We called on a Seahawks expert to help us all understand what the Arizona Cardinals are facing this Sunday when they head to Seattle to take on a division rival in a big early season game. It's way too early to call this game a "must win" for Arizona but a loss to Seattle would be a severe setback to team and fan confidence. We talked to Danny Kelly of SB Nation Seattle and Seahawks blog, Field Gulls about the game.
Seahawks slow start
Seattle is 0-2 with two road losses to start the season. The record on its own isn't as bad as the way the team has lost. They've scored just 17 total points in those two games (49ers and Steelers) and are 25th in points allowed (57).
According to Kelly, the big reason for the struggles are the youth the Seahawks have on the field. Head coach Pete Carroll remade the roster since taking over in 2010 and has just 10 players left from the previous regime. That leaves a team trying to get on the same page at the same time they are adjusting to the NFL.
"It's apparent some of the schemes and personnel they are putting in this year still have some work to do," Kelly said.
Specifically, the main problem with the defense is the lack of pressure on the quarterback. Given time in the pocket, the Steelers picked on inexperienced cornerback Brandon Browner in Week 2 with Ben Roethlisberger taking apart the secondary for 297 yards allowed through the air.
The Seahawks haven't been too aggressive with their defense bringing blitz pressure relying instead on their base 4-3 defense. The defensive line, however, is more designed to stop the run with DE Red Bryant, DT Brandon Mebane, DT Alan Branch and DE Chris Clemons.
Pete Carroll is reportedly happy with Jackson's performance so far despite his underwhelming results and outside opinion.
"Most of the fans are hoping for a little bit more," Kelly said. "The general consensus from what I can tell, is that people hope that he gets a little bit more aggressive and decisive passing the ball. He's been a little bit timid and hesitant. It's really shown up on the field."
Jackson is 30th in the league with just 5.4 yards per attempt on mostly check downs and dump off passes.
Kelly thinks Seattle needs to get the run established to help Jackson. Seattle is last in NFL in rushing offense (95 yards) through two games. He's also looking for Jackson to be more aggressive with his opportunities.
Kelly says the key for the Seahawks is getting pressure on Kevin Kolb. CB Brandon Browner was picked on a lot last week by WR Mike Wallce but his size will theoretically help him match up better with Larry Fitzgerald. The biggest hope for Seahawks fans is simply a change in scenery.
"The Seahawks are just 100 percent better at home than on the road...They are going to have to play a lot better than they did the last two weeks but I don't think they've shown the potential that they have yet. I think it's going to be a close game but I think the Seahawks will win by a field goal (20-17)."
For more on this game visit Revenge of the Birds.