Seahawks run away from Cardinals

Dominating in every phase of the game, the Seahawks humiliated the Cardinals in University of Phoenix Stadium,

Win or lose, there is much to learn after each game. What happened on the key plays that turned the game? How did the team fare in individual matchups? Who, if anyone, was injured and how did his replacement(s) fare? These are just of the questions greater Seattle-area resident and football scout Rob Rang will tackle post-game each week for SeahawkFootball.com.

10. The Seahawks ability to limit Ryan Lindley's and Arizona's offense to six points and 216 yards obviously deserve kudos but how about five game balls to the offensive line. After surrendering seven sacks to the Cardinals at home in Week 12, the patchwork lineup of Alvin Bailey, James Carpenter, Patrick Lewis, J.R. Sweezy and Justin Britt held Arizona to just one sack (from Alex Okafor) Sunday night and paved the way to 297 rushing yards, powering the Seahawks to the 35-6 win.

9. As anticipated, the Seahawks stuck with the heavy run and play-action passes to tight ends in the first half that helped them beat the Cardinals in Week 12. This time it was Luke Willson rather than Tony Moeaki (who led Seattle in catches in Week 12) and Cooper Helfet (who scored the only touchdown in Week 12) who beat the Cardinals. The Seahawks have been waiting for a breakout performance from Willson, a 6-5, 252-pounder whose combination of agility, length and acceleration makes him a potential matchup nightmare. The timing couldn't have been better for Willson, who caught three passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns, the latter two of which are career-highs.

8. From a statistical standpoint, the Seahawks dominated this contest even more than the final score indicated, outpacing the Cardinals 596 to 216 in Total Yards, including a 297 to 29 yard advantage in rushing.

7. Lynch's six-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was his first rushing score on the road this season. His second didn't take nearly as long to come. Lynch's career-long 79-yard jaunt to stake Seattle to a 28-6 fourth quarter lead was classic Beast Mode and is well worth watching again here.

6. As they have throughout their current (and season-best) five-game winning streak, the Seahawks defense was simply faster and more physical than their opponents. Crushing hits delivered by Bobby Wagner and Kam Chancellor helped set an early tone in this contest.

5. Continuing the season-long trend, the Seahawks were called for 11 penalties for 97 yards. The Cardinals were flagged one time for five yards. Seattle can't cry wolf to the NFL about the disparity when they make egregious mistakes like lining up in the neutral zone twice in a row, like Michael Bennett did in the second quarter.

4. Wilson performed brilliantly in the first half, surprising the Cardinals with his acceleration for a career-long 55-yard scramble to end the first quarter and showing off the accuracy that makes him every bit as dangerous in the pocket as he is out of it. Wilson's touchdown toss to Willson will make the highlight reels but his perfectly placed quick slant to Doug Baldwin to give the Seahawks a First and Goal with approximately three minutes remaining in the half was arguably his most important pass.

3. It will only go down statistically as a QB hit for Cliff Avril but by colliding with strong-armed rookie Logan Thomas just as he attempted a deep ball to John Brown, the Seahawks snuffed out one of Bruce Arian's beloved shot plays. At the time the Seahawks held just a 7-3 lead.

2. Willson was the big story on offense but clutch receptions from Doug Baldwin and a couple of terrific grabs from Paul Richardson were also highlights of Seattle's "pedestrian" receiving corps. Richardson's speed is, of course, his greatest asset but he showed excellent hand-eye coordination, body control and sticky fingers in this game.

1. Seattle's thoroughly dominating win puts the club in excellent position to become the NFC's No. 1 seed. The Seahawks can't rest on their laurels, however, as there were some negatives in this contest, not the least of which was Steven Hauschka's 0-3 night in the field goal department and a hamstring injury to Jermaine Kearse. Rather than pick nits Seahawks fans, enjoy this one. Your club is playing incredibly well right now and as NBC's Cris Collinsworth accurately stated in the telecast - the Seahawks "are the team to beat."

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