Coming into the game today many analyst and media didn’t give the Arizona Cardinals much of a chance verses the number one seeded Seahawks at home having much to play for, but they may have forgotten the win record the Cards have coming to Seattle.
The Cardinals had different plans and come into CenturyLink Field and shut up the faithful 12 and drop the Seahawks from number one seed to number five in the playoff seeding.
This was the most complete game from the Cardinals particularly on the defensive side of the ball, as they give up a drive opening touchdown to the Seahawks pretty easy and then stands tall and plays flawless after that.
There is a reason why Chandler Jones and Buddha Baker were named to the Pro Bowl, both guys put on a defensive exhibition in Seattle.
Jones had Four sacks on the day and didn’t allow Russell Wilson to get off on them as he does on most teams particularly in the fourth quarter. Baker led the defense with nine tackles and was very disruptive and came up with a few viscous hits on ball carriers.
A complete game from the defense for the first time all year forced the Hawks to be horrific on third down a whopping 1-12 on the day. Cardinals had 21 first downs to 13 and for the second time in to weeks the Redbirds get over 200 rushing yards.
Rushing the ball is the Seahawks bread and butter but after the first drive the Cards did a great job on stopping the run holding them under 100 yards, adding blanket coverage from a rejuvenated Patrick Peterson shutting down the Seahawks best two wide receivers.
This 27-13 win goes to the defense and the great play calling of Head Coach Kilff Kingsbury, after starter Kyler Murray goes down to a slight hamstring pull called a masterful game mixing up plays and kept Seattle guessing.
The spread offense came off the field and the 12 personnel, one back and two tight ends took over and over powered the Seahawks in every facet of the game.
The rushing game of newly acquired Kenyon Drake was very hard to stop, as Drake started his day with a 80 yard touchdown run and finished with an impressive six yard run for the first down to put the game away.
This has been a great acquisition for this team as Drake fits this teams offense perfectly, and his no quit running style show clearly why the team has fazed out former starter David Johnson.
Drake finished with 166 yards on 24 carries and he added two more touchdowns to his total, and at the end of one of his touchdown runs he flashed the “pay me the money” Johnny Manzell sign in the end zone.
It will be very interesting to see if the Cardinals do indeed pay Drake to stay in the Dessert, he has been the key along with Murray to this offense.
Quarterback Kyler Murray left the game in the second half with a hamstring injury, and many may have thought that the 20 points he put up were not going to be enough to hold off the Seahawks.
We have no words. pic.twitter.com/pizrpiYTXt
— Arizona Cardinals ⋈ (@AZCardinals) December 22, 2019
As Murray finished 11/18 118 yards and one touchdown, and he ran around expressively throughout the short performance.
His running around tweaked his hamstring and sidelined the rookie for the rest of the game, but his back up Brett Hundley was game and picked up the slack.
Hundley was 4/9 for only 49 yards but that was the most important yards of the game, as he found receivers and moved the chains.
He also had some adversity as one of the Cardinals top receivers Christian Kirk dropped and open third down play that led to a Seahawks blocked kick attempt and et up a field goal after the defense held.
Surely it looked like the momentum would be in the Seahawks favor as Coach Carrol begin to do the RA-RA thing on the sideline while chomping down hard on his shewing gum.
This is usually what they do, make the big comeback methodically and wait for you to make that big mistake that will give them Russell Wilson the opportunity to beat you.
But back up Brett Hundley was sound and his running ability caught the Seahawks off guard as he hit them for 6 rushes for 35 yards including a run that he appeared to run out of bounds and cut it back and got a critical first down that set up the dagger touchdown by Drake.
This was Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury’s best game as a head coach and he made all of the perfect calls that kept Seattle guessing all day.
A clear glimpse of what this team will look like going into next season, lots of encouragement that they have found out their style play and with a fe more additions on defense and perhaps another weapon on offense at wide receiver, this team can be the last to first team of the 2020 season and make a playoff push.