Rivalries are based on a give and take.
For the Arizona Cardinals, that give and take boils down to the two times a year they play their division opponents.
When you look at the depth of the rivalries, it seems to be one-way most of the time when it comes to the Cardinals.
That is the difficult part when the Cardinals have struggled to be consistent contenders within the NFL, and the NFC West has sent every team to the Super Bowl the last decade, sans the Arizona Cardinals.
However, the rivalries are real for the Cardinals, and the Seattle Seahawks are at the top of the list.
The Cardinals and Seahawks are neck-and-neck all-time, as the Cardinals record is 22-23-1 all-time against the Seahawks. Yet over the last decade, well since the Cardinals and Seahawks became real contenders, the Cardinals are 7-10-1.
It seems like each team finds a way to cause issues for the other each year, but the Seahawks took advantage of the Cardinals’ bad 2014 season where they couldn’t score on anyone despite a great defense, and of course the awful, no good, very bad 2018.
The interesting thing is that since 2013 the guys who made the rivalry and kept the bad blood going between these two teams are mostly gone.
Not surprising in the NFL, but the Legion of Boom was always a pain in the neck of the Arizona Cardinals. During their heyday, the Seahawks defense was the mountain the Cardinals needed to climb each and every matchup.
The Cardinals averaged only 17.5 points per game during the Legion of Boom’s peak, but they were able to go 4-5-1.
It is ironic, because on the flip side, with Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and different wide receivers, the Seahawks averaged just under 25 points per game in those 10 games, but the Cardinals somehow managed to keep things close.
The reason this seemed so one-sided though is because the Seahawks won a Super Bowl and lost another based on a terrible play calling decision at the goal line.
The other reason is, when the Cardinals won games, they were close.
Look at those 10 games: The Cardinals’ scores in those four wins were 17-10, 39-32, 34-31 and 26-24 combined with that beautiful 6-6 tie.
Meanwhile, in the losses the scores looked like: 22-34, 3-19, 6-35, 6-36, 16-22, meaning the only close game was that 2017 loss.
In their losses the Cardinals only averaged 10.6 points per game.
In their wins the Cardinals averaged 29 points per game.
That is why despite things being close in terms of head-to-head records, the Cardinals always seemed to be the little brother in the rivalry.
Now, we enter a new time in this rivalry as the Seahawks are finally without Russell Wilson, while the Cardinals are making the playoffs and have Kyler Murray under contract for the foreseeable future.
Is it time for the Cardinals to take hold of the division rivalry and bragging rights against the Seattle Seahawks?
It looks like it could be.