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Cards’ Suspect Run Defense Faces Test in Forsett, Lynch

With the addition of Marshawn Lynch (right), the Seahawks believe they have struck a winning balance between power and speed, the latter provided by the incumbent starting running back, Justin Forsett

It’s been a defense-minded week here at Cardinals Gab and we’re continuing the trend by focusing on the challenges Seattle’s newly teamed up running backs may present to an already beleaguered Arizona rushing defense.

Justin Forsett is the speedster capable of making people miss on route to big gains.  Forsett has gained 282 yards on 61 carries for a 4.6 average so far with one rushing touchdown.  Although Forsett hasn’t recorded a 100+ rushing performance yet this season, he’s apparently picking up steam.  He’s increased his yards gained every single week since the season’s opener.  His high, which he set last week, stands at 67 yards.  It’s the Cardinals job to see the trend doesn’t continue.

Arizona, however, can’t focus solely on Justin Forsett.  The Seahawks now have former Bills running back Marshawn Lynch to contend with.  Lynch is the power alternative to Forsett’s speed.  Power running is a dimension that’s been missing in Seattle’s run game since the days of NFL MVP Shaun Alexander, but no longer.  In his first game with the Hawks, Lynch gained a modest 44 yards on a team high 17 carries and one touchdown.  Marshawn is no doubt looking to pad those stats this Sunday.

There’s also little doubt that Lynch is eager for a fresh start.  “It’s been rough on me the last two years,” Lynch admitted.  “But to come over here in first game out and get a win and get in the end zone and have a great performance from those guys up front, is something that I feel that I can build on, and hopefully we can become great.”  He appears hungry to prove that Seattle made the right move in bringing him in.

Forsett and Lynch are not strangers to sharing a backfield.  Both played at Cal in college and are now reunited with a Golden State college legend, Pete Carrol.  The Seahawks apparently believe they have the tools necessary to take their running game to the next level.  The tandem will be facing a Cardinals’ rush defense that ranks 29th (140.8) in the NFL in yards per game, a fact of which Forsett, Lynch, and the Seahawks are well aware.

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