Game plan for Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle? Get boring
Bore them to death.
I realize that Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians loves the deep passing game, putting in wrinkles like Patrick Peterson at wideout and having an overall aggressive approach offensively, but he needs to quit on all that this week. It's time to lean on old school principles: run the ball, control the clock, don't turn it over, field position and win special teams. That's how you're going to beat the elite team in the division this week, and no other way.
In other words, if this was a date, Arians better not crack out the fresh cut flowers or arrange a carriage ride through the park. And I don't even want to hear the word "reservations." Nope, Thursday night calls for Chinese take out and Netflix. No movie too adventurous though. Nothing with explosions or super heroes. Nothing starring Chris Hemsworth or Jeremy Renner. You know what? Try The English Patient. It doesn't get more boring than that. Granted, the goal is to make the Seahawks drowsy, but if the Cardinals' offense can be as dull and effective as Ralph Fiennes' acting, you might just put mighty Seattle to sleep.
The Seahawks are 5-1. They haven't lost the turnover battle in a single game this season. They've run the ball more than they've thrown in it five games out of six. They've won the time of possession battle five games out of six. Seattle and Denver are considered the two best teams in the NFL, but the Seahawks don't have a dynamic offense.
Seattle wants to establish Marshawn Lynch, which sets up the play action pass for Russell Wilson, which allows for the offensive balance they seek, which leads to first downs and lengthy scoring drives, which keeps their defense off the field, which keeps their defense fresher than their opponent's, which leads to their victories.
Granted, the best way to keep the Hawks from their formula for winning is to light them up for three scores early, take them out of their rhythm and make them play catch up. But the Cardinals don't have that kind of firepower. So, you do the next best thing. Beat them at their own game.
The Cardinals' defense is the strength of the team. Let them play the starring role Thursday night. Give them the chance to outplay Seattle's celebrated D. That requires giving D-Wash, Peterson and the boys the same advantages Pete Carroll's offense gives his defense. Don't make them defend a short field, don't make them defend 20 percent longer than Seattle has to, and don't let major offensive mistakes put them in a position to do more than what should be required of them.
Time to get boring.
Like public access channel boring. Church boring. The comedy of Dick Cheney boring.
From Arians to Zastudil, the team needs to jump on the stale trail, beat on the hum drum, overdose on chill pills.
Time to leisurely stroll out onto that field Thursday night and show these Seahawks who's dull.
Who's with me?!?
Chuck Powell, KTAR.com & ArizonaSports.com contributor
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