Playing their second game in five days against the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday, the Seahawks don’t have time to lament Sunday’s 17-14 loss to the Washington Redskins.
The loss ended the Seahawks' four-game winning streak and dropped them to second place in the NFC West playoff race.
Despite Sunday’s disappointing defeat, the team now will turn its attention to the (4-4) Arizona Cardinals, who are without their starting quarterback and starting running back, but who are coming off a 20-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
Watch Steve Raible's Scouting Report on Saturday at 7 p.m. to see full highlights of the game against the Cardinals. Hear reaction from head coach Pete Carroll, Steve’s postgame interviews with players, and more.
Halfway through the regular season this Seahawks team has shown flashes of dominant play at times, but will look to prove to a national television audience on Thursday night that they are still one of the best teams in the NFC.
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Here are three keys to victory for the Seahawks on Thursday:
Blair Walsh bounce-back
After missing three field goals against the Redskins (40, 39, 49) Seahawks kicker Blair Walsh declined to blame wind or wet conditions as a factor, saying, “Those kicks were all me.”
Head coach Pete Carroll publicly backed Walsh on Monday, saying the Seahawks would not bring in any kickers to potentially replace Walsh this week.
"No, we will not," Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle. "He's 12 for 13 going into the game, guys. That was a hard day for whatever reason. We didn't kick the ball off very well, either. It was just a hard day to kick the ball for us."
Like the rest of the team, Blair Walsh will look to quickly move past Sunday’s loss to the Redskins, but he will have to do so in a stadium that has been difficult for kickers in years past.
Former Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka, now with the Buffalo Bills, missed a potential game-winning 28-yard field goal on the way to a 6-6 tie against the Cardinals last year. Through Hauschka’s 10-year career, in which he spent six years in Seattle, he went 12-19 on field goals at University of Phoenix stadium.
On a tough surface for kickers, Blair Walsh will look to redeem himself and show coaches and fans everywhere that last Sunday’s misses were an aberration.
Stop Old-Man AP
The Arizona Cardinals lost starting running back David Johnson to a wrist injury in Week 1, and quickly found out how difficult life would be without their MVP candidate.
After cycling through various veteran running backs, Arizona made a trade with the New Orleans Saints to acquire 7-time Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson.
Since being traded to the Cardinals, Peterson has shown no signs of old-age and gave a 159 yard, 37-carry performance in Sunday’s win over the 49ers.
With backup Drew Stanton quarterbacking the Cardinals, Arizona is expected to again give a multitude of carries to its future Hall-of-Fame running back on Thursday night.
The Seahawks' usually stout run defense will have to be on its A-game against ‘AP’ in order to get a win on Thursday night.
Clean up the Penalties
The Seahawks currently lead the NFL in penalties through eight games this season and had a season-high 16 penalties in their loss the the Redskins.
On Monday, head coach Pete Carroll addressed the team's penalty issues and said it would be an emphasis in practice throughout the week.
“We are going to keep working at it. We’ve got a number of things that we are going to do. We will get after that again today and step it up,” Carroll said Monday. “We think it is a group thing, obviously, when you have a bunch like this, but it comes down to individual choices and making good decisions and doing things right."
All eyes will be on the Seahawks' discipline Thursday night, and controlling pre-snap penalties will be crucial for a Seattle win.
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