The Seattle Seahawks entered Thursday Night Football needing a win in the worst way. They had dropped three of their previous four games, including two straight, and had gone from 5-0 to 6-3, from potential to No. 1 seed in the NFC to clinging to a Wild Card spot. You might even say the Seahawks were desperate.
Well, they played like it Thursday – and they beat the Arizona Cardinals 28-21, avenging their Week 7 overtime loss in the desert. The Seahawks limited Kyler Murray and the Cardinals to seven points in the first half and never trailed. It was a phenomenal effort from Seattle’s defense, which had struggled for much of the season.
“They’ve been blitzing a lot, they’ve kind of changed some things up, they’re being more aggressive, and they knew they had to come after Murray tonight – so that’s exactly what they did,” Seattle’s KOMO-TV Sports Director Mike Ferreri said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “But it was basically them all being on the same page, which is something they just have not been able to do until you started to see it last weekend in the Rams game. It was by far their best game of the season tonight.”
The Seahawks lost to the Bills 44-34 in Week 9 and to the Rams 23-16 in Week 10. Seattle had a combined seven turnovers in those games.
“It was almost like a solemn postgame,” Ferreri said of the Rams loss. “Pete Carroll saying he didn’t recognize what was going on, didn’t recognize that team and the brand of football, all the turnovers that Russell Wilson had. Russell [came] out with conviction after the Rams game, just saying he knows he’s great and can be great. It was interesting. But I think it was just them committing to each other, to the style of play they wanted to have and going out and having that balance. Russell Wilson cannot win it alone.”
Wilson was more than solid against Arizona on Thursday. He finished 23-of-28 for 197 yards and two touchdowns and ran 10 times for 42 yards. But he got plenty of help from Carlos Hyde (95 total yards and a touchdown) and the defense, which sacked Murray three times, limited DeAndre Hopkins to five catches for 51 yards, and forced a critical safety in the fourth quarter.
Up next for Seattle? A road game against the Eagles (3-5-1) on Monday Night Football in Week 12. Don’t be surprised if the Seahawks play a little more ground-and-pound as the season wears on.
“Pete’s always said he likes it half and half,” Ferreri said, referring to Seattle’s run/pass split. “That’s part coaching right there. I don’t think he’s going to come out and say, ‘The Eagles have a horrible secondary. We’re going to throw it 80 percent of the time.’ So I think if they have [balance] and that could be their goal, whether they reach that each week, who knows? But they absolutely have to have those running threats and that ability to convert those 3rd-and-1s and continue a drive with the help of their running backs. If they don’t have those, Russell can’t get it. But I would say 50/50 for sure. That’s kind of always been Pete Carroll’s common theme.”