Cardinals roll past playoff-bound Seahawks in 27-13 victory
SEATTLE, WA – Kenyan Drake rushed for 166 yards and two touchdowns, Larry Fitzgerald added a 21-yard TD reception, and the Arizona Cardinals stymied Russell Wilson and the injury-depleted Seattle Seahawks in a 27-13 win on Sunday.
The Seahawks (11-4) saw their hopes for the No. 1 seed in the NFC potentially vanish with another late-season loss to the Cardinals. Seattle can still claim the NFC West with a win next week over San Francisco, but will need major help to earn total home-field advantage after entering the week as the top seed in the NFC.
Drake had an 80-yard TD run in the first quarter and provided the capper with a 3-yard TD with 4:18 remaining to take a 27-13 lead. Drake’s 166 yards were a season high against Seattle.
The question now is Seattle’s health going into next week. Seattle faced the Cardinals without four key starters: left tackle Duane Brown, safety Quandre Diggs, cornerback Shaquill Griffin and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. The Seahawks depth was thinned further when starting running back Chris Carson went down with a hip injury early in the second quarter and backup C.J. Prosise suffered an arm injury only a few minutes later.
Arizona (5-9-1) lost No. 1 overall draft pick Kyler Murray to a hamstring injury midway through the third quarter. Murray was tended to on the sideline after leading a drive that finished with Zane Gonzalez's 46-yard field goal that gave Arizona a 20-7 lead early in the third quarter. Murray scrambled on the final play of the drive for 4 yards and never returned.
The absence of Brown and the lack of a run game left Seattle’s offense stuck in neutral. The Seahawks gained 89 yards on their opening drive that was capped by Wilson’s 3-yard TD pass to Nick Bellore. They gained 49 total yards combined in the second and third quarters. Between the six-minute mark of the first quarter and Tyler Lockett’s 12-yard catch early in the fourth quarter, Seattle had one first down.
Wilson finished 16 of 31 for 169 yards, but was sacked five times — four by Chandler Jones, who also forced a key fumble early in the second half.
Murray was 11 of 18 for 118 yards and a touchdown before leaving. He also added 40 yards rushing. His best play was the touchdown to Fitzgerald that gave the Cardinals a 14-7 lead. Murray scrambled from the pocket, stopped before the line of scrimmage and flipped a short pass. Fitzgerald managed to corral the pass with one hand, then ran through Seattle’s K.J. Wright near the goal line for the touchdown.
Brett Hundley took over for Murray and the backup QB in Seattle last year led Arizona on a key scoring drive midway through the fourth quarter capped by Drake’s second touchdown run. Hundley had a critical 14-yard scramble on third-and-2 to get Arizona into field-goal range.
Seattle got a spark late in the third quarter when Rasheem Green blocked Gonzalez’s 45-yard field goal attempt and Marquise Blair returned it to the Arizona 16. But the Seahawks settled for Jason Myers’ 30-yard field goal and a 20-10 deficit. Myers added a 51-yard field goal on Seattle’s next possession to pull the Seahawks within 20-13 with 10:02 left. That was as close as Seattle would get.
Jones set a single-season franchise record for sacks. Jones has 19 on the season, topping the 17 he had in 2017. Jones now has 60 sacks in 63 career games since joining the Cardinals.
Fitzgerald became the second player in NFL history to top 17,000 yards receiving in a career. Fitzgerald reached the mark on his TD catch in the second quarter. Fitzgerald entered the day with 16,990 yards receiving; he trails only Jerry Rice (22,895) on the all-time list.
Wilson moved past Matt Hasselback to become Seattle’s all-time leader in yards passing. Wilson needed 103 yards to top Hasselback’s mark of 29,435 set during his 10 seasons with Seattle between 2001-10.
As expected, Seattle’s Week 17 matchup against San Francisco was flexed by the NFL to be the Sunday night game. It will be the second time Seattle has hosted the final game of the regular season with the NFC West title on the line. The previous time came in Pete Carroll’s first season when Seattle beat St. Louis 16-6 to win the NFC West.
Cardinals: travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams.
Seahawks: Seattle hosts San Francisco. Both already are in the playoffs.
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