The Cardinals had a chance to make the score close at the end, but this game was never in question for the Hawks. After a dominant touchdown drive for the Hawks that went 83 yards in a mere five plays, they followed it up with an 11 play, 72 yard touchdown drive. Both resulted in sweet TD throws from Wilson, but the first to Sidney Rice was one of the better throws he has ever made. If you haven’t seen it you have to. It was beautiful. The second touchdown throw was to Zach Miller and that put that Hawks up 14-0. The Cardinals fought back, but the Hawks overwhelmed them in the end and earned themselves a sweet division victory on the road. Next up is the Rams on Monday Night Football (where Percy Harvin could be back), but first let’s find out what to take away from Thursday’s win.
1. ZACH IS BACK!
Oh Zach Miller how we have missed you. After missing both the Colts and Titans games, the strong tight end returned with a bang, scoring a touchdown in the second quarter. He had five catches for 40 yards in his return but his presence was felt all over the field. His blocking in the run game was a pretty sizable upgrade from the talented but inconsistent rookie Luke Willson, and his contributions in the passing game were obvious. Russell Wilson and Zach Miller have developed great chemistry and it showed through multiple third down conversions. Miller is a very good all-around player and it is great to have Wilson’s security blanket back.
This is the Zach Miller we all have come to know and like.
2. The dreaded fumbilitis has struck
Marshawn Lynch had one fumble that he recovered himself, but the big story was King/Savior/Wizard Russell Wilson himself who had three (!) fumbles. Not two, not four, but three (Shout out to all you Monty Python watchers). Some blame the offensive line for allowing constant pressure on Wilson, but that does not excuse Wilson from fumbling so much. Wilson lost two of his three fumbles which led to 10 Cardinals points. This was really what made the game even remotely close as it would have been 34-12 without the turnovers. Wilson has already eclipsed his fumble total of his entire rookie season and it is only week 7. Wilson has now lost five fumbles on the season. The Hawks still got the win, but this has to stop.
3. What in the world happened to the O-Line?!
Of course, the week after I go touting the offensive line for improving their previously-shaky play, they drop a stinker. The line played terrible. Simple as that. To make matters worse, James Carpenter had to leave the game with an ankle injury, although he did return. The Cardinals had three sacks but were in the backfield throughout the game, making it very uncomfortable for Wilson. Not sure what the next move is here, perhaps give Alvin Bailey a shot in one of the line spots. Whatever the coaching staff decides to do, I’m sure Russell Wilson hopes it gets fixed sooner rather than later.
Richard Sherman had another great game on the defensive side of the ball.
4. This defense is scary good
Seven sacks, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles. At full strength this defense is absolutely vicious and can potentially stake a claim as the best defense in the NFL, although the Chiefs might have something to say about it. In any case, what makes this defense so good (besides the Legion of Boom being unstoppable) is its depth. So many plays from so many different players. There were seven sacks Thursday, and eight different players were in on at least part of one. Four different players forced turnovers. Oh and Cliff Avril was the only one to have both a sack and a forced turnover. So 11 different players either had a sack or forced turnover. Nuts. Absolutely nuts.
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