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Cardinals-Seahawks Game Preview: 5 questions and answers with the Week 6 enemy

NFL: Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

We have a huge division game this week as the Arizona Cardinals travel to the pacific northwest to take on the Seattle Seahawks.

We talked with John Gilbert of Field Gulls to discuss the Seahawks, enjoy.

1. Obviously the biggest surprise of the season is how good the offense looks. What do you attribute that too?

Without question Geno Smith has been the biggest surprise on the offensive side of the ball. Especially once they took the training wheels off and let him cook the last two games.

In addition, while DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett have certainly played a huge role in the offensive success this season, success has unquestionably flowed through the tight ends. In the second half of Week 1 and Week 3, as well as the entirety of Week 2, opponents were able to take Will Dissly, Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson out of the game and the offense instantly came to a grinding halt. When one of those three has been able to provide a viable third receiving option behind Metcalf and Lockett, the offense has been nearly unstoppable.

2. How much will the offense change without Rashaad Penny and what are your expectations for Kenneth Walker?

Obviously, it hurts to lose the big play explosiveness of Penny, so now the question becomes whether or not Walker can replicate the success he had against the Saints in Week 5. As a second round pick, the expectations are certainly high for him, and he didn’t help lower those any by breaking off a 69-yard touchdown run after Penny got hurt. That said, rookies are rookies, and running backs play a brutal position that takes a toll on even the youngest and healthiest among us. So, for the moment guarded optimism is likely the best description for my personal expectations, though there are certainly some fans who have already anointed him 2022 1st Team All Pro now that he’s getting a starting nod.

3. On the flip side, the biggest struggle has been the defense, is there hope for improvement in 2022 or is it a talent issue?

I certainly hope so. Between the new scheme and a lot of less experienced players seeing the field in the secondary, things should improve on that front as the season progresses and experience and experience in the system grows. However, the front seven could be an entirely different story. The defensive line was supposed to be a veteran strength, and instead it’s basically been Al Woods and a bunch of pusharounds. In addition, in spite of lots of hope and hype surrounding a linebacker group that has a ton of potential and upside, for the most part the group has underperformed expectations, particularly Darrell Taylor. Most thought Taylor would be one of the players who blossomed and came into his own this year, but instead his performance was so poor in the first three weeks he was benched for a Darryl Johnson, a waiver claim who joined the team at final roster cuts in Week 4 and then rookie second round pick Boye Mafe started in Week 5.

4. The Seahawks have been in some high scoring affairs in 2022. Are you going with the Draftkings Sportsbook over or under 50.5 points on Sunday?

Over, zero question. If DeAndre Hopkins weren’t suspended over 50.5 for just the Cardinals would almost be tempting. On a serious note, neither of these defenses has been any good so far this season, and both offenses have the ability to be explosive and put lots of points on the board, so I’m expecting a very high scoring affair. That probably means we’ll be treated to something ludicrous like a 6-6 tie, but hopefully that won’t be the case.

5. What does the leash look like for Pete Carroll to get things turned around?

I think he’s got at least this season and next, as long as the players continue to be bought into the system and play hard. If, however, he loses that buy in and the team quits on him, it would not surprise me at all to see ownership opt to move on.