In a division battle to start the season, the Seahawks take on the Arizona Cardinals. Finally! The season is here! Game one at the Cardinals is about here! We got the preseason as a taste of what the Seahawks are capable of, and it’s looking very good. The Seahawks pretty much blew out every opponent during the preseason, and started the year off at 4-0. Now the numbers are reset, and everything starts fresh.
0-0. Fresh new start for the Seahawks. Rookie Russell Wilson has been named the starter already to shock the NFL nation. Pete Carroll stressed that the QB competition was a three-way battle, and the winner would start the season. Tarvaris Jackson got traded, and Wilson just amazed. The offensive line has looked fairly good in most of the preseason games and it looks unchanged to start the season. The defense looked very solid and held opposing ball clubs to very few points.
The Seahawks gather up their gear, and head off to the University of Phoenix Stadium to battle it out, hopefully starting the season at 1-0. Going into this game, the Seahawks are riding a 4 game winning streak, while the Cardinals lost 4 of its 5 preseason games. Both teams were immersed in a QB controversy before the season, and this game will be the telling sign of who will be better because of it.
QB’s- Seattle named their starter: Russell Wilson. Although he is a rookie, he certainly hasn’t played like one. Wilson was 40/63 for 536 yards, 5 tds, and 1 interception during the preseason. Wilson also managed to scramble 10 times for 150 yards. The starter for the Cardinals is John Skelton. Skelton was 14/25 for 131 yards 1 Td, and 2 interceptions. Both of these QB’s were expected to be backups when training camps began. The media had picked Matt Flynn(Seahawks) and Kevin Kolb(Cardinals) to start for their respective teams.
RB’s- The projected starter for the Seahawks is the beast, Marshawn Lynch. Earlier this week there were reports that Lynch might not play the first game out due to back spasms. Lynch didn’t get a heavy dosing during the preseason, but his ability is unmatched. If Lynch doesn’t play then the load falls onto Robert Turbin, and Leon Washington. Turbin is the heir apparent to Lynch, and runs similar to him as well. Turbin rushed 38 times for 165 yards during the preseason. Washington is shiftier and will require more attention from the defense to bring down. For Arizona, the starter is Beanie Wells. Wells is a good running back and last year started 14 games for the Cardinals. He gained 1047 yards on 245 carries. Wells ran the ball 13 times for 47 yards during the preseason himself.
WR’s-The starters for the Seahawks are: Sidney Rice, Braylon Edwards. Golden Tate went down in the final preseason game and twisted his knee, so its likely he won’t play this game. Expect a good dose of Doug Baldwin as well. On the Cardinals side, expect the one and only Larry Fitzgerald. On the other side we should see Andre Roberts, and as well see a lot of Early Doucet.
The defenses will play a key role in how this game shapes up. In the preseason, the Seahawks placed first overall in points allowed(44), while the Cardinals tied for last(119). Both the Cardinals and the Seahawks tied for 19th in sacks with 8 apiece. The Seahawks on offense scored a total of 122 points(1st), while the Cardinals scored 98 points(9th). The turnover ratio during the preseason was big, the Seahawks ended up +7, while the Cardinals finished with a -7.
With the Seahawks on the road visiting the Cardinals, they will have to prove themselves worthy. The Seahawks and the Cardinals have battled against each other 26 times per mcubed.net. The Seahawks have won 12 of those times. All-time the Seahawks are 4-8 while being away from home versus the Cardinals. The Seahawks and the Cardinals split their games last year with the Seahawks winning the first game (13-10), and the Cardinals winning the second(23-20).
Both of these teams are vying for playoffs and don’t want to try to come from behind like they did last year. They both can have potent offenses and stout defenses. The Seahawks are looking to improve on their top 10 finish last year and move into the top 5. The Cardinals open the season up with a home game, and look to start out on the plus side.
The three things that the Seahawks need to do in order to win this game are:(1) STOP Fitzgerald. This is the biggest key. The Seahawks have a very stout run defense. This is going to make Skelton pass the ball more. Larry Fitzgerald is undoubtably one of the best receivers of all times. He can catch anything within 20 yards of his hands. The Seahawks have to minimize his receptions. Keeping him from gaining massive yards will only help the Seahawks to win this game. (2) Turnovers, Turnovers, Turnovers. The Seahawks secondary is a ball-hawking set of guys, and they thrive on getting picks. Pete Carrolls philosophy has always been to control the turnovers. Limit the Seahawks ones, and force the opposing teams to give them up. The Seahawks getting at least one interception, and forcing one fumble will allow things to go smoothly their way. (3) Run the ball and control the clock. Wilson has looked extremely good in the preseason, he needs to keep it going. The running back needs to keep at it, and weaken the defense. If Seattle can get at least two of these things to happen then it should be a fairly easy win for them. Wilson has proven he can lead the offense to scoring the ball, that needs to stay the same this game. The Seahawks will start this season off right, and continue on their win streak in Arizona on Sunday.