Sports

Even Seahawks’ lesser stars get chance to shine against Arizona

Maybe this tidbit provides the best example of how far-reaching were the contributions of little-recognized Seattle Seahawks players to the 35-6 win over Arizona on Sunday: Somebody named David King got a sack.

Apparently, he plays for the Seahawks. Wears No. 70. They signed him off the Bengals’ practice squad on Dec. 11.

Where was all his attention following the win? Well, Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman and the others in the constellation of brightest Seahawks stars again dominated our focus.

But this game, in particular, displayed the ways the Seahawks win games by putting everybody to work.

That includes King, who was a seventh-round draft pick of the Eagles in 2013.

Key performances were received from a number of folks who won’t be featured on television this week, but they’ll surely stand out when coaches review the game action.

For instance, the internet video that will draw a million hits by the end of the week will be Lynch’s magnificent 79-yard fourth-quarter touchdown. It was redundant evidence that Lynch runs with a determination, instinct and toughness that rivals anybody in the game.

But I’m not sure Lynch’s effort was the greatest amount of hustle on that play — his teammate, receiver Ricardo Lockette, blocked at least four Cardinals over the course of about 70 yards.

Lockette has been a special-teams ace, but his blocking ability as a receiver has gone without appropriate comment. This wasn’t about great technique but unsurpassed effort. This was a display of want-to that will endear him to every teammate and coach, even if it’s not the stuff of headlines.

Rookie receiver Paul Richardson also had a good block on that play, in addition to making five catches that appear to be earning him the trust of Wilson whenever he’s under pressure.

Richardson is speedy but slight of build, so his ability to contribute as a blocker is a largely unseen benefit. Of course, when everybody sees the effort Lockette puts out, nothing less is expected of the rest of the crew.

At the line of scrimmage, reserve center Patrick Lewis stepped up front and center, taking over for Max Unger snapping the ball and making the line calls.

Lewis is an intelligent and funny guy who has a degree from Texas A&M but is obviously eager to keep working in the NFL. He has bounced around on practice squads enough that he’s learned to screen calls on Mondays and Tuesdays, when transactions usually take place involving guys on the roster fringes.

But line coach Tom Cable liked how Lewis handled himself in action in the first Arizona game, and gave him the start on Sunday. Backup Alvin Bailey also was an injury replacement up front, going at left tackle for Russell Okung.

They all did well enough that the offense picked up a franchise record 596 yards. And against a Cardinal defense that had been holding teams to 17.4 points a game, the Seahawks rang up double that total.

And the Cardinals, who nailed Wilson for seven sacks in the first meeting this season, came away with just one on Sunday.

When passing out credit after the game, coach Pete Carroll cited the efforts of the coordinators, Dan Quinn (defense) and Darrell Bevell (offense), for making “the greatest halftime adjustments of all time” to get the team to stop being penalized. It seemed like he was joking a bit, as a backhanded critique of his team’s 10 first-half penalties. But the truth is, they only had one in the second half.

Safety Earl Thomas also cited a coach’s effort afterward. Thomas said that every play the Cardinals ran on Sunday night, secondary coach Kris Richard had prepared them for during the week.

Knowing what to expect, the Seahawks defense held the Cardinals to a scant 29 rushing yards and an ineffective 216 passing yards.

Part of the defensive success can be attributed to pressure from the front line, including tackle Jordan Hill. Injuries limited Hill during his rookie season in 2013, but he’s realizing the potential that persuaded the Hawks to draft him in the third round. Hill now has five sacks this season, including four in the last three games.

That’s the way it is for this team, even the depth-chart guys come up big.

Even somebody named David King.

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