Seahawks Instant Reaction: D steps up in 20-10 win over Cards
Oct 22, 2023, 4:34 PM | Updated: 5:47 pm
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
The Seattle Seahawks rebounded from their misstep in Cincinnati, defeating the Arizona Cardinals 20-10 at Lumen Field behind another big day on defense.
As we do after each Hawks game, we’ve put together the instant reactions to Sunday’s game from the voices of Seattle Sports, which you can read below. Be sure to tune in to Seattle Sports on 710 AM or the app all day Monday, as we’ll digging even deeper into the win over the Cards beginning at 6 a.m., including at 9:30 a.m. with the weekly Pete Carroll Show live from Seahawks headquarters with the head coach himself.
Instant Reactions: Hawks beat Cards
• Stacy Rost – Bump and Stacy (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
The Seahawks’ offense needed to prove it could bounce back after a lackluster Week 6 and perform in the red zone against a struggling Cardinals team. It did… kind of.
Seattle was solid on third down, had a pair of touchdowns, and was 1 for 3 in the red zone. That was enough for a win Sunday! They’ll need a more consistent performance against a good Cleveland Browns defense next week – one that gave up 38 points Sunday, yes, but who is also tops in defensive DVOA. But that’s next week.
So, first things first, the good: Jaxon Smith-Njigba scored the first touchdown of his young NFL career on a 28-yard pass from Geno Smith. JSN went underneath Tyler Lockett, who was being covered by Budda Baker. Whether from confusion or to avoid running into Baker, Cards corner Mario Wilson peeled off the rookie, and JSN found himself wide open for a score. Also great: a toe-tap touchdown from fellow rookie receiver Jake Bobo, Pete Carroll’s challenge decisions, a 25-yard pass to tight end Noah Fant in tight coverage, and on defense one heck of a hit from Devon Witherspoon.
How do you pull away from a bad defense? By converting from the opponent’s 1-yard line and avoiding bad decision-making. Unfortunately, both were issues Sunday. Seattle’s offense failed to punch it in from the 1 on three tries, settling instead for a field goal. On another trip to the red zone, Smith threw a pass that was intercepted by Cardinals rookie Garrett Wilson, the latter of whom was staring down Smith the entire time. Smith also fumbled a snap.
A win is a win and Seattle got one they needed after last week’s loss. But for the second of the only back-to-back home games for the Seahawks this year, Seattle will need a cleaner performance – and hopefully one or two returning offensive linemen.
• Bob Stelton – Wyman and Bob (2-7 p.m.)
It certainly wasn’t pretty, but it’s a win!
It was great to see the Hawks lean on their run game. Kenneth Walker III went over the century mark for the first time this season with 105 rushing yards. He also accounted for every carry on the final drive.
Geno Smith started out great, but a very ill-advised throw resulted in an interception and a lost fumble made his day a little less special, to say the least.
The offense as a whole had their issues in the red zone once again, going 1 for 3. That’s 2 for 8 in the last two games combined.
The box score will not show what a great day rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon had. He had an interception and a sack both wiped out by untimely penalties, but he continues to be an absolute plus on the defensive side of the ball.
The Seahawks struggled more than I thought they would with a bad Cardinals team. But it’s a bottom line business, and bottom line, they got the win.
• Dave Wyman – Wyman and Bob/Seahawks Radio Network color commentator
• Justin Barnes – Brock and Salk (6-10 a.m.)
No DK, no problem?
Coming off a bad loss behind a disappointing offensive showing in Cincinnati, all eyes were on Geno Smith to bounce back from a less-than-impressive Week 6 and fix the red zone deficiencies to put the Seahawks back in the W column – and they were going to have to do it without one of their biggest offensive weapons in DK. So how did it go?
Consider the results mixed. Geno connected on two touchdown passes to rookies Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Jake Bobo (the latter of which included a catch-of-the-year-worthy toe tap), but the impressive throws were unfortunately matched by two very avoidable turnovers that certainly won’t sit well with those fans unconvinced by Smith’s performance thus far to be the Seahawks’ long-term answer at QB.
The defense was an entirely different story, limiting the Cardinals to just three points off three turnovers and showing exactly the kind of response I wanted to see one week after holding the Bengals to 17 points. Cornerback Devon Witherspoon had two game-altering plays negated due to penalty but still continued his Defensive Rookie of the Year candidacy with a highlight-reel hit on Cardinals WR Rondale Moore and terrific play on the outside. And let’s not forget to dish out some credit to Pete Carroll for going 2 for 2 on challenges!
Ultimately this was not a satisfying nor a concerning win, but getting a victory with a minus-three turnover differential without help from DK or rookie running back Zach Charbonnet is something no Seahawks fan should turn down.
• Mike Lefko – Wyman and Bob
This was a peak “play down to your competition” kind of game, and it might not ease any season-long concerns about the viability of this Seahawks offense. But a win is a win and that’s all that matters in the moment – especially after consecutive weeks of teams with poor records upsetting teams with good ones.
The red zone issues that plagued the Seahawks last week materialized again, especially on consecutive drives to start the third quarter when there was ample opportunity to put the game out of reach. Instead, it was not finding the end zone on first-and-goal from the 1, and then Geno Smith with a poor decision to throw the ball right into traffic.
Credit the Seahawks’ defense (and some self-inflicted Cardinals mistakes) for stiffening up and only allowing three points off the three turnovers. They pitched a second-half shutout and really didn’t do much wrong all game, with the only touchdown allowed coming after a questionable roughing the passer penalty negated an interception.
It was a great effort by the Seahawks’ rookie wide receivers to step up in place of DK Metcalf. One came in with plenty of hype and the other was Jaxon Smith-Njigba (insert your laugh here). When Jake Bobo was on with Wyman & Bob earlier this week, he mentioned the importance of technique and precise route running to overcome his perceived lack of speed. It certainly was impressive on the two big catches in the first half, including the TD that NFL Next Gen Stats deemed the most improbable TD catch of the season.
Quickly looking ahead, it will be paramount for the offensive line to get healthy with the early Defensive Player of the Year favorite Myles Garrett rolling into town next Sunday with the Browns.
More on the Seattle Seahawks
• ‘We’re getting better’: Carroll shares what he’s seeing from Seahawks’ defense
• What three former Seahawks said about DK Metcalf’s penalties
• Seattle Seahawks WR DK Metcalf won’t change style after another penalty