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3 lessons learned from the Seahawks’ loss to the Cardinals

Stephen Brashear - Associated Press

Despite a shaky first half of the season, the Seattle Seahawks were presented with an opportunity to climb right back into the NFC West race in Week 10. However, another heartbreaking 39-32 loss on “Sunday Night Football” against the Arizona Cardinals has left Seattle’s season in jeopardy.

Once again, the Seahawks had a lead late in the fourth quarter, only to see it slip away with a late touchdown from Carson Palmer to Jermaine Gresham. The offensive line was unable to sustain any momentum from a solid performance two weeks ago against the Dallas Cowboys, while the defense gave up a staggering 39 points and 453 yards at home.

Seattle can take away a few lessons from the tough defeat, but right now there are more questions than answers.

Kam Chancellor is struggling

Seattle’s run defense was strong on Sunday for the majority of the game, and the front seven got enough pressure on Palmer to force a few mistakes. It was the secondary that let the Seahawks down, continuing a troubling trend from earlier games this year.

Palmer absolutely dissected Seattle’s pass defense, particularly on intermediate routes to a number of different targets. While Arizona has a great group of receivers, Seattle had far more missed assignments and blown coverages than in past seasons.

In particular, Chancellor seemed to be on the wrong end of a number of big plays for the Cardinals. Chancellor appears to be feeling the effects of missing training camp and has lost all of his ability to cover tight ends.

He’s far from the only one, as Cary Williams and even Richard Sherman have struggled at times. Still, the Seahawks are going to need Chancellor to play better if the secondary is going to turn things around.

Arizona came out more prepared than Seattle

With both teams coming off a bye ahead of their biggest game of the season, it was fair to expect a close battle early on. Instead, the Seahawks got run off the field in first half in a disappointing showing in front of an electric home crowd.

Seattle’s offense could do absolutely nothing until late in the second quarter, as the Seahawks fell behind 22-3 at the half. A late rally made things very interesting, but the Seahawks ultimately lost the game due to their terrible play in all facets to start the game.

Perhaps the most disheartening stat was that the Seahawks committed 14 penalties, forcing them to abandon the run due to being behind the chains constantly and extending a number of Arizona drives on the other side of the ball. The Cardinals came out far more ready to play than Seattle did, which is a black mark against both the players and coaching staff in a must-win game following a bye.

The Seahawks’ playoff hopes are on life support

The division is all but over, as Arizona sits three games ahead of the Seahawks and is in very good shape to have the tiebreaker. Seattle is going to have to win a Wild Card spot to reach the postseason for the fourth consecutive year, and several teams are in the mix.

It’s not impossible, as teams like the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons are also struggling at the moment. However, the Seahawks will likely need to go 6-1 the rest of the way to make the postseason, which is going to be a tall order.

Seattle isn’t good enough to do that if it keeps playing at its current level on both sides of the ball. The Pittsburgh Steelers could shred the secondary in two weeks, while road games against the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona also look very intimidating.

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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.
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