Sports Out West

Seattle Seahawks’ offense makes progress in Arizona

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles as Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Finally, after weeks of slow starts and some sloppy play, the Seattle Seahawks’ offense put together a complete game on the road in a Thursday night showdown with the Arizona Cardinals.

Led by an outstanding game from Russell Wilson, the Seahawks put up 34 points, their highest total of the year excluding the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, on an Arizona defense that had been playing pretty well before the last two games. Seattle didn’t have a spectacular yardage total of 344, but it solved its redzone woes and showed some encouraging signs moving forward.

Some staunch critics had some complaints about Wilson as the Seahawks ranked 24th in passing yards per game coming in, but his performance against the Cardinals should rightfully silence them. Wilson finished 18/29 for 235 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. His first touchdown came on a 31 yard bomb to Sidney Rice on a broken play that looked like it had no chance of getting positive yardage. Wilson’s second touchdown came on one of his best throws of the year, a 15-yard strike to Zach Miller that was about as perfectly placed as possible.

It was good to see the Wilson and the Seahawks take a few shots down the field, as he completed 71 percent of his passes of 15 yards or more, compared to 31 percent the past three games. That explosive element to Seattle’s offense had been missing for a few weeks, and when the Seahawks allowed Wilson to throw the ball deep last year, they usually had great success.

The most encouraging thing from the game was how Seattle used its tight ends. The physically gifted Luke Willson, who is being criminally underutilized, had a nice catch and run for 23 yards in the first quarter, and showed some run blocking skills. Miller returned from injury made a nice catch on the touchdown and finished with 5 receptions for 40 yards. Even Kellen Davis got into the mix with a touchdown catch off of a play fake.

With the type of offense the Seahawks have, play action should be working more inside the 20, making the tight end an important target. One drive in the redzone stalled for the Seahawks due to penalties, but a mark of 3 touchdowns in 4 attempts on the night is an improvement from the past two weeks. Seattle entered the game at an even 50 percent touchdown rate in the redzone.

Couple that with a standard 135 rushing yards, 91 by Marshawn Lynch and you have an offense that put up 34 points. Add the fact that Percy Harvin is returning to practice this week and will only have to sit out a few more games, things are about to get really exciting in Seattle. 

Photo Credit: Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press 


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Nathaniel Reeves

Nathaniel Reeves is a journalism student at the University of Washington, currently covering sports for The UW Daily in addition to Sports Out West. He has been closely following Seattle sports his entire life.