IRVING, Texas -- The Seattle Seahawks have always had one of the great home field advantages in professional sports, due in large part to their fan base. Even through the lean years before Mike Holmgren took over and now with Pete Carroll at the helm, that passion for the Seahawks remains strong.
The Seahawks are an impressive 17-1 at CenturyLink Field since 2012, when the Cowboys last made that trip west. That one loss came at the hands of their divisional rivals, the Arizona Cardinals, in Week 16 of last season.
I took the opportunity to sit down and study the game to come up with some ideas about what happened to the Seahawks that day in December.
In the victory, it wasn't so much what the Cardinals did on offense that day, but more about the way their defense played -- especially in the way they were able to limit those big plays the Seahawks tend to make.
The Seahawks were held to 51 plays on the afternoon for an average of only 3.8 yards per play. The front seven for the Cardinals were outstanding in the way they were able to control the line of scrimmage.
Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles' plan was to slant his front in order to make the Seahawks offensive linemen have to chase his players, and they were able to make it work to perfection. Defensive end Calais Campbell was a force and there were several plays where he was just flat unblocked. Campbell ended the day with two sacks, two tackles for loss and a hurry of Russell Wilson. [embedded_ad]
Bowles was able to successfully able to pressure Russell Wilson to the point that when Wilson tried to escape, he had Javier Arenas, Daryl Washington and Campbell right there to run him down. For the game the Cardinals held the Seahawks to 2-of- 13 on third down.
In the secondary, Bowles smothered the Seahawks receivers with Patrick Peterson and Jerraud Powers, who for the entire game, didn't give an inch on the outside. Powers also made several plays out of the slot, including a deflection of a Wilson pass to Doug Baldwin in the final drive that ended up in the arms of Karlos Dansby to clinch a rare road victory at CenturyLink Field.