Behind Enemy Lines Week 12: Seattle Seahawks
Another week, another win for the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals moved to 9-1 after their 14-6 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Arizona gave one of its best defensive performances this season, surrendering only 11 first downs and holding a talented Detroit passing game to 183 yards.
Arizona’s victory was compounded with a Seattle Seahawks loss on Sunday, giving the Cardinals a three game lead in the NFC West.
The Seahawks dropped to 6-4 after a 24-20 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs, leaving Seattle with more losses than they had in all of last season.
The Cardinals travel to Seattle this Sunday for the division rivals’ first matchup this season and despite the Seahawks’ struggles this year, they continue to be nearly unbeatable at home, going 19-2 in the regular season over the last three years.
That record may be less intimidating for the Cardinals though, who won in Seattle 17-10 the last time the two teams played in 2013. Neither team managed more than 200 passing yards in that game last year and it’s easy to expect another slugfest between the physical units.
As Arizona and Seattle prepare for a matchup that will go a long way in deciding the NFC West, we’ll go behind enemy lines and bring all the stories from the Seahawks:
Friday, November 21
• Wilson takes blame for the disappointing passing game (The News Tribune)
The Seahawks currently rank 30th in the NFL in passing offense, specifically struggling late in games to move the ball through the air. But despite numerous injuries to the offensive line and the lack of any deep-threat receivers, quarterback Russell Wilson is putting the poor play on himself.
• Seahawks insist there’s no Super Bowl jinx for Champs (USA Today)
The Seahawks have fought through injuries and tough losses just to get a 6-4 record, currently leaving the team outside of the playoffs. But despite a string of bad circumstances, players aren’t blaming disappointing play on a possible jinx that has seemed to afflict reigning champs of the last decade.
• Recent center signing adds knowledgeable presence to Seattle (SeattlePI.com)
As the team’s Pro Bowl center of the last four years, Max Unger’s injury leaves a massive hole in Seattle’s offensive line. Enter recently-signed Lemuel Jeanpierre, who served as a backup on the offensive line for the last three seasons and brings an understanding of the team’s offense that is often missing from emergency starters.
• Seahawks are not worried about Lynch’s fines (ESPN.com)
For the second consecutive season, running back Marshawn Lynch drew a fine from the NFL for not giving enough time to reporters after a game. The Seahawks aren’t worried about these fines though, only focused on getting their banged-up running back to full strength.
Thursday, November 20
• Receivers will decide Seattle’s playoff fate (SeattlePI.com)
The Seahawks employed a little bit of Percy Harvin and a lot of Golden Tate to catch passes on the outside during their Super Bowl run last season. But with both players gone, and current receivers putting up very unimpressive numbers, Seattle’s season may ride on getting better production out of the position.
With the Seahawks’ receivers underperforming, some may think that the team would turn to their athletically gifted defensive backs to help out. So when asked if he could line up on offense for the team, cornerback Richard Sherman made light of the possibility.
• LB Wagner says that if he’s wearing pads, he’s playing (Seattle Times)
Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner tore a ligament in his toe against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 6 and has been absent from the defense since then. But after healing up faster than team doctors expected, Wagner said “If you see me with my pads on, then I’m full go.”
• Lynch returns lost wallet to a fan (Seahawks.com)
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has been making headlines for some great play and a fine for being silent with the media lately, but is now earning the attention for a great deed. On his way to visit students at a local high school, Lynch found a wallet outside a gas station and went out of his way to the fans’ house to make sure the wallet made its way back to the owner.
Wednesday, November 19
• What’s wrong with Russell Wilson, Seahawks’ passing game? (The Seattle Times)
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has relied more on his rushing in recent games, giving him another way to break down defenses. However, he missed multiple open receivers and failed to convert a fourth down on the 2-yard line against Kansas City. Wilson will have to be more consistent in his passing to get the Seahawks to the playoffs.
• Seahawks embrace upcoming gauntlet (The Spokesman-Review)
The Seahawks are currently on the outside of the playoff picture. Five of their remaining games are against division rivals, allowing Seattle more control over its own destiny. However, the combined record of their remaining opponents is 41-19. It’s a rough road ahead for Seattle to make its way back to the postseason.
• Silence costs Marshawn Lynch $100K (ESPN.com)
After only talking to one reporter following the Seahawks’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday, running back Marshawn Lynch has been fined $50,000 for violating the NFL’s media policy. He was also fined $50,000 during the 2013 season for the same violation, which the league will collect now.
Tuesday, November 18
• Carroll said RB Lynch wasn’t defiant in halftime actions (Seattle Times)
Star Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch didn’t make it into the locker room during Sunday’s loss, although coach Pete Carroll said that it was only to keep the running back loose. Lynch’s body tightened up before the half on Sunday, due to a multitude of injuries, and stayed on the field to stretch and get ready for the rest of the game.
• Seattle’s playoff hopes lie in rest of division-heavy schedule (Seahawks.com)
Avoiding most of their brutal NFC West matchups early in the season likely seemed to be a blessing for Seattle. But with the Seahawks currently outside of a playoff spot, they will need to contend with their own division for five of the last six games to get back to the postseason.
• Injury to Unger could make more difference than expected (The News Tribune)
Seattle’s Pro Bowl center Max Unger suffered a high-ankle sprain on Sunday, possibly leaving him out for the next month. With the Seahawks immediately struggling to find running room in the game after his injury, Seattle may have some serious issues in the trenches for the next few games.
• Seahawks need to stop wasting Russell Wilson’s great play (Bleacher Report)
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is one of the NFL’s leading rushers over the last two months and is continuing make great passing plays behind a depleted line. But with another disappointing effort from the team on Sunday, Seattle is squandering some standout efforts from their quarterback.