Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ten Quick Thoughts on ARI vs. SEA

1. Tarvaris Jackson has reportedly been getting urged to throw more trustingly, rather than waiting for 15-yard separation from a WR. Arizona's soft pass defense is ripe for a beating, so this game may make Jackson look better. Careful about being sucked in by one game against a bad defense.

2. The same goes for our run defense. The trend from last year - rolling along with inflated stats against bad rushing offenses and favorable game situations - is still there. The 94 yards and 2 TD's Seattle surrendered on 19 first-half Pittsburgh carries is probably a better picture of its true ability. Hate to be the bucket of cold water on that, but what are we more concerned about - its performance against the muck of the NFC West, or its performance against good teams of the kind we would face on the playoffs?

3. Chris Clemons is one to watch today. Cardinals LT Levi Brown had trouble with Clemons' quick first step last year, surrendering sacks even when whatever scrub Arizona was fielding at QB didn't hold onto the ball for the entire quarter. QB Kevin Kolb can neutralize this by getting the ball out quickly, which by all reports he'd been pretty solid at.

4. Have we gotten the obligatory "revenge factor" piece about Alan Branch playing against his former team yet? It'll probably be more like Colin Cole's "revenge" game against Green Bay, where he mentioned the motivation that "revenge" should give him and then went out and got crushed on the field. Alan Branch has been a non-factor on the Seahawks D-line so far but may get some action against Arizona's questionable O-line, like he did last year against Seattle. And then sink back into obscurity next week, which he did last year too. How many snaps did Clinton McDonald get in Pittsburgh?

5. Does anyone really expect Brandon Browner to accomplish anything against Larry Fitzgerald? Larry Fitzgerald? Come on. This won't be like last year, where Walter Thurmond looked good against him because he had Max Hall throwing the football.

6. Patrick Peterson could have his breakout day today.

7. Anyone else nervous about Sidney Rice trying to play through a torn labrum? One solid collision across the middle...

8. Zach Miller (and Seattle's microscopic passing game in general) could have a big day against gimpy Arizona linebackers Joey Porter and Daryl Washington.

9. Official prediction: Seattle scrapes by at home 26-20, prompting hope for Jackson and blowing the debate wide open again.

10. This game is a powder keg for Seattle's fan base. Should we lose, the fans will quickly distill into two extremist groups: the panic-depressive and the secretly relieved "Suck for Luck" crowd. The war will be long and arduous.

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