After jumping out to a 14-0 lead before the Seahawks touched the ball, the Cardinals' defense was able to attack the Seahawks and their makeshift offensive line
When the outcome of Arizona’s 27-3 victory had been decided, Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett saw something he’d never seen from Matt Hasselbeck.
“We wanted to get to him early and we did,” Dockett said. “He stood in there. I take my hat off to him. But I think at the third quarter, he just started bailing up out of there real fast. And at some point I was thinking he wasn’t even looking for the receiver. He was just taking off with the ball. I guess he knew how we were going to play in this game.”
There was a glitch in the Seahawks offense that tallied 41 points last week against Jacksonville. Because of increased traffic in the backfield Sunday afternoon at Qwest Field, Hasselbeck didn’t have time to connect with receivers.
The Seahawks quarterback, continually harassed, was sacked five times, and finished with 112 yards and one interception on 10-for-29 passing against a Cardinals defense that had been allowing an NFL-worst 303 passing yards per game.
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“We definitely play physical with him,” Dockett said. “And we know how to play him. You got to get at him.”
The Cardinals put pressure on Hasselbeck from the start. Staked to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, the Cardinals knew Seattle’s running game wouldn’t be a factor and focused on exploiting the Seahawks’ makeshift offensive line.
“They’ll make excuses and say Walter Jones was out and [Sean] Locklear and all of those,” Dockett said. “I guess that’s what they’ll say. But at the end of the day, you got to come play on Sundays. We’re not going to make any excuses because they got backup offensive linemen. They got on the field and they got whupped.”
Quarterback Kurt Warner, who completed 32 of 41 passes for 276 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, made quick work of the Seahawks. He engineered a 15-play drive to start the game that consumed 10 minutes, 42 seconds. The marched ended when Larry Fitzgerald (13 catches for 100 yards) hauled in a 2-yard pass in the end zone.
Arizona recovered the ensuing pooch kickoff and scored three plays later on a 2-yard run by Tim Hightower. From there, the Cardinals defense took over, holding Seattle to 128 total yards.
“We weren’t trying to proving anything to anybody,” said safety Adrian Wilson. “If anything, all this does is prove we’re still the team to beat in the NFC West. Seattle controlled this division for a long time, but now we’d like to get a run going like they had.”
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