SEATTLE — Fresh off their first victory of the season, the Seahawks will head down to the valley of the sun to face a winless Arizona Cardinals team with a quarterback making his first NFL start.
Here are three keys to victory for the Hawks this Sunday:
Four games in and the Cardinals have decided--"the future is now!
Rookie QB Josh Rosen, the 10th pick in the this year's draft, will try to ignite Arizona fans the way other rookie signal callers like Baker Mayfield in Cleveland and the Jets Sam Darnold have.
The UCLA star was considered "pro ready" coming out of Westwood. With 4 minutes left last week against the Bears he was thrown in to try and win it -- Instead he threw an interception and was sacked.
Seattle's "D" must roll out that same "unwelcome mat". The Hawks ballhawkers need to add to their league-leading interception total of 7, and last Sunday's 5 sacks against the Cowboys is a good place to start against Arizona.
Rosen is smart, but not mobile, and lacks a big time arm. Seattle pass rushers' job is to rattle him all day.
Watch the Scouting report on Saturday at 7 p.m. for a complete preview of Sunday's game against the Broncos. Hear my one-on-one interview with safety Bradley McDougald, my '710 with 710' conversation with KIRO radio's Mike Salk and Danny O'Neill and more.
The Cards will try to help Rosen by running the ball early and often. The Key for the Hawks.. when Rosen throws, make him wish he'd gone into another line of work.
There may be no more special player on the Seahawks roster than Tyler Lockett.
One of the team's smallest in size, has perhaps the biggest heart.
He's come back from a gruesome leg injury a couple of years ago, to becoming Russell's go-to guy in the absence of Doug Baldwin. He leads the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. His 52-yarder against Dallas last Sunday was back-breaker.
But what makes Lockett in valuable is his role on special teams. He's a All Pro returning kicks and is facing a Cardinals team allowing almost 17-yds on punt returns. And last season, Tyler took a kick-off back 99-yds against Arizona for a score.
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Between his receptions and his returns Lockett's averaging 47 yards per touchdown, second highest in the NFL.
Big plays -- game-changing plays -- come in many forms: takeaways, a quick strike bomb, and an explosive special teams play. Tyler Lockett is primed for one and could be Key to a Hawks win in the Valley of the Sun.
It's one of the longest held theories of football: "staying on schedule" and "staying ahead of the chains" are the best ways to sustain drives, keep the ball, score points, and win the game.
It's making positive yards on first and second downs so that third down is three to five yards or less.
Sounds simple, but in their first two games -- both losses -- the Hawks were atrocious. Minus yards on runs, sacks, penalties, poor decisions all put Seattle third and long a lot. Just too tough to overcome.
The Cards can make Wilson and the offense look bad in the last three games they've recorded 14 sacks. Even though they have just two interceptions.. with athletes like Patrick Peterson and former Husky start Budda Baker: Arizona is always one-step away from a pick-six.
We need to see more of last Sunday's offense from the Seahawks: patient, run-heavy, but loaded for the big play. Russell with the good decisions, protected by his O-line, and beating themselves with penalties.
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