against Cardinals (ESPN.com)
Dion Jordan’s comeback bid is on the verge of becoming a reality.
The Seattle Seahawks are expected to activate Jordan ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, a source confirmed to ESPN. It would mark the defensive end’s first game since 2014.
Other than Richard Sherman, no rookie cornerback under coach Pete Carroll has made as significant an impact as Griffin. He began the season as Seattle’s No. 3 corner but has since overtaken Jeremy Lane as the starter opposite Sherman. Seattle has cycled through players at that spot since Brandon Browner left after the 2013 season. Griffin is there to stay. Grade: Above average.
• Has winning made Seahawks numb to impact of penalties? (Seattle Times)
For most of the Pete Carroll era the Seahawks have accepted a certain amount of penalties as just part of the team’s overall philosophy and attitude.
“Walking that edge,’’ as Carroll said this week.
It’s a way of life that has served them well in general.
A groin injury should keep Eddie Lacy out of Thursday’s game, opening the door for Rawls to be the starting back. Against the Washington Redskins, Lacy was going to start and the Seahawks wanted to try as much as they could to get him into a rhythm. Lacy started well, but he suffered the groin injury after getting 20 yards on six carries. Rawls entered, and he had his best effort of the season with nine carries for 39 yards.
• Seahawks Spotlight: Doug Baldwin (MyNorthwest.com)
“I’ve always said that I felt disrespected,” Baldwin said. “And to some degree I still feel that way especially when it feels like guys don’t watch tape. They don’t realize there’s certain things that you don’t want to do against me. Certain things will work better, but being in press is not one of them.”
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson spends his Sunday afternoons running from defenders, darting around and trying to make the gasp-inducing plays with his rocket right arm that you’ve seen so frequently over the years.
But after getting knocked to the turf and tackled by 200-pound moving projectiles multiple times a game, Wilson generally needs about three days for his body to recover from its weekly beating.
Tuesday, November 7
Sounds as if Pete Carroll’s patience for all these Seahawks penalties is waning. Particularly for Germain Ifedi’s. But not enough to bench the right tackle. Not yet.
• What We Learned: Seahawks depending too much on Russell Wilson (MyNorthwest.com)
The utter lack of a run game, which is underscored by the reality that Wilson is Seattle’s leading rusher, has put the Seahawks in a situation where they’re depending on their quarterback to provide every bit of horsepower for this offense even as he’s running to evade the pass rush.
• Safety Earl Thomas will be a game-time decision against Cardinals (Seahawks Wire)
Free Safety Earl Thomas missed out on the Seattle Seahawks’ Week 9 heartbreak due to a hamstring injury. There is no doubt that Thomas’ presence would have been felt on the final drive when the Washington Redskins were able to roll down the field and take the lead with less than a minute left on the clock.
• Pete Carroll said running back C. J. Prosise is ‘ready to play’ (Seahawks Wire)
“He’s ready to play,” coach Pete Carroll said during his weekly Monday radio show on 710 ESPN Seattle. “He’ll play this week. He was really close last week. He’ll get four more days, and we’re not going to be able to practice hard enough to get anybody whacked during these four days here, so he’s ready to contribute.”
Monday, November 6
After rushing for 20 yards on six carries in the first quarter of an eventual 17-14 defeat against Washington on Sunday, Lacy retired to the sideline with a strained groin. Coach Pete Carroll was vague about how long Lacy might be out.
“I don’t know how severe that is,’’ Carroll said. “I can’t tell you.”
He’s 37. But you wouldn’t know it by the first two games he’s played for the Seahawks since they signed him, he admits, “off the couch.” That’s where he was for the first seven weeks of this NFL season.
• After 3 missed FGs, Blair Walsh ready to ‘get back out there’ for Seahawks (MyNorthwest.com)
“I don’t know,” Carroll said, when asked whether he was worried about Walsh’s confidence moving forward. “I’m disappointed for him. You know that he had trouble in pregame, when it was blowing. The weather was kind of nasty early on. I’m disappointed for him. If we had a shot, I was totally counting on him to kick the game-winner. I wasn’t thinking anything but that.”
• Pete Carroll takes credit for Seahawks’ penalty issues vs Washington (MyNorthwest.com)
The Seahawks were penalized 16 times on Sunday against Washington, the second-most in franchise history and most of any game in Carroll’s eight seasons as head coach. Not only that, but it comes two weeks after Seattle was penalized 15 times in last month’s game at the New York Giants.
“All of the things that happen when you lost a game showed up: turnovers, penalties, getting beat deep, the easy scores for them, the difficult challenges just moving the ball down the field because we were in our own way,” Carroll said. “We really played against ourselves all day long.”
Said Baldwin: “I don’t want to take anything away from the Redskins. They did win the game. However, I don’t think they beat us. We beat ourselves.”
• 7 Takeaways from Seahawks’ loss to Redskins (SeattlePI.com)
Simply put: Russell Wilson did not play well Sunday. He threw two interceptions, neither of which were very good throws, and couldn’t connect on passes down the field. Per Pro Football Focus, Wilson tossed 13 passes of more than 20 yards down field and only completed two of them.