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Seahawks-Cardinals final score: Seahawks win 20-17 as time expires Youth Ethan Pocic Jersey , but lose Earl Thomas The Seattle Seahawks (2-2) once against beat the Arizona Cardinals (0-4) in Glendale, and it was like pulling teeth. Seattle’s running game burst to life with 171 yards, including 101 by Mike Davis, but the passing game was largely tepid once again, and the defense struggled to hold off rookie QB Josh Rosen in the 4th quarter. However, a Phil Dawson missed field goal gave the Seahawks a chance to win the game with under two minutes to go, and Russell Wilson and Mike Davis delivered. Sebastian Janikowski, who had missed twice in the 1st half, won the game with a 52-yarder at the buzzer.Unfortunately, this was yet another appearance in Glendale in which the Seahawks suffered serious injuries. Will Dissly appeared to have suffered a serious knee injury in the opening quarter, while Earl Thomas was hurt on Arizona’s tying touchdown in the 4th quarter. Both men were carted off, and in Thomas’ case, if the injury is serious, it might be the last time we see Earl in a Seahawks uniform, just as what happened to Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor last season.1st HalfThe Seahawks began the game on offense, and it was a bright start for Mike Davis, who had 23 yards on his first two carries. A false start by D.J. Fluker and a failed 3rd and 6 in which Doug Baldwin only ran a five-yard route led to a punt. Arizona only managed one first-down before punting, as Jarran Reed picked up an easy sack on Josh Rosen.Davis Youth Rashaad Penny Jersey , who started for the injured Chris Carson, continued to tear up Arizona’s defense, running for a 20 yard touchdown with Wilson blocking downfield. The drive of course was unfortunately marred by what looks to have been a serious knee injury to TE Will Dissly. 7-0 Seahawks.Literally one play later, the Seahawks got the ball back. David Johnson was stripped of the ball by Tre Flowers and Bradley McDougald was there to recover. Seattle unfortunately was victimized by another Brandon Marshall drop, but they did remain in field goal range. Sebastian Janikowski missed from 38, though. This was costly as the Cardinals were able to march down the field. Josh Rosen threw a touchdown into double coverage to Chad Williams, but it was reversed because Williams was out of bounds. Rosen still converted 3rd and 11 to the ageless Larry Fitzgerald to set the Cards up in the red zone. Justin Coleman made two pass break-ups in the end zone to prevent a tying touchdown, so Arizona settled for 3. 7-3 Seahawks.Seattle went three-and-out on the next possession, with Baldwin again short of the sticks on a blitz. The defense came up big and answered with their own three-and-out of the Cardinals offense, and Tyler Lockett returned the punt to the Cardinals 48. Rashaad Penny picked up 14 yards on a toss to get the offense working again. David Moore made his first career NFL catch, fumbled it, recovered it and ran for a first-down... just as he’d planned. Seattle proceeded to go very backwards and into a 52-yard field goal. He missed it.Josh Rosen found JJ Nelson open for a deep pass inside Seattle’s 10, but he dropped it. Another bad break for the rookie. David Johnson ripped a huge run of 21 yards after this gaffe (and a Quinton Jefferson hands to the face penalty). Faced with a 3rd down, Rosen beat the blitz and found Larry Fitzgerald for a short gain and a conversion to the Seattle 19. A pass interference on Justin Coleman led to 1st and goal at the 1, and David Johnson punched it in. 10-7 Cardinals.The two-minute drill almost ended in a fluky deflection for an interception, but it was called incomplete on the field and the ruling on the field stood. Seattle did well to turn 2nd and 21 to 4th and 1. They went for it and Wilson got sacked by Chandler Jones. Arizona luckily missed a field goal to end the half.2nd HalfSeattle’s defense got off to a strong start with a three-and-out, denying Josh Rosen the first-down on a scramble. The Seahawks offense finally got itself into gear again, primarily through the running game , including a rare Russell Wilson keeper on the zone-read. On 4th and 1 inside Arizona’s 30, Rashaad Penny gained 16 yards on the keeper. This almost meant nothing when Wilson fell on a toss play and lost 9 yards, as Penny recovered the ball. A 14-play, 57-yard drive culminated in a tying field goal by Sebastian Janikowski. 10-10. A three-and-out was forced yet again by the Seahawks, and a nice return by Tyler Lockett also had 15 additional yards tacked on due to a penalty on Arizona, so the Seahawks would start at the Cardinals 47. Wilson took advantage by beating the blitz and finding David Moore for a catch-and-run of 30 yards. Two plays later, Nick Vannett was interfered with in the end zone, setting up the Seahawks at the 1. Davis plowed his way in for a touchdown, which was called back for an illegal formation. Holding on Patrick Peterson gifted the Seahawks some yards back and a fresh set of downs. Davis was able to run behind big D.J. Fluker and pushed his way across for his second touchdown. 17-10 Seahawks. Arizona’s offensive struggles continued, as they only got one first-down before punting again. Seattle wasted another timeout and failed on 3rd and 1, putting them at 0-8 on third-down conversions. Ricky Seals-Jones gained 31 yards on a double move on Shaquill Griffin to get the Cardinals into Seattle territory. A screen pass put David Johnson down at the 19. Two plays later, Chad Williams tied the game on a touchdown grab in the end zone. Earl Thomas was injured on the play and carted off with an air cast on his leg. 17-17 with 8:53 to go.Seattle responded on offense with a three-and-out. Rosen converted on third-down to David Johnson, then delivered a strike to Ricky Seals-Jones to inch Arizona closer to go-ahead field goal range. Another David Johnson conversion, this time on a run, drained the clock some more and the Cardinals were at the Seattle 30. Faced with 3rd and 6 after the two-minute warning, Arizona chose the safe play and ran it, prompting Seattle to call timeout. Phil Dawson from 45 yards... wide right!Mike Davis gained 13 yards to get the Seahawks near midfield. Tyler Lockett gained 9 yards with 1:15 to go. Rashaad Penny picked up a first-down to the Cardinals 39. A quick throw to Doug Baldwin got the Seahawks to Arizona’s 34. A spike with 4 seconds left gave Janikowski a chance to win from 52 yards out. He got it! 20-17 Seahawks Final.Seahawks injury reportTE Will Dissly took a hard hit from Antoine Bethea in the opening quarter and injured his right knee. He was carted off and did not return.S Earl Thomas was injured on Arizona’s tying TD and did not return. He was carted off.Next week’s opponentThe Seahawks return home to take on the Los Angeles Rams (4-0) on Sunday, October 7th at 1:25 PM PT on FOX.A Preseason Warning: Featuring Cover 3 Buzz Mable and Tedric Thompson It’s funny how one play can influence opinions of a player.Going into the 2017 preseason , there was lots of excitement surrounding the prospect of watching the free safety who the Seattle Seahawks decided to spend a fourth round pick on. The rangy, ball-hawking Tedric Thompson, now understudy to Earl Thomas, was sure to impress against second-rate competition.But then this happened last year against the LA Chargers: Suddenly concerns about Thompson’s 4.60 forty time were raised. Fans reiterated their appreciation of Earl while Thompson was written off in most circles. “He can’t compete against second stringers”, “He’s not an NFL player,” and “He’s just too slow” were commonplace critiques.Wrong. Speed at deep safety is not the sole provider of range: Instincts, processing and ball skills from the deep middle third are far more important. Thompson has these in abundance. (Don’t forget he had an interception through being in the right place at the right time, catching a tipped pass in Week 2 of the preseason versus Minnesota.)If you really want to get into his athletic profile, his mockdraftable compares most similarly to one of the most underrated single-high safeties in the league: Tre Boston. More pertinently, KJ Wright’s comments last week on the “Driving with Gee” video series reiterate that there is more to speed than a forty-yard-dash time: There is track speed, there is combine speed and then there is playing speed. Pete Carroll confirmed the impressive performances of Thompson on 710 ESPN Seattle:It’s worth looking at that Chargers touchdown in more detail:Forty-Yard...YawnThis was Thompson’s first time facing a verticals concept versus an NFL team, and his 4.60 speed had nothing to do with the actual completion. It shouldn’t be a shock that Thompson can’t, at a disadvantageous pursuit angle, catch an absolute burner in Travis Benjamin. Benjamin ran a 4.36 forty-yard-dash.Furthermore, the Atlanta Falcons--based around a Single-High Cover 3 similar to the Seahawks--leave the massively underrated Ricardo Allen back there and succeed on defense. Allen, recently signed to a 3-year $19million deal, ran a 4.61. Cover 3 Buzz MableSeattle was in nickel personnel versus an 11 personnel (1 running back, 1 tight end) empty set. Post-game , Carroll stated the obvious: “We misplayed the play”. On the TV copy, you can diagnose that the Seahawks were in a Cover 3, and immediately the blame gets attributed to Thompson. Watching the All-22, it becomes clear that the coverage was a Cover 3 Buzz Mable. This is crucial.Majorly relevant is the thinking behind running Cover 3 Buzz Mable versus trips. The idea is that on the backside you man up your players, and that you can play zone to the trips side. Essentially, you are pushing the coverage to the passing strength. Against a flood concept, this is fantastic. But, with the #3 receiver (Benjamin) running his go route into the other side of the field--the man coverage/cover 0 side--Terence Garvin as the free ‘backer has to run with him. Here’s the playart:Cover 3 Buzz MableMatthew Brown(The “Buzz” part signifies the Strong Safety moving down into the box and the “Mable” is code for the man coverage)The style of pass defense is already likely to be beaten versus this design, as it asks the linebacker to run with an absolute speedster. No defense can stop every play, but remember: this is the preseason for the coaches too. What’s more, with the defense being executed so horrendously, Thompson is put in an even more impossible position to make the play. Garvin is slow to drop, possibly giving some attention to the backside tight end hitch. This delay is something he can ill-afford, given the clear speed discrepancy between him and Benjamin. The 65-yard catch-and-run touchdown is not the fault of Thompson. His assignment means that he must pick up #2’s seam route too.Keep in mind that Seattle is trying to evaluate players in the preseason. Seeing if Garvin could execute the deep middle drop of Mable coverage, something that Bobby Wagner can do, is a big evaluation tool. How restricted is he?The gift of a free ReleaseThompson and Garvin’s tasks are made even harder by the lack of disruption on the #3 receiver. Michael Wilhoite, lined up over Benjamin, is outside of the 5-yard “disruption window.” He therefore makes zero contact Youth Michael Dickson Jersey , even with the receiver coming into his space.This lack of re-direction means that Garvin has no margin for error and Thompson has even less time to try work his way over the third vertical route after trying to apex the #3 and #2 receivers (his drop could have been slightly deeper and a step to the left, but that’s irrelevant given how the play transpires). Benjamin’s gift of a free release is massively disadvantageous for both Garvin and Thompson. Oddly enough, Seattle showed much better disruption on their last defensive snap, a turnover. Observe what transpires when the man over #3 helps the safety out in such a scenario:But Earl would have made the play!So at this point I can hear people bellowing that Earl Thomas would have made the play. Well he had that “chance” versus the Green Bay Packers in Week 1 of 2014: Though the Seahawks run the 3 Buzz Mable better than they did in the preseason match-up, it is still an impossible task for Thomas--with the fate of the play utterly dependent on the inside linebacker. Wagner executes better than Garvin, having no backside hitch route to halt him, but he ends up committing pass interference deep down the field. Vanilla Preseason SchemeAgainst this three verticals concept the 3 Buzz Mable playcall is something the coaches would obviously want to avoid when it matters. Rushing four players, leaving just three deep zones and having a linebacker carry the #3 receiver versus the concept is risky. The vanilla preseason scheme does not match what Seattle employed in the regular season versus empty sets. They frequently protected their defensive backs by going with split-safeties and playing Quarters, Cover 2 or Tampa 2--even with Earl on the field. With Kris Richard departed and Ken Norton calling the plays, they may change subtle things. But Carroll has been running two-high concepts on clear passing downs way before his Seahawks days. Factor in ContextThis, then, is the context that has to be considered when watching preseason football. To blame this on Thompson is to ignore the nature of the playcall and the inexperience of other players. Obliviousness to the facts negatively impacted the perception of Thompson’s ability. Thompson didn’t get torched, the entire defense did.The flaws of putting too much stock into one single play have affected a big chunk of the fanbase’s opinion of Thompson. I was guilty of this myself, not noticing the surrounding storm which made Thompson’s task so difficult. So: when watching the Seahawks this preseason, don’t forget that things are not as they first appear. Context must be factored in accordingly. As for Thompson, I expect the second-year safety to have a fantastic three games.

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