Seahawks were trying to solidify their spot in the playoffs. They most recently beat the Panthers 30 - 24. Cards were mostly playing for pride coming off an impressive win over the Browns.
Seahawks and Niners will duke it out for the NFC West title next Sunday nght
Cards stick it to Seattle in Seattle 27 - 13
The Bottom Line:
Game started out like a roller coaster, with the Seahawks looking like they were about to blacktop the Cardinals and never looked back. Go figure.
Seahawks won the toss and deferred. Cards immediately went 3 & out. Seaattle drew first blood when Russell Wilson hit FB Nick Bellore for a 3-yrd TD. (Uh oh)!
But on the next set of downs, Kyler Murray handed off to Kenyan Drake, who lugged the ball around right end and outran Seattle defenders on route to an 80-yard TD to tie the score 7 - 7.
After that, it was pretty much Cardinals (with the exception of two or three "shoot yourself in the foot" moments - i.e. the penalty that wiped out a long Pharoah Cooper punt return and the block/return of a Gonzalez FG).
Signature play of the day was in the 2Q, when Murray scrambled inside the tackles and - just before he reached the LOS - flipped the ball to Fitz who took it 21-yds for a TD that opened up a 14 -7 Cardinal lead.
Runner ups were a couple of Hundley red zone scrambles when he took unexpected cutback routes for crucial extra yardage.
But game MVP belongs to Chandler Jones who literally put the defense on his back on route to 4.0 sacks (a number that could have been one or two sacks higher) and heroics in pass coverage.
First Downs: Cards 21 - Seattle 13
Total Net Yards : Cards 412 - Seattle 224
Rushes /Yds: Cards 40 for 253 yds - Seattle 20 for 91
Passing: Murray 11 for 18...118 yds...0 Int...1 TD.
................Hundley .4 for 9...49 yds...0 Int...0 TD.
................Wilson 16 for 31...169 yds...1 TD...0 Int.
Sacked: Cards 2 for minus-8 yds...Seattle 5 for minus-36 yds. Chandler Jones racked up 4.0 more sacks to add to his pass rushing pelt.
Tackles - B Baker (9 tackles) , C Jones, J Walker and Hicks (6 tackles) led ARZ tacklers.
Rushing: Drake - 24 att for 166 yds
................Carson - 8 carries for 40 yds
Receiving:Fitz - 7 Tgt...4 Rec...48 Yds...1 TD
................:.Homer 8 Tgt...6 Rec for 26 yds -
Hollister - 1 Tgt...1 Rec for 64 yds...Lockett - 8 Tgts - 1 Rec. 20 yds
Penalties - Cards 5 for -47...Seattle 7 for 55
Possession - Cards 34:53 - Seattle 25:07 -
Offensive line pretty much controlled the LOS
Defense simpy prevented Seattle from getting anything going.
After an opening series marked by the now infamous "failure to communicate, the Cardinal defense communicated just fine for the balance of the tame.
Inside flip off from Murray to Fitz deserves "A Top Play of the Year" consideration.
Every win is precious. Contrary to what the "Tank it for Higher Draft Spots" will tell you, learning what it takes to win (i.e. learning what it takes not to lose) and learning how good it feels to win are critical components of any successful team culture.
The Cards will need this if they're to continue on an upward path from now forward.
The Browns win demonstrated that the Cardinals were capable of winning convincingly over a pretty good opponent. The win over Seattle shows that the Cards are capable of doing it again. What I liked most was that neither the wins over the Browns and Seattle were "nail-biters).
Wouldn't it be nice if we left behind the wreckage of a well-respected Ram team in the wake of our winning our third in a row?