Following two straight losses, the Seahawks won when they needed it most Thursday night against the Cardinals.
And while Russell Wilson and the offense played a flawless game, it was the defense that stepped up in this one.
Bob Condotta gave each defensive group a passing grade, noting that it was “one of the better nights of the year for the secondary, even if not everything was a positive.”
To columnist Larry Stone, Carlos Dunlap “revitalized what had been a moribund Seahawks pass rush” in more ways than just his final-play sack.
In the end, “Thursday night was the most complete game Seattle played all season,” according to columnist Matt Calkins.
With all of that in mind, here’s what the national media had to say after the Seahawks’ Week 11 win over the Cardinals.
After claiming Russ was “cooked” after Sunday’s loss, Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd was pleased with the Seahawks’ playcalling on Thursday.
CBS Sports wrote that perseverance was the reason the Seahawks won.
Russell Wilson was sacked on the first play from scrimmage and a second time in the first quarter. He was hit a total of eight times on the night and still found a way to make the plays that needed to be made, and precisely when the Seahawks needed them most. His stat line won’t make anyone write home to mother on Monday morning, but he was extremely efficient and, most importantly, he didn’t give the ball away — despite having two fumbles to his register (one being a bad connection on a snap). After throwing a combined four interceptions in the last two games, he avoided giving the Cardinals one, but instead hung two timely touchdowns on their neck, often using his mobility to keep the pass rush honest in the second half.
The Ringer’s Kaelen Jones wrote that “the Seahawks defense finally showed up when it mattered most.”
Dunlap’s sack marked a fitting end for Seattle’s win. It was one of the Seahawks’ most complete performances of the year, with their defense keeping Murray, one of the NFL’s most exciting and athletic quarterbacks, in check throughout the game. … For the Seahawks, the importance of a victory Thursday night couldn’t be overstated. Per FiveThirtyEight, the Seahawks’ win gave them a 55 percent chance to win the NFC West; those odds would have dipped to 14 percent with a loss. There’s an opportunity to maintain and build on their lead in upcoming weeks, too.
The Draft Network’s Alexis Mansanarez believes the Seahawks’ balanced offense will be a key going forward.
It would be safe to assume many people didn’t know which Seattle team they could expect Thursday night. The previous run-first offense and impenetrable defense has morphed and taken new shape with a changed roster and what was a changed philosophy. This game, however, abandoned all calls to “Let Russ Cook” and reverted back to a tried-and-true game plan. It didn’t require any late-game heroics. Instead, it called for Wilson to be, well, Wilson (check), an established run game (check), and some big defensive stops for the worst unit in the league (check.) … A vintage Seahawks performance is more than just a surging defense. They returned to what had brought them so much success: establishing the run.
Yahoo Sports’ Joe Fann said Carlos Dunlap proved to be the closer the Seahawks have been looking for.
Dunlap’s play has been as infectious as Seattle’s culture. The Seahawks had just 12 sacks through seven games without Dunlap. They’ve exploded for 13 in the three games since he entered the lineup. Dunlap has accounted for 3.0 of those sacks, two of which came Thursday night against Murray. … Dunlap has been the obvious catalyst for the uptick in production and could prove to be invaluable to the franchise by the season’s end.
In addition to Dunlap and Carlos Hyde, Sports Illustrated’s Thomas Hall listed L.J. Collier among the game’s top three Seahawks players.
Despite enjoying a strong start to his sophomore campaign, Collier took a bit of a step backward heading into this game, as he had been held to just one quarterback hit over the last three contests. Putting those struggles behind him, the 25-year old was able to create a pair of notable plays and helped alter the outcome of this matchup in the fourth quarter. … With just over nine minutes left in regulation, the former first-round pick drew an offensive holding penalty against J.R. Sweezy in the end zone, resulting in a safety which also allowed Seattle to kick a 41-yard field goal to push the lead back to seven with two minutes to play.