GLENDALE, Ariz. — No devastating injuries. No last-second disasters. No middle fingers. And no Chris Carson fumbles, either.
For all of the wacky misfortune the Seattle Seahawks have experienced at State Farm Stadium and all the mistakes they made over their first three games, they can enjoy Sunday’s drama-free 27-10 win over Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals.
They can’t enjoy it for too long, given the quick turnaround before their Thursday night showdown with the Los Angeles Rams at CenturyLink Field. With the Seahawks improving to 3-1 and the Rams falling to that same record, a chance to be in first place in the NFC West (depending on how the 49ers do against the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football later in the week) is on the line.
Buy/sell on a breakout performance: All Will Dissly does is catch touchdowns? Sell that, but only because he’s a strong blocker, too. The Seahawks drafted Dissly in the fourth round last year because they thought his run blocking would be a perfect fit in their run-heavy offense. It has been. Dissly also has six touchdowns in eight career games. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, that’s tied with three others for the most by a tight end in his first eight games since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. Dissly’s 9-yard touchdown catch Sunday came in the same place where his rookie season ended after four games with a torn patellar tendon. He finished with seven catches for 57 yards on eight targets Sunday.
Promising trend, Part I: Carson looked like the Carson of old, not the one suddenly prone to fumbling. He racked up 145 combined yards on 26 touches (104 rushing, 41 receiving). It was the type of game he needed to quiet the conversation about his three lost fumbles over the first three games — mistakes that might have led to more playing time for Rashaad Penny had the 2018 first-round pick not missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury. Carson started and got his usual bulk of the work over C.J. Prosise, who carried three times and scored a late touchdown to put the game out of reach. And Carson showed why coach Pete Carroll kept a lot of faith in him for a coach who has a typically low tolerance for turnovers — because he’s still Seattle’s best running back.
Promising trend, Part II: It was evident once the Seahawks re-signed K.J. Wright and Mychal Kendricks over the offseason that they might have the NFL’s best group of starting linebackers with those two playing alongside All-Pro Bobby Wagner. We’re seeing how highly the Seahawks think of that trio with the amount of base defense they’ve played over the first four games. While snap counts aren’t immediately available after the game, this appeared to be another game in which the Seahawks frequently kept all three linebackers on the field even in situations that would normally dictate subbing one out for a third cornerback. Kendricks had two sacks and nearly dropped Murray a third time while Arizona scored only 10 points. Can’t argue with those results.
Pivotal play: Anyone who hasn’t watched much of Jadeveon Clowney can look at the athleticism he showed on his first-quarter pick-six to see why he was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2014. Clowney hauled in a floating Murray pass with his left hand, nimbly turned the corner and returned the interception 27 yards for a touchdown. Clowney recorded a sack in his Seahawks debut before a couple of quiet games. The Seahawks had five hits on Murray, with one coming on an impressive sack by Rasheem Green. Ziggy Ansah had a sack and another hit and was particularly active while playing a lot more than the 19 snaps he played in his debut last week.