Week 3 Game Recap: Arizona Cardinals 12, Seattle Seahawks 37
What you need to know
The Cardinals’ offensive line has serious issues. Early in the game QB Kurt Warner was hit hard a handful of times before finally limping off the field with a pulled groin. To make matters worse their run blocking wasn’t much better than their pass blocking. However, the biggest problem the Cardinals continue to have is getting into the end zone when getting within striking distance. Arizona had some respectable drives, but had to settle for four field goals for the second week in a row.
RB Marcel Shipp started the game along with J.J. Arrington, but Shipp was the focus of the Arizona running game in the first quarter. Arrington didn’t see the field again until the Cardinals were trying to run out the clock to conclude the first half.
WR Anquan Boldin out-targeted WR Larry Fitzgerald in the first half when QB Kurt Warner was still in the game. This trend continued through the rest of the game with backup QB Josh McCown in the game.
The Seahawks won this game in nearly every aspect possible. They posted nearly double the offense output of the Cardinals showing great balance (32 passes, 37 runs). Also, the Seahawk defense got their first two takeaways of the season.
RB Shaun Alexander looked very fast breaking off long runs. He also flashed some power on a few tough runs between the tackles. The Seahawks demonstrated their commitment to piling out gaudy stats for Alexander rewarding him with three one yard touchdown runs in the second half.
QB Matt Hasselbeck and WR Darrell Jackson continue to build a special relationship on the field. Jackson’s 22 receptions through three games this season are the second most for him over any three game stretch of his career. WR Bobby Engram is locked into the other starting role while WR Joe Jurevicius and TE Jeremy Stevens are splitting the third receiving option so far this season.
What you ought to know
|QB Josh McCown, Pass: 10 - 23 - 97 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 10 - 0|
McCown replaced the injured Warner and instantly had a bit of deer in the headlights syndrome. He was inaccurate and looked uncomfortable in the pocket. However, Arizona only ran the ball three times in the second half and the Seattle pass rush was pinning back their ears looking to take his head off. Actually, McCown didn’t take that many hits. He was getting rid of the ball fairly quickly, but not on target. In the fourth quarter WR Anquan Boldin was his favorite target with five, compared to zero for WR Larry Fitzgerald.
|QB Kurt Warner, Pass: 8 - 13 - 105 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 13 - 0|
Warner was hit early and hit hard by the Seattle pass rush. He was only sacked once, but on both of the first two hits he was rushed into delivering a pass earlier than he wanted to. Both passes were nearly intercepted. Warner injured his groin after being flushed from the pocket. Running to his left he twisted his body back to throw the ball downfield. He was hit as he let the pass go and instantly reached for his groin area. Five of Warner’s eight completions went to WR Anquan Boldin. When he did have some time to stand in the pocket Warner was able to accurately deliver the ball down field.
|RB Marcel Shipp, Rush: 10 - 41 - 0, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (3 targets)|
Shipp started the game and could have easily been labeled the feature running back for the Cardinals. He had a few solid runs in the first quarter, but the Cardinals quickly abandoned the running game as things started to fall apart. When the game was still in question and the Cardinals were in contention Shipp was getting the action. Both of Shipp’s receptions came on the second Arizona possession and helped lead to PK Neil Racker’s second field goal.
Arrington started the game alongside Marcel Shipp in the backfield, but went to the bench after only one play and didn’t return to the game until the second quarter. Four of Arrington’s five carries in the game came just before halftime when the Cardinals were running out the clock just trying to get to the locker room.
Boldin had a solid game, but it could have been a monster if not for a mistake on one play. During the second quarter Boldin got behind the defense completely alone. QB Kurt Warner threw a nice pass to Boldin in stride, but for some unknown reason Boldin opted to jump up and catch the pass. He could have ran under it and gone the distance, but his leap caused him to stumble and fall for only a 45 yard gain. In the third quarter Boldin made a one handed catch on the sideline that only a handful of NFL wide receivers could have managed. However, he only got one foot in bounds and the pass was ruled incomplete.
Fitzgerald had more carries (both on reverses) than he did receptions in the first half. Seattle did a nice job of stretching out both of his carries at the line of scrimmage. QB Josh McCown lofted a high floater down the left sideline to Fitzgerald during the third quarter. Fitzgerald did a good job of leaping to catch the ball at its highest point using his body to shield off the defender.
Three of Lee’s targets and two of his receptions occurred in garbage time at the end of the game. He was a non-factor in the Arizona offense for the bulk of the action.
Johnson was invisible during the first half. Three of his targets and his lone reception came at the end of the game in garbage time. He has a solid lock on the number three receiving job in Arizona, but that number three is far behind WR Anquan Boldin and WR Larry Fitzgerald. Also, Johnson returned two kickoffs during the second half.
Both of Bergen’s targets came in the third quarter during a single series. The tight end position doesn’t appear to play an important role in the Arizona offense.
Rackers was perfect in the game scoring all twelve of the Cardinals points on four field goals (54, 39, 50, and 39 yards). Rackers was gifted a 50 yard attempt late in the second quarter when Seattle opted to decline a holding penalty that would have pushed the Cardinals out of field goal range.
The Cardinals were hurt by big plays from RB Shaun Alexander. Arizona held Seahawk ball carriers to three yards or less on more than 20 of their rushing attempts, but gave up carries of 25, nine, 15, 15, and 46 yards to Alexander. These five carries accounted for 110 of Alexander’s yards.
Rookie CB Antrel Rolle led the team in tackles (ten) because QB Matt Hasselbeck and WR Darrell Jackson chose to pick on him for the bulk of the game. Rolle was not ready for the load the Cardinals are placing on his shoulders. He was left on an island far too often with veteran receivers. The pass rush was virtually non-existent during the game. DE Bertrand Berry hit QB Matt Hasselbeck only once in the game.
Hasselbeck dissected the Arizona secondary leading the Seahawks on three eighty yard touchdown drives during the game. He started the game hitting nine of his first 11 attempts and continued to pick apart the Cardinals all game long. Hasselbeck was never under much of a rush and got to stand in the pocket without worrying about getting hit after delivering his passes. His sore elbow didn’t appear to bother him in any way.
Alexander ripped through the Cardinals’ defense posting his second consecutive game of at least 140 rushing yards. He showed tremendous burst sprinting untouched around left end on a 25 yard touchdown run on the first Seattle possession. However, it wasn’t until the third quarter that Alexander exploded with three one yard touchdown runs and carries for 15, 15, and 45 yards. As usual, Alexander earned his paycheck behind LT Walter Jones and LG Steve Hutchinson. The 45 yard scamper was designed to go up the middle, but Alexander spun back to his left and broke it outside sprinting between linebackers for the huge gain.
Morris saw an extended amount of garbage time at the end of the game. He made two nice runs lowering his shoulders and breaking tackles at the beginning of Seattle’s final drive that appeared to yield a first down, but the second run was called back due to a penalty. Earlier in the game he spelled RB Shaun Alexander for one play after a long Alexander carry. He made a hard charging six yard run up the gut to the one yard line and nearly scored. Alexander replaced him on the next play and scored his third touchdown of the game.
|RB Mack Strong, Rush: 2 - 11 - 0, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (1 targets)|
Strong’s lone target came just before halftime when Seattle moved to a hurry up offense. He had a nice 11 yard run up the gut late in the game on third and nine leading to PK Josh Brown’s second field goal.
Jackson saw a season high in targets and posted his second consecutive 100 yard receiving effort. Jackson was targeted two times in the end zone and once at the goal line. No drops to report this week (and only one for the season so far). He made a great catch on a third down slant pattern with a defensive back draped all over him. Also, late in the game with a 19 point lead QB Matt Hasselbeck delivered a 48 yard bomb over Jackson’s outside shoulder on a fly route. This is of significance because in the past several years Seattle has been content to play safe with large leads leading to several remarkable meltdowns.
Engram wasn’t targeted until the second quarter, but saw an increase in his role when the Seattle offense started to pile up yards. He was targeted in the end zone during the second quarter. Also, Engram suffered a rare first down drop during the third quarter.
Jurevicius consistently entered the game when Seattle went to three receiver sets moving WR Bobby Engram into the slot. However, only six of Seattle’s 28 first downs came on third down. They moved the ball so well in their base package that Jurevicius wasn’t needed in this game.
Warrick returned punts throughout the game. He got to see some garbage time at the end of the game when backup QB Seneca Wallace spelled Hasselbeck. Warrick ran a straight fly route and beat the corner deep for a 42 yard reception on his lone target.
Stevens started again this week. He is entrenched as the starting tight end in Seattle. He was targeted on the first Seattle play of the game and pulled in a 12 yard reception. Near the end of the first half Stevens had an ugly drop that would have kept a drive alive. He finished up the game in the third quarter catching both of his other targets. One was inside the ten yard line and he nearly scored, but was dragged down by the facemask. The penalty put the ball on the one yard line leading another Shaun Alexander touchdown plunge.
Brown hit all three of his of field goals in the game (33, 23, and 47 yards). These were Brown’s first attempts of the season. He was also perfect on extra point attempts.
The Seahawks stuffed Arizona on first down through most of the first half. A nine yard and 15 yard pair of runs by RB Marcel Shipp in the first half were the only running plays of significance from the Cardinals in the game. Arizona only ran the ball three times during the entire second half.
The Seattle front seven put heavy pressure on QB Kurt Warner early in the game. Twice Warner was punished just as he was delivering near interceptions during the first quarter. Early in the second half SS Michael Boulware sacked QB Josh McCown on a delayed blitz and forced a fumble setting up QB Shaun Alexander’s third touchdown. It was the first Seattle takeaway of the season. Backup CB Jordan Babineaux got his first career interception on the final play of the game. Free agent DE Bryce Fisher recorded his third sack in as many games as a Seahawk.