Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
In week 4 the Seattle Seahawks had to stage an epic rally to overcome a 17-point deficit to beat the Texans in Houston. In Week 5 the Seattle Seahawks lost to the Colts by 6 in Indianapolis…GASP. In week 6, in the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field surrounded by 68,000 body guards, the Hawks fumbled 5 times and yet beat the Titans 20-13.
Week 7 then brought a bit of nastiness, courtesy of the NFL, forcing Seattle to play on a Thursday night against their NFC West foe: The Arizona Cardinals.
Seattle has lost 7 of the last 9 games they have played there, the most recent being the first NFL start of a certain rookie Q.B. from Wisconsin. It would seem by the panic of the fans flooding local sports radio stations that this was a recipe for disaster, and all they had hoped for was about to be as real as hopes of the crosstown Mariners winning 80 games.
This season questions started arising about opposing defenses figuring out Russell Wilson and after three weeks of Wilson not running enough, he was now running too much and when he wasn’t running too much he wasn’t seeing wide open receivers.
To add insult to injury, Kansas City Chiefs fans broke the noise record set just four weeks earlier by the 12th Man.
The phone lines were full of worry and dread, while seemingly all but forgotten was that the Seahawks were 4-1 with a 1 ½ game lead over the 49ers in spite of missing their starting right tackle in Breno Giacomini, their All-Pro Left Tackle in Russell Okung, their starting Middle Linebacker in Bobby Wagner and their prize off-season acquisition in WR Percy Harvin.
Seahawk fans had 1 foot on the ledge and the other in a pool of Brian Bosworth’s hair gel.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Seahawks quickly put the frayed nerves of the 12th Man at ease by putting together an opening drive of 5 plays for 83 yards that was capped by a 31-yard scoring strike to WR Sidney Rice. On the ensuing Cardinal possession Q.B. Carson Palmer attempted a deep pass to Fitzgerald that was broken up by CB Brandon Browner.
Browner, tipped the pass up just enough for Safety Earl Thomas to make a diving interception. You may remember that Browner was benched for a time last week after getting burned over the top twice in the second quarter against the Titans. It was good to see him rebound and play a really good game.
After the turnover, Wilson led the team on an 11 play, 72-yard drive that ended with TE Zach Miller catching a 15-yard touchdown pass.
The Cardinals defense made a couple of plays in the second quarter, namely stuffing the quarterback sneak on fourth and inches on the Seattle 48 , which led to a 49 yard Jay Feely field goal, and a strip sack of Wilson which the Cardinals recovered on the Seattle 3-yard line. Rashard Mendenhall scored to cut the lead to 14-10.
The Seahawks added a 51-yard Steven Hauschka FG and the Hawks went into the half leading 17-10.
Browner will probably be ridiculed by his teammates and be a fixture on blooper reels because the only reason he didn’t take his pick to the house is because he fell down. I mean he was running and was tripped up by his shadow, unless he owed Marshawn Lynch a favor as Beast Mode Scored two plays later.
The #2 ranked defense continued their march back to their dominating form after the Colts game, limiting quarterback Carson Palmer to 258 yards while going 30/45, one garbage time touchdown and two interception.
Palmer was harassed all game long. The Seahawks sacked Palmer seven times and he was either sacked or under duress on 27 of his 45 drop-backs. The defense held the Cardinals to a total of 30 rushing yards on 18 carries and even held all-world receiver Larry Fitzgerald to two catches for 17 yards.
The Seattle offense was led by Wilson’s 18/29 for 235 yards and 3 scores. Wilson also rushed 8 times for 29 yards. The rushing attack was once again led by Lynch who tallied 91 yards and 1 score on 21 carries.
There were several of the national pundits who felt the unease in the Seattle fan base and that led to them picking the Cardinals to upset Seattle… bad choice.
The Seahawks showed the NFL and the National viewing audience that they are a team that is able and willing to overcome adversity, make adjustments and then take it to you. In short, this reaffirmed what was said in the pre-season: This is one of the top 3-4 teams in the NFL and they’re poised to make not only a push for the best record in the NFC but to earn a trip to the Superbowl.