Sunday, December 21, 2014

Arizona Cardinals defense allows slow kid to win race, act like a jerk

After watching the Seattle Seahawks defeat the Arizona Cardinals 35-6 in the late game Sunday, I was reminded of the kid in gym class who “won” a race around a gym field track because the faster kids were either hurt or didn’t care, and this guy acts like he’s just broken the sound barrier; you just wish someone would just knock him out. That’s what I wish some team will do to the Seahawks very soon, preferably early in the playoffs.

As I noted last week, the Cardinals were forced to start their third-string quarterback, Ryan Lindley, forced off the practice squad after Carson Palmer was injured. This was the guy who played patsy in Seattle’s most lopsided victory in team history, 58-0 in 2012 and did not play at all in 2013. Lindley played to form; his 47.2 passer rating was actually “average” for him. Arizona was playing at home, the Cardinals supposedly have a good defense and they ran the ball OK the last couple of weeks, and their coach is supposed to be a “genius.” This was supposed to mean the game was going to be “competitive”? I suppose that in some fantasy world, the Cardinals could actually defeat the Seahawks because, after all, “miracles” do happen, and anything can happen “on any given Sunday” in the NFL. 

Well, not on this night. Yet in first half, Seattle out-gained Arizona 318 to 64 and still only led 14-3, mainly because of an 80-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson. Wilson also had a 55-yard run in their somewhere, except that it didn’t lead to points. Like last week, Wilson seemed to be just padding his stats to no useful purpose at the end of the first half. By the fourth quarter it was still only a 14-6 game, and by this time people might be wondering why a team that was out-gaining the opponent 450 to 150 was so hapless in scoring points, even accounting for two missed field goals. This has been a problem for Seattle all year.

Then the inevitable occurs: The Cardinals defense, unable or unwilling to further stem the tide of defeat despite failing to force a single turnover, allowed the levy to burst. Wilson completes three passes for 67 yards and a touchdown, Marshawn Lynch runs 79 yards for another touchdown, and a Lindley interception—the first and only turnover forced by the Seattle defense—leads to a Wilson 5-yard rushing score as the Seahawks win 35-6. In total yards the Cardinals were pummeled 596 to 216, with Seattle averaging nearly 9 yards per offensive play. 

Was I “impressed” by the offensive effort? What for? Seattle scored 21 points quarter in the fourth quarter on a team that despite its inability to move the ball with a practice squad quarterback, proved through three quarters that Seattle still has questions on offense?

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