The Seattle Seahawks are getting sloppy on offense, but have the defense to carry them through this rough patch, while the Arizona Cardinals don’t have the quality on offense to make the most of the same defensive strengths.
The Seahawks won the defensive struggle with the Tennessee Titans last week with a 20-13 win. Russell Wilson continued to struggle, not throwing a touchdown pass, but his running game continues to excel, running for over 60 yards in each of his last three games.
In general, it’s been the running that’s allowed the Seahawks to overcome their stutters in the passing game and turnovers. Marshawn Lynch had a big all-purpose day with 77 rushing yards and four more catches for 78 yards. He also rushed for two touchdowns as the Seahawks overcame having their own field goal attempt returned for a touchdown in consecutive games.
The Cardinals aren’t going to make it easy for them, having one of the best run-defenses in the NFL, allowing 90.7 yards per game. However, the power attack the 49ers use with Frank Gore spearheading the rush was very difficult to stop for them, giving up 142 yards eventually, as they physically brutal game became too much for them in the fourth quarter, allowing 10 unanswered points.
Carson Palmer has been improving, but he has already thrown 11 interceptions this season. Against the Seahawks, who are second in the NFL with nine interceptions so far, being that careless with the ball just seems like something the Cardinals can’t afford to do, but having a terrible running game (24th in the NFL with 85.7 yards a contest), there really aren’t that many options but to try and air it out and get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald.
Things worth knowing – Before Vernon Davis scored two touchdowns against them in the 32-20 win by the 49ers over the Cardinals, Arizona had eight consecutive quarters without allowing a single touchdown. Seattle ranks second in the NFL with 290.2 yards allowed per game and third at 15.7 points a contest, giving up only 188 yards per game to passing plays.
Prediction – The Cardinals are undefeated at home, but there’s a reason they couldn’t hang on with the 49ers in the fourth quarter. As good as their defense is, without a running game and a decent offensive line, they’ll be on the wrong end of quality every time when they meet with teams like Seattle and San Francisco.