Seahawks at Cardinals – Fourth quarter

Matt Hasselbeck

Peephole perspective: Too much Beanie Wells. Too much Kurt Warner. Another road loss for the Seahawks.

Player of the quarter: Wells. He ran for one score – a 13-yarder. He ran the Cardinals into another score – with a 29-yard run and a 23-yard reception.

Play of the quarter: Wells’ 13-yard touchdown run that gave the Cardinals a 24-20 lead with 11:20 to play. He was hit twice on his way to the end zone, but still managed to score.

Line of the quarter: 14-3. That was the Cardinals’ scoring edge in the final quarter, which was good enough to wrap up this game.

The bigger picture: The drive that ended the third quarter ended with Olindo Mare kicking a go-ahead 20-yard field. The Seahawks had a first-and-goal, thanks to a pass interference penalty against Bryant McFadden in the end zone against T.J. Houshmandzadeh. But Adrian Wilson slapped away Matt Hasselbeck’s first-down pass to Houshmandzadeh, Justin Forsett was tackled for a 1-yard loss on second down and Dominique Rodgers-Cromarite got a hand on Hasselbeck’s third-down pass to Nate Burleson in the end zone.

The Seahawks’ lead didn’t last long. Four plays, in fact. Wells scored on a 13-yard run to give the Cardinals a 24-20 lead with 11:20 to play. He was hit twice on his way to the end zone, but spun from the would-be tackler each time. The big play, however, was Warner’s 37-yard pass to Anquan Boldin. When FS Jordan Babineaux was flagged for a horse-collar tackle, the 15-yard penalty moved the ball to the 13.

The Cardinals stretched their lead to 31-20 the next time they had the ball with a six-play, 85-yard drive that ended when Larry Fitzgerald took an 18-yard pass from Warner – the 200th TD pass of Warner’s career.  The drive started with Wells and Warner hooking up on a 23-yard completion. It also included a 29-yard run by Wells.

After the Seattle defense forced a three-and-out, the Seahawks moved from their own 5 to the Arizona 25, but Matt Hasselbeck’s second-down pass was intercepted by Antrel Rolle to snuff any comeback hopes the Seahawks were harboring.

The Seahawks were near the Cardinals goal line again, but Hasselbeck bobbled the snap and attempted a shovel pass to Forsett. Instead, Cardinals SS Andrian Wilson intercepted it.


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Seahawks at Cardinals – Third quarter

David Hawthorne

Peephole perspective: One long drive by the Cardinals to open the half. Tie game, 17-17.

Player of the quarter: Kurt Warner. The Cardinals QB was 8 of 10 for 80 yards in getting his team even.

Play of the quarter: Beanie Wells scored on a 10-yard run, on fourth down, to tie the game.

Line of the quarter: 116-55. That was the Cardinals’ yardage advantage in the quarter.

The bigger picture: Wow. The Cardinals took the second-half kickoff and moved 82 yards in 13 plays to a tying TD run by Beanie Wells. Warner passed the Cardinals down the field, hitting Anquan Boldin for 9, Steve Breaston for 18, Boldin for 15 and LaRod Stephens-Howling for 15. Wells went the final 10 yards for the score on fourth down.

The two teams then exchanged three-and-out series, before the Seahawks put together and all-back drive to close the quarter. They moved from their own 7 to the Cardinals’ 24, as Hasselbeck passed to Justin Forsett and Louis Rankin and also handed off to them. Forsett carried twice for 16 yards, Rankin twice for 22. Forsett caught a 2-yard pass, Rankin a 9-yarder.


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Seahawks at Cardinals – Second quarter

TJ Houshmandzadeh

Peephole perspective: Matt Hasselbeck to a wide-open John Carlson. Kurt Warner to a wide-open Steve Breaston. A couple of late field goals. Seahawks 17-10.

Player of the quarter: Justin Forsett. With apologies to Hasselbeck (8 of 11 for 78 yards), Forsett was pulling double duty. He carried six times for 49 yards and also caught a couple of passes, as he took over for the injured Julius Jones and also played his usual role as the third-down back.

Play of the quarter: The TD pass from Hasselbeck to Carlson. It not only went for 31 yards, it came from a two-tight end, two-back set on third-and-1. With the Seahawks bunched, Carlson curled off the line and was wide open to take Hasselbeck’s pass.

Line of the quarter: 10 of 13, 134 yards, 1 TD, 134.8 passer rating. That was Warner, as he passed the Cardinals back into the game.

The bigger picture: The defense held the Cardinals again, and again, to open the quarter. That set the stage for a five-play, 54-yard TD drive, as Carlson got ridiculously open to take Hasselbeck’s pass for a 31-yard score. Nate Burleson had a 27-yard punt return to give the Seahawks the ball at the Arizona 46. The drive included a 5-yard pass to backup QB Seneca Wallace and a 9-yard run by Forsett.

The Cardinals answered with a six-play, 65-yard drive that included a 19-yard pass interference penalty on CB Marcus Trufant for tripping WR Larry Fitzgerald and then a 28-yard TD pass from Warner to Breaston, who was wide open because he turned Trufant around on his route. Warner was 3 of 3 for 49 yards.

But Olindo Mare pushed the Seahawks lead to 17-7 when he kicked a 32-yard field goal with 1:09 left in the half. The kick capped a 12-play, 67-yard drive that featured a whole lotta Forsett. He ran four times for 35 yards, including a 24-yarder on the second play of the drive. The drive also featured a 15-yard pass from Wallace to Houshmandzadeh from the SeneCat formation on third-and-2.

Warner then shoved the Cardinals’ two-minute offense into warp speed, as they moved 71 yards in eight plays to a Neil Rackers’ 27-yard field goal as time expired. Warner was 6 of 6 – to five different receivers.


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Seahawks at Cardinals – First quarter

Matt Hasselbeck

Peephole perspective: A goal-line stand. A 99-yard touchdown drive. Seahawks 7-0.

Player of the quarter: Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck. He threw (for 96 yards). He scrambled (for 6 yards). He dropped a perfectly thrown pass to WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh for a 53-yard completion from his own end zone.

Play of the quarter: The long pass from Hasselbeck to Houshmandzadeh got the Seahawks off the doorstep of their own goal line. But it was CB Marcus Trufant and LB Leroy Hill teaming up to stop Cardinals RB Tim Hightower for no gain on a 4th-and-1 run.

Line of the quarter: 131-38. It was total yards, with the Seahawks holding a huge advantage thanks to the six-play, 99-yard drive that ended with Justin Forsett’s 11-yard TD run.

The bigger picture: The Seahawks took the opening kickoff and drove to the 50 in 9 plays. The series stalled when Cardinals LBs Karlos Dansby and Clark Haggans got to Hasselbeck for an 8-yard sack on second-and-10 from the Seattle 44.

The defense, meanwhile, held the Cardinals to a three-and-out series and then a six-play possession that fizzled when CB Josh Wilson stopped Larry Fitzgerald for no gain on a second-down pass and DE Darryl Tapp dropped Tim Hightower for no gain on a third-down run.

The field then became to slant in the Cardinals’ favor, however, when Michael Adams downed Ben Graham’s 51-yard punt at the Seattle 1, and the Seahawks went three-and-out.

The Cardinals got the ball to the Seahawks’ 8 when Wilson was flagged for pass interference on Fitzgerald. It appeared Trufant picked off a Warner pass in the end zone, but the Cardinals challenged the ruling on the field and it was overturned because Trufant had gone out of the end zone and not reestablished himself before making the interceptions. But the Seahawks denied the Cardinals, as Trufant (low) and Hill (high) combined to stop Hightower for no gain on a fourth-and-1 run.

Pinned at their own 1, Hasselbeck laid a perfect pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh along the right sideline for a 53-yard completion and it became a 68-yard gain when Cardinals CB Ralph Brown was penalized for a facemask on the tackle. Five plays later, Forsett went off right guard to score from 11 yards out. The drive also included a 6-yard scramble by Hasselbeck and his 6-yard completion to rookie WR Deon Butler on third-and-5.

Forsett was carrying the load for the Seahawks because leading rusher Julius Jones left the game with a chest contusion.


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Schmitt inactive; also Cards’ Okeafor

The only surprise among the Seahawks’ inactive players is backup FB Owen Schmitt. It could be an indication that they don’t plan to run a lot today out of a traditional two-back set. Or just that starter Justin Griffith is the better lead blocker.

This is the first time this season that Schmitt has been inactive, and he started a game when Griffith was out with a sprained knee.

Also inactive:

  • SS Jamar Adams
  • DT Red Bryant
  • OG Mike Gibson
  • TE Cameron Morrah
  • OG Mansfield Wrotto
  • DL Derek Walker
  • 3rd QB: Mike Teel

Inactive for the Cardinals:

  • LB Gerald Hayes
  • LB Chike Okeafor
  • PL Herman Johnson
  • OL Brandon Keith
  • TE Dominique Byrd
  • WR Sean Morey
  • TE Ben Patrick
  • 3rd QB: Brian St. Pierre

Ali Highsmith will start Hayes and Bertrand Berry for Okeafor.

Okeafor, the former Seahawk, has been bothered by back spasms.


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Countdown to Kickoff

Greetings from University of Phoenix Stadium, where the Seahawks will play a gotta-have-it game against the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals. The Seahawks’ season is not over if they lose today, obviously. This is only their ninth game. But achieving their goals will all but slip away if they can’t find a way to upset the Cardinals.

With a win, the Seahawks would be one game behind the Cardinals. With a loss, well, they’ll be 3-6 and heading to Minnesota next week to face the Vikings.

This is a matchup of a team that hasn’t been able to win on the road (the Seahawks are 0-3) against a team that has had problems winning at home (the Cardinals are 1-3).

The Seahawks get left tackle Sean Locklear back today for the first time since he got a high ankle sprain in Week 2. That should help with the pass protection for Matt Hasselbeck, who was sacked five times and hit nine times in the Cardinals’ 27-3 victory at Qwest Field in Week 6.

Speaking of pass protection, the Seahawks have to find a way to disrupt – if not sack – Kurt Warner. The Cardinals’ QB can hold the ball longer to allow his receivers to get open because he gets rid of the ball so quickly. If the Seahawks can make him move, rather than just sit in the pocket, it will help in defusing Arizona’s potent passing attack.

The one thing the Seahawks cannot do is get off to a slow start. They have fallen behind 17-0, 14-3 and 17-0 in their past three games.

It’s a gorgeous day in the other reaches of The Valley of the Sun – Glendale – with the forecast calling for a high of 69 degrees. But it’s all relative. A half dozen times since we arrived yesterday people have apologized to me because it’s so cold here.

We’ll be back later with the inactives.


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