After starting the season with two close victories and one close loss at New Orleans, the Seattle Seahawks had their first convincing outcome of the season on Sunday when they dispatched the Cardinals in Arizona, 27-10.
Seattle, 3-1 this season and 2-0 on the road, never trailed while receiving strong performances in all three facets. Conversely, Arizona, 0-3-1 at the season's quarter mark, struggled in all three facets that included two costly missed field goals by kicker Zane Gonzalez.
Why the Seahawks won
A lot of credit has to be given to quarterback Russell Wilson, who continued his stellar start to the season by going 22 of 28 on Sunday, which included his 17-yard second quarter touchdown pass to Will Dissly. Wilson now has a 8 to 0 touchdown/interception ratio through four games.
Wilson was complemented on offense by running back Chris Carson, who rushed for 104 yards on 22 carries. Carson had seven touches for 33 yards on Seattle's final drive that ended with C.J. Prosise's 6-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes left. The Seahawks also received clutch catches by wideouts Tyler Lockett and Jaron Brown on both of Seattle's offensive touchdown drives.
Why the Cardinals lost
While Arizona's lack of red zone success hurt, Gonzalez's two missed field goals hurt even more, as the Cardinals trailed 10-3 at halftime despite nearly gaining as many yards as the Seahawks.
Despite several solid individual performances (specifically pass rusher Terrell Suggs, who recorded 1.5 sacks of Wilson), the Cardinals' defense could not find a way to stop Carson, who amassed 145 all-purpose yards while helping Seattle control the ball for over 33 minutes.
Arizona also failed to get the ball to their playmakers on a more consistent basis. David Johnson, while he had 139 total yards, had just 19 touches. Larry Fitzgerald, who did pass Tony Gonzalez for No. 2 all-time in career receptions, had just 47 receiving yards.
Immediately following the Cardinals' first (and only) scoring drive, the Seahawks responded with a 6-play, 75-yard drive that gave Seattle a convincing 17-3 lead. After completing a 32-yard pass to Brown on third down, Wilson fired a 28-yard pass to Lockett that set up his 9-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dissly.
Play of the Game
Seattle defensive end Jadeveon Clowney's 27-yard interception return off a screen pass from Murray gave the Seahawks a 10-0 lead with 4:15 left in the opening quarter. The pick, the first of Clowney's career, was Murray's fourth of the season.
An historic moment
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona's future Hall of Fame receiver, with a 15-yard catch with 1:41 left. Fitzgerald now has 1,326 career catches, second to only Jerry Rice, who was on hand to congratulate Fitzgerald on his career achievement.
"He's gonna be a pain in the future." -- Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll on Murray, who is still searching for his first win as an NFL starting quarterback.
Check out our in-game coverage of Sunday's game below.
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