Flexing the Arizona Cardinals game against the Seattle Seahawks to primetime television on Sunday Night Football turned out to be a great decision by the NFL as it was one of the game for the ages.
After last week’s dominating 38-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on Monday Night Football, the Cardinals followed that up with a 37-34 overtime thrilling victory over the previously undefeated Seahawks at home at State Farm Stadium in another nationally-televised game.
There is no question that the Cardinals shine at their brightest on the national stage. With that said, the probability for Arizona to win last night’s game were dropping with the Seahawks up by 10 with 6:44 remaining in the game. But, they remained confident and poised to pull out an improbable comeback to defeat their divisional rival.
The game was not perfect for the Cardinals. There were turnovers, a bad drop, and some inconsistencies on the defense. Even then, there were a lot more good than bad.
Let’s take a look at some of the Cardinals biggest studs and duds from last night’s win.
#1 Kyler Murray - Quarterback
This Arizona Cardinals offense can not be as good as it is today without Kyler Murray and he showed the world why he is one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League. His stat line in last night’s win speaks for itself. He finished the game completing 34-of-48 for 360 passing yards with three touchdown passes and one interception. On the ground, he carried the ball 14 times for 67 yards and a touchdown. This had to be one of Murray’s best games as a pro as he was firing on all cylinders in the air and on the ground.
#29 Chase Edmonds - Running Back
All Edmonds does is make plays and he put out one of his best performances of the season against the Seahawks. He received a season-high 51 offensive snaps (61 percent) and was the Cardinals most consistent weapon. He had five carries for 58 rushing yards to go along with seven catches on seven targets for 87 receiving yards. Edmonds was the second-highest graded player after last night’s performance with an 88.8 overall that game by Pro Football Focus. With Kenyan Drake expected to miss time with an ankle injury, Edmonds will have a big opportunity to prove he is the Cardinals’ top running back for the long-term future.
#21 Patrick Peterson - Cornerback
The All-Pro Patrick Peterson that the Cardinals have watched over the years has returned. He completely shut down DK Metcalf last night, limiting the second-year wide receiver to only one reception for six yards on four targets and an interception. He had the third-highest coverage grade (72.1) on the team that game. Although Tyler Lockett had two big catches on Peterson, Peterson’s coverage on those plays could not have been any better.
#43 Haason Reddick - Outside Linebacker
With every game this season, Haason Reddick continues to get better and better. In the win, he was lights out across the board. He allowed only two catches on three targets for -5 yards and a pass breakup. He also generated five total pressures including a sack, two hurries, and two quarterback hits. His 75.4 coverage grade that game was the second-highest on the team as he also had a whopping three tackles for loss. Haason Reddick already has five sacks on the season and has become the Cardinals best linebacker this year. After three years of shuffling through multiple positions and three different defensive coordinators since being a 2017 first-round draft pick, he is rewriting his NFL journey as he is thriving in year two in Vance Joseph’s defense.
#48 Isaiah Simmons - Inside Linebacker
Simmons played in a season-low of five snaps but made the most of his limited opportunities. He made the game-changing interception in overtime that put Kyler Murray and the Cardinals offense at the Seahawks 49 yard line. This Cardinals win would not be possible without Simmons and no doubt this will boost the rookie’s confidence tremendously. He was the Cardinals’ highest-graded defender against the Seahawks, receiving a 92.6 overall grade and a 88.2 coverage grade that game. Just like Reddick, Simmons is improving with every game and deserves more playing time when the Cardinals return from their bye week.
Honorable Mentions: Budda Baker, Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Zane Gonzalez, DeAndre Hopkins, D.J. Humphries
#52 Mason Cole - Center
Cole struggled in pass protection (35.9) and run blocking (48.1) as he received a 41.1 overall grade against the Seattle Seahawks by PFF. He was getting beat by the Seahawks’ interior defensive line almost all night and had an opportunity to recover the DeAndre Hopkins’ fumble in the second quarter but did not. If his struggles continue, the promising 2019 sixth-round pick Lamont Gaillard could supplant him as the starter.
#81 Darrell Daniels - Tight End
Daniels dropped a wide open pass on the Cardinals’ first drive and K.J. Wright ran by his block on a screen to DeAndre Hopkins. This was the play that made Kyler Murray heated as they had a verbal exchange on the sideline. The Cardinals offense will be very excited to get Maxx Williams back from injury after their bye week.
#20 Dre Kirkpatrick - Cornerback
Kirkpatrick allowed 13 catches on 16 targets for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Tyler Lockett was having himself a field day against the veteran cornerback. Kirkpatrick looked like he was dealing with an injury all game with concussion concerns. Although I applaud his efforts for playing through his injuries and playing with a ton of energy, he struggled in coverage. It is too difficult to cover a wide receiver with speed and with Russell Wilson’s accuracy. He will look to recover fully in the bye week and rebound after the break.
To keep it short, the Cardinals defensive line could not generate much pressure at all as Russell Wilson had a clean pocket throughout the game. The Seahawks offensive line was not penetrable without blitzing.
Long story short, the Cardinals had a lot of players that put on a show in the divisional win in primetime against their NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks. The Cardinals showed the world that they can contend and beat the best.
They enter their bye week with a 5-2 record as well as second place in their divisional standings with the possibility of starters Maxx Williams and Jalen Thompson returning from injury reserve in their next matchup against the Miami Dolphins.