The Cardinals improved to 5-9-1 with a win over the Seattle Seahawks on sunday.
Who were the winners and losers from the contest? Let’s take a look:
Winner: Chandler Jones
What more can you say?
Jones had his 2nd 4 sack game of the year and has an outside shot at Michael Strahan’s single season sack record, and put himself right into the defensive player of the year category. He always goes off vs. Seattle, sure, but...this was a wow game from him.
The man’s already looking like a lock for the Cardinals ring of honor, but the type of career he’s putting up might be Canton-worthy if Arizona could ever get to the playoffs with him on the roster for some respect. Budda Baker also deserves a shoutout here for having one of his toughest games of the season as well. AZ came to play today.
Loser: Peter Carroll and the numbers
Oh Pete...from punting it on 4th down to pin Arizona only for them to march right down the field and essentially not letting Russell Wilson throw it all game despite not having any healthy running backs...yeah.
It’s impressive how resilient Seattle has been overall, from blocking field goals in this game to scoring late in comebacks but this wasn’t their day. And his conservatism, honestly, might be a big reason why as neither D.K. Metcalf nor Tyler Lockett had a catch on the day through the fourth quarter and only 1 catch combined (more on that later) and for all intents and purposes...Kliff looks like a V8 engine while Pete’s puttering along needing a few repairs to catch up to the rest of the NFL.
Winner: Kenyan Drake
Drake’s 80 yard touchdown was the longest touchdown run by a Cardinals running back since the 2013 run by Andre Ellington against the Atlanta Falcons. He’s shown himself to be an incredible fit and talent in this offense and ended the day with the following stat line:
Wow. Hope you won your fantasy championships with him...He enters free agency and is about to get paid. Maybe not the deal some expects but he’ll be rewarded, likely by Arizona if they’re smart. And I think they are.
Loser: Kyler’s hammy
The first time Murray, who’s been seemingly untouchable all year, showed any signs of being less than Superman was this game where he pulled his hammy while running out of bounds on 3rd and long and he was pulled to ice the hammy.
In the end, while it took a guy like Brett Hundley to win the day in the end after the injury, the future is bright as evidenced by the improvised pass play for a touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald that saw the skills of Murray on display.
The question is...will he play again next week? A short-term win for a long-term injury isn’t a fair trade to make, but if this is it for Kyler he’ll finish just short of 4,000 yards and fans will have an offseason to wonder about his health, his running and a whole lot of other questions if he does sit out the season finale.
Or maybe they’ll just agree with the team and not want to risk it, too.
Winner: Vance Joseph’s defense
Give Joseph some credit?
Might as well after the Cardinals’ best defensive performance of the season. And I do mean that—the Seahawks are a MUCH better offense than the New York Giants offense with a rookie QB in the rain. They forced some takeaways, abused backup OL and also even held in the red zone when they needed to and held Seattle to 13 points.
More impressively? They held DK Metcalf to 0 catches on the day and Tyler Lockett drew Chris Jones and Byron Murphy but had only 1 catch for 12 yards. Jones made a few nice plays in particular and that ended up putting the game away on defense while Arizona’s offense drove down the field and did the rest.
Loser: Seahawks fans with the Cardinals in their heads...again
Cardinal football in Seattle’s back.
And it was a long shot from 58-0, meaning that Arizona’s approach to this season, the hiring of Kliff, signing of a coach like Vance Joseph, free agents like Hicks and drafting of Kyler and trade for Kenyan Drake all paid off as part of Steve Keim’s plan to rebuild the team.
Fans seem to have backed off a bit on him...but the heat is on in Seattle. The Seahawks lost multiple starters to injury including through the playoffs and fans who were glad to see a winning season are even calling it a “black sunday” of sorts to where their team was almost decimated past the point of a championship hope in some ways. And moreover, after 1 year off with a Seahawks home victory against Arizona...they’re right back to watching the team, even with a backup quarterback for the 2nd time in 3 years, beat them on their own turf.
And it was even their 2018 backup in Brett Hundley who pulled it off!
All in all, a solid day if you’re a Cardinals fan. Who were your winners and losers?
Sound off in the comments section!