Background: Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons (9) strips Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel
Take a close look at the sheer quickness of Isaiah’s feet, his impressive whirly-bird swim move and his fishhook loop to the QB.
More of this, please, for sure.
But, it is also wanting more of the Cardinals rushers to stay in their lanes the way they do on this play.
The Cardinals head into this week having the 6th best pass rush win rate in the NFL, but only tied for 25th in the league for sacks per game at 1.8.
One of the main reasons for the shortage of sacks has been the Cardinals’ rushers lacking the discipline to stay in their lanes. How often have wee seen the Cardinals give opposing QBs easy-peasy escape routes for scrambles and extended pass plays?
On this play, however, see how the Cardinals create a symmetrical bubble around Kirk Cousins, thereby making it harder for him to escape.
The only thing in terms of spacing on this play that needs a little tweaking is that the two DTs are a little too close to each other.
Spread out the DTs a little wider and this bubble rush is dang near perfect.
When the Cardinals lost 19-9 at Lumen Field, one of the crushing stats was giving up 48 yards on 6 rushes (8.0 ave.) to QB Geno Smith, several of which extended drives and led to 4 field goals and the Kenneth Walker III TD.
Pass rushes need to be disciplined.
Otherwise, QBs like Geno Smith and Kirk Cousins, who are not especially known for their running prowess, can take a stronger control of the game.
In the three games the Seahawks have lost, Geno Smith has rushed 7 times for 14 yards (2.0).
In the five games that the Seahawks have won, Geno Smith has rushed 28 times for 144 yards (5.1 ave.).
Putting the squeeze on Geno Smith is of paramount importance this week.
That, and hemming-in and gang-tackling Kenneth Walker III, who was easily able to bounce outside versus the Cardinals’ habitually poor contain and then run through a host of would-be tacklers to the tune of 21 carries for 97 yards (4.6 ave.) and 1 TD.
Which team will be hungrier and more disciplined this week?
The Seahawks or the Cardinals?