T*steful Roundup: Beating the Cardinals at Home Edition

Welcome back to another Victory Monday version of THE T*STEFUL ROUNDUP.

The Seattle Seahawks decided to, despite rampant shittiness, beat the Cardinals at home for the first time since 2014. Contributors, guest-posters, and all sorts of rascals from the BeastGlobe will write up a brief chunk of text discussing their thoughts from the previous night’s game. It will likely be a combination of humor, insight, knowledge, ineptitude, and everything in between.

Enjoy these words from all of these nerds.

Jesse:

Today was a game of some very important matchups:

Rashaad Penny against the dumb guy who kept calling him Perry;
Our Lord and Savior Michael Dickson (#PuntToWin) against the entire rest of the Cardinals Special Teams, who played more like Special Forces in that game;
Brian Schottenheimer against Russell Wilson;
Josh Rosen against himself;
Russell Wilson against the fear of rain;
Ethan Pocic against his likely future as a very good backup to a backup of some team’s offensive line;
The Entire Seahawks offense against the ghost of Tom Cable;
Doug Baldwin against his own body (sadface);
David Moore against the memory of Ricardo Lockette;
Janikowski against the curse of Blair Walsh;
Peter Clay Carroll’s capacity for deceit against everyone who still believes him when he says always compete;
The 2018 Seahawks against the 2017 Seahawks; and
Everyone who believed Schotty + PC when they proclaimed that a run-centric offensive philosophy was a really good idea against no one.

The zeitgeist of this game was that it was pointless before it was even over (except for the very real possibility that the Cardinals could draft Nick Bosa and ruin RW for the following five years at least). Thankfully, no one won.

Vannessa:

What a season this has turned into! Double-digit wins AND the first overall pick in the 2019 draft. Allbright admitted his predictions were “hilariously incorrect” and even dabbled in Seahawks Twitter. Prisco apologized for his centuries of unabated Wilson slander. The highly coveted Wilson-to-Lockett connection cultivated a PERFECT 158.3 passer rating on the season. (This is absolutely wild. Lockett had zero drops/interceptions when targeted through 16 games with ten touchdowns and was just shy of 1000 yards.)

While yesterday’s contest versus Arizona was messy, don’t forget that Seattle beat Kansas City, one of the best teams in the league, just one week prior. This game ultimately meant nothing, with Chicago beating Minnesota, and Seattle still pulled out the win with no major injuries; though we now know how crucial Fluker and Sweezy are to the congruity of the offensive line and to Wilson’s preservation. Without them it felt like Tom Cable had ambushed CLink before the game and stuffed Solari in a locker with a wedgie for his final act of franchise villainy.

So let’s buckle up and savor the fifth playoff run in the last six seasons. And someone DM Pete to let him know our bodies are ready for a postseason Fant slant.

Sam:

I told myself at the beginning of the season that I would be ecstatic if Seattle made it to 10 wins and holy shit they actually did it. I’m still in disbelief that they actually managed to pull it off; after the defensive exodus; after starting 0-2; after committing to a ground attack in a passing era. It makes no sense!

Russell Wilson now has as many 10 win seasons as Joe Montana and Dan Marino. His 110.8 passer rating means he is now one of 5 QBs with multiple 110+ rated seasons in his career, joining a few guys named Brady, Manning, Rodgers and Brees. Get used to seeing Russ pop up more frequently along names like this from now on. He broke the Seahawks franchise record for passing touchdowns.

Wilson also broke his own single-season record for passer rating and passing touchdowns. He now has the 9th longest consecutive start streak by a QB in NFL history. You have to be blind or a Pro Bowl voter to not recognize we’re witnessing greatness.

If every cigarette takes seven minutes off your life, how much time does watching a Seahawks game take off? The anxiety, the heart rate spikes, the neurotransmitter release… I’m genuinely convinced this team causes heart attacks. Even a home game versus the worst team in the league was panic-inducing.

But the Seahawks are my drug of choice and I’m not quitting.

Nathan E:

10 wins!!!

I’m operating on very little sleep.

Peter:

Bra-vo. Bra-fucking-vo. While on the surface this game appeared to be a total fucking disaster (or at least as much of a disaster that a win can be), it was actually one of Pete Carroll’s finest masterpieces. HANG THIS BABY IN THE LOUVRE!

We often take it for granted that Pete Carroll is a master motivator, and no position group is more susceptible to the vagaries of mood than the FG kicker. To say that Janikowksi has struggled this year would be an understatement (and also entirely unforeseeable). Therefore, in order to get his mojo right before the playoffs, Carroll concocted a game plan that would not only let Sea-Bass (nicknamed after that noble fish) bang in some easy extra points, but would also get a big confidence boost from another game-winning field goal.

Do you think that Brian Schneider is a fool? One does not simply block a Michael Dickson punt…

…unless it was the plan all along.

Dan:

I heard some people expected yesterday’s game to be easy for the Seattle Seahawks. Hell, Vegas had Seattle winning by 14.

If you were one of those people, I am sorry.

But if you know these Seahawks, you should also know that a home game against a terrible Cardinals team could only mean a miserable experience for everyone. Heading into it with this expectation in mind, the game wasn’t too bad. The Vikings totally shitting the bed in Chicago also helped ease my mind, knowing that Seattle would lock up the 5-seed no matter what kind of crazy shenanigans they got up to against these tiny-beaked Kam/Sherm/Earl killers. And when the Cardinals tied it up late in the 4th quarter, I’m not ashamed to admit a part (most) of me was pretty excited to see the sequel to the 6-6 Thursday Night Football Fiasco.

But unfortunately Seabass came through in the clutch, and the Hawks were able to roll into the playoffs with the mighty 7-game win streak. Go Hawks.

Tony:

The Seahawks out-pecked their small beak rival to finish the regular season at 10-6, cementing Arizona as the number one overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. With not much to gain objectively, and potentially a lot to lose on the health front, this game wasn’t the most exhilarating after last week’s thriller against Kansas City. NEVER AGAIN will I hear the words “we treat every game the same.” It’s the biggest fabrication since Seahawks Twitter told us french fries don’t matter. (Editor’s Note: French fries do matter.)

A couple of cool things did actually happen in this game, though. Russell Wilson became the franchise leader in passing touchdowns on a pass to Tyler Lockett, maintaining a perfect passer rating (158.3) when targeted for the ENTIRE SEASON! This is perhaps one of the coolest — if not the most unique — statistics of the year.

The other has to be the dominance of Frank Clark, who finished the year with 14.0 sacks. Beyond the numbers, he’s transformed himself into a grown man, going beyond what most expected of him. Now a cog. A staple. A mainstay in this defense for years to come. His extension is no doubt a top priority for Seattle’s front office as the offseason draws near.

For now, the Seahawks turn their attention to Wild Card Weekend. We’re going through the Big D and I do mean Dallas.

Griffin:

That’s So Beak Week.

In a way it’s like Bruce Arians never left.

It was an ugly game to conclude the regular season. As we all are, I’m just happy we got the win. The self-destructive elements that the Seahawks always seem to exhibit against the Cardinals in Week 17’s aren’t_not_worrisome, but part of me thinks this matchup was looked past a bit in preparation for the Cowboys BECAUSE PLAYOFFS BABY WOOT WOOT.

The Cardinals don’t have a dominant defensive front, but there is enough talent there to give the line serious fits. More concerning was the lack of blitz and pressure detection pre-snap. Pocic and the backs especially had trouble picking up assignments. Dallas has a better DL, so Sweezy and Fluker are hopefully good to go.

And Jarran Reed and Frank Clark BOTH with DOUBLE DIGIT sackage on the season??

That’s So Pass Rush.

John:

The Seahawks, known bird slayers (recidivist avianicide offenders?), won a football game in which they:

  • Had two punts blocked leading directly to 10 points
  • Saw Russell Wilson get sacked six times, four in the first half
  • Gave up a 55-yard field goal to tie the game inside two minutes
  • Straight dropped two sure interceptions, one a potential pick six
  • Punted on four straight possessions
  • Got 152 yards passing and NEGATIVE rushing yards from their quarterback

Adding insult to maybe no serious injury, Michael Dickson got outpunted on average. Sacrilege. Heresy. Treason.

In other words, it was typical Cardinals-at-home bullshit, except instead of it leading to a loss, the Seahawks, as is their destiny, found a way.

We didn’t get 12-3-1, but we got a playoff birth despite a spate of crippling injuries. Yes, birth. Because Wilson, Wagner, Carroll, Schneider & Co. are the midfathers of a new era. The four fathers, the fore fathers, who got a lot farther by working a lot harder. (Apologies to LMM.)

Now the fun starts.

Mike:

Against the Chiefs a week ago, the Seattle Seahawks decided to be The Good Seattle Seahawks.

Against the Cardinals yesterday, the Seattle Seahawks decided to be The Not Good Seattle Seahawks. Some might even say that they decided to be… *shudder* …The Bad Seattle Seahawks.

On a day where Pete Carroll and company clearly couldn’t give less of a fuck about their visiting opponent, Seattle won out almost purely on talent. Scheme was abandoned in favor of “hey hopefully this works so we don’t have to tip our hands for the playoffs.”

Both starting guards didn’t do the thing that they are supposed to do: guard.

The defense dropped two easy interceptions.

Doug Baldwin dropped two easy completions.

Tyler Lockett didn’t.

Jarran Reed and Frank Clark both had two sacks apiece.

Sebbers bookended yet another successful Beak Week.

In the most nonchalant fashion imaginable, the Seahawks enter the postseason after earning their 10th win.

Again.

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