Takeaways: Seahawks DLs Frank Clark, Jarran Reed reach career-highs in sacks
The Seahawks ended an unfortunate streak of home losses against Arizona with their 27-24 win on Sunday, but the Cardinals didn’t go down without a fight. Seattle saw the score tied twice against a Cardinals team that ranks worst in the league in total offense and total defense (here’s a bit more on those struggles).
Here are a few quick takeaways from Week 17:
Reed, Clark reach career-highs in sacks
Defensive linemen Frank Clark and Jarran Reed closed out the regular season with career-highs in sacks (14 and 10.5, respectively) after the Seahawks sacked Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen five times Sunday.
Reed’s 2018 sack total more than doubles that of first two seasons combined.
“Just watching my boy come in from the beginning, it’s been awesome,” Clark said of Reed. “That was the sacks for a D-lineman, an interior D-lineman, a nose tackle, a 3-tech, whatever you want to call him – it was impressive, I don’t care what you say.”
But Arizona gets its sacks, too
Unfortunately for Seattle, the Cardinals saw just as much productivity from their defensive line. Russell Wilson was sacked six times, which matched a season-high in sacks surrendered (Seattle also gave up six sacks in Week 1 and Week 2).
Left tackle Duane Brown vowed to clean up mental errors before wild-card weekend.
“You never take winning in his league for granted,” Brown said post-game. “Arizona always plays us tough. Offensively, on the line, this was a poor performance. I’m not very happy about it at all. We had a lot of breakdowns in protection. We didn’t run the ball consistently… we got Russ hit way too many times. That’s not the kind of product we want to put on the field.”
Worth noting is that the Seahawks were short both of their starting guards. D.J. Fluker (hamstring) suited up but remaining sidelined while J.R. Sweezy missed the game to rehab a foot injury.
Both players are expected to return next weekend, though based on Carroll’s comments Sunday, Sweezy’s status could still be in jeopardy.
“He’s going to do everything he can (to return),” Carroll said of Sweezy, “and if it can happen, it’ll happen. … He’s been rehabbing around the clock, so he’ll give us everything he’s got to get back.”
Assuming that at least Fluker returns, the offensive line will revert to their regular roles on the right side of the line, with Germain Ifedi returning to right tackle and George Fant returning to a reserve role that includes some looks at tight end.
Back to 10
Despite Arizona’s lackluster season, a win’s a win – and Sunday’s victory leaves Seattle with a 10-6 record to end the regular season. Their 2018 season officially becomes the sixth time the Seahawks have finished with 10 or more wins under head coach Pete Carroll. Seattle also improves from a 2017 season that saw the team finish with single-digit wins (9-7) and miss the postseason for the first time since 2012.
The Seahawks clinched the fifth seed with their win Sunday and will next face the Cowboys (10-6) in Dallas on Saturday, Jan. 5. The game is scheduled for a 5:15 p.m. kickoff.
In addition to Fluker and Sweezy, the team is also hoping to have cornerback Shaquill Griffin available next week. Griffin injured his ankle in the first quarter Sunday and did not return to the field, but Carroll implied post-game that the move was precautionary.
“He was dying to get back in,” Carroll said. “We just held him out because we knew that Akeem (King) could play, and we didn’t think we had to push it right there just to make sure that we didn’t overdo it with him.”