“It seemed like nobody wanted to block me,” linebacker Aaron Curry said.
Well, that’s probably not quite true. The Cardinals wanted to block him on that third-quarter play Curry referred to. They even assigned two players to do it — their tight end and running back — but they were playing Curry’s outside shoulder, preventing the speed rush, when Curry turned inside and had a clear path to Arizona quarterback Derek Anderson.
The result was Curry’s second sack of the day and a fumble, which was recovered by teammate Chris Clemons. Those players were the bookends of Seattle’s pass rush, each with a pair of sacks.
Curry’s first sack was the result of effort, chasing Anderson and driving him out of bounds on a third-down play in the first quarter, knocking the Cardinals out of field-goal range. The second sack came at the end of the third quarter and showed the evolution of Curry’s pass-rushing techniques as he took advantage of the blocking matchup.
“Tight end and a running back, that’s a matchup I would love to have every time I rush the passer,” Curry said.
Receiver Ben Obomanu started his first NFL game Sunday, a day on which Seattle didn’t have a fullback active for the second consecutive week and were missing Brandon Stokley, who was out with a calf injury.
Obomanu, who caught four passes for 60 yards and gained 17 yards on a pair of end-around runs, is developing into a factor in Seattle’s offense.
“He just does everything right, and he can play all the positions,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “He’s a guy that’s bided his time, and he’s taken advantage of opportunities.”
Justin Forsett led Seattle with 64 yards rushing, the bulk of which came in the third quarter when coach Pete Carroll decided to go with what was working.
“He got the ball more because he was hot,” Carroll said. “I loved the way he was getting in the open, making his plays.”
Forsett carried the ball just once in the first half, then had six carries for 56 yards in the third quarter. Marshawn Lynch ran the ball 13 times for 29 yards. Both Forsett and Lynch scored touchdowns.
Olindo Mare matched the Seahawks’ franchise record for field goals again. And he did it against Arizona again.
Mare kicked five field goals against the Cardinals in Seattle on Oct. 24, and kicked five in Arizona Sunday. Each kick was inside 35 yards, and he had a chance to set the franchise record on a 29-yard attempt in the fourth quarter. Instead, it hit the left upright.
“There are no gimmes, because they’re so good on the rush,” Mare said of the Cardinals. “(I) tried to rush it a little bit and made a mistake. Thank God it didn’t cost us that much.”
Rush to improvement
Seattle had the No. 2-ranked rushing defense entering its October game against Arizona. The Cardinals gained 113 yards on the ground in that game, the first of three consecutive triple-digit rushing performances against Seattle.
The Seahawks were ranked No. 19 in rush defense entering Sunday’s game. But with Brandon Mebane back at defensive tackle and Arizona missing Beanie Wells (knee injury), the Seahawks held the Cardinals to 41 yards rushing.