With nothing to play for themselves, the Seattle Seahawks were still happy to play spoiler in Week 18 of the 2021-22 NFL regular season and prevent the Arizona Cardinals from having any chance of winning the division. Despite an ugly start, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks finished on a positive note for the season, emerging victorious by a score of 38-30.
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Things didn’t start well for Russell Wilson, but we then started to see much more of the great player he has been for Seattle. Wilson dropped in a couple of very nice passes to Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf and also ran for a score. He averaged 9.2 yards per attempt with an average depth of target 12.0 yards downfield.
Rashaad Penny has been on a tear in recent weeks, and it didn’t stop against the Cardinals. He finished the game with 190 rushing yards, 163 of which came after contact, with a backbreaking 62-yard run late in the game to extend Seattle's lead to a position the team was unlikely to lose.
Wide Receivers/Tight ends
Targets haven’t always been forthcoming for D.K. Metcalf this season, but he led the team this week with 11, more than twice as many as the next receiver. He caught five of them for 58 yards. Tyler Lockett saw just five passes thrown his way but caught them all for 98 yards and two scores.
Wilson was under pressure on 42.9% of his dropbacks, pending review, with Seattle’s offensive line turning in some inconsistent performances. Jake Curhan struggled at right tackle, allowing pressure on 14.3% of pass-blocking snaps. Duane Brown continued to look like his best play may be behind him, turning in his lowest overall PFF grade in a decade.
Poona Ford and Carlos Dunlap provided some significant pressure for the Seahawks in this game, and it accounted for almost all of the team's pass-rush production. Each player posted a pair of sacks and a pass-rush win rate of 15% or better.
|Pass-Rushing Snaps||Pass-Rush Win Rate||Batted Passes|
With no Bobby Wagner in this game, Cody Barton played 71 snaps alongside Jordyn Brooks at linebacker. Barton’s best plays came in run defense, where he made some impact plays against blocks. His average depth of tackle was 3.3 yards off the line of scrimmage. Brooks also made four defensive stops in the run game.
Kyler Murray’s biggest issue in this game was being sacked. He hit the ground five times and wasn’t making enough big plays to offset them. Murray averaged 6.2 yards per attempt and had a conservative average depth of target just 7.2 yards downfield. He completed 71.8% of his passes, with an adjusted rate of 81.1%, but that was aided by that low-risk target depth.
James Conner was the leading rusher on the team, with 52 yards from 15 carries, but the Cardinals produced just three explosive runs of 10 or more yards all game. Conner’s best work actually came as a receiver, where he caught all six passes thrown his way for 41 yards and a score.
Wide Receivers/Tight ends
Zach Ertz and A.J. Green tied for the team lead with nine targets each. Ertz caught seven of his for 84 yards, with an average depth of target actually four yards deeper than Green, who caught only four of his nine targets.
D.J. Humphries was back in the starting lineup but didn’t have his best game at left tackle. Humphries coughed up a pressure rate of almost 15% on first review, surrendering a pair of sacks. As a unit, the line struggled in run blocking, with none of the starting five earning an above-average PFF grade.
The game began with Zach Allen scooping the football and scoring after Chandler Jones knocked it loose. The Cardinals' pass rush wasn’t able to maintain that game-changing pace, but Jones did have a strong game overall. He posted a pass-rush win rate of 24.0% on first review.
Isaiah Simmons and Jordan Hicks each played 57 snaps on defense for Arizona, with first-round rookie Zaven Collins getting just eight snaps in the game as he continues to struggle to find playing time in Year 1. Simmons made two stops in the run game, but his best play came on a couple of winning pass-rushing reps.
|Player||Run Snaps||Defensive Stops||Average Depth of Tackle|
Antonio Hamilton played 50 snaps and was clearly a player who Seattle was trying to target. Hamilton saw eight passes thrown into his coverage, three more than any other player and double the number of any other cornerback. He allowed four catches for 63 yards and a score, giving up a first down or a score on three of those four catches.