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Seahawks vs. Cardinals: Seattle smothers Kyler Murray, Arizona offense in 19-9 defensive slugfest

The Seahawks are back at .500 and tied for first in the NFC West.

The Seattle Seahawks (3-3) are tied for top spot in the NFC West after pulling off a suffocating defensive display on Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals (2-4), who are now in the divisional cellar. On a day when the Seahawks offense was mostly held in check, the defense had by far its best game of the season. Murray was sacked six times, picked off once, and lost a fumble as the Seahawks prevailed by a final score of 19-9. Arizona did not score an offensive touchdown, while Seattle’s one TD was scored by rookie sensation Kenneth Walker III.

This was a sensational day for key rookie defensive players Coby Bryant and Tariq Woolen, as well as a 100+ yard day of total offense for Walker III. On a day when Shaun Alexander was inducted into the Ring of Honor, the Michigan State man did Shaun and the whole team proud.

It was a win that in many ways felt like vintage Seahawks football under Pete Carroll. Was it pretty? No. Geno Smith didn’t break 200 yards passing and was sacked five times, and the offensive line had a pretty rough outing. Did it work? Damn right it did.

1st Quarter

The Cardinals got the ball first and travels 76 yards on 10 plays, with Kyler Murray taking off for a massive gain of 42 yards on a 3rd down conversion. A big catch-and-run by Rondale Moore put Arizona inside the 5, but the drive stalled and the Seahawks held them to a field goal. Arizona’s first 1st quarter points all season. 3-0 Cardinals.

Seattle’s first offensive possession featured back-to-back big runs by Kenneth Walker III, as the rookie picked up 51 yards to put the Seahawks in the red zone. Geno Smith had DK Metcalf for a touchdown but overthrew him, and was sacked on the next play. Jason Myers was on the money from 39 out. 3-3.

2nd Quarter

The Cardinals used their running game (Kyler Murray included) to once again get into Seahawks territory, but again they had to settle for a field goal. Matt Ammendola’s struggles resulted in Kliff Kingsbury rolling the dice on 4th and 4, but a Murray throw to Rondale Moore was low and it was dropped. Turnover on downs!

The Seahawks wasted this by going three-and-out, but the defense responded by forcing their own three-and-out thanks to a sack by Uchenna Nwosu. With good field position, Geno Smith used his tight ends to get the passing attack going, and even Dee Eskridge caught an 11-yard pass. They got into the red zone but Kenneth Walker III was stonewalled. Jason Myers put the Seahawks on top from 27. 6-3 Seahawks.

Seattle’s defense stepped up big again on the next possession. After a busted coverage turned Marquise Brown loose, the Seahawks stiffened up and Ryan Neal sacked Kyler Murray on 3rd down to force another punt.

These defenses kept each other’s offenses at bay. Darrell Taylor strip-sacked Kyler Murray and helped force yet another three-and-out to give the Seahawks a chance at more points before halftime. Completions to Marquise Goodwin and a big run by Geno Smith set up a field goal, which Myers converted yet again. 9-3 Seahawks.

3rd Quarter

Seattle began with an ugly three-and-out that saw Geno Smith take an intentional grounding and then get sacked on third down. Kyler Murray found Rondale Moore to get themselves out of a 2nd and 15 jam, then did his usual incredible scrambling to get the Cards into FG range. Keep in mind again that Matt Ammendola has been a shaky kicker, so the Cards went for it on 4th and 2 instead of kicking a 45-yard field goal. Murray was pressured and went deep for AJ Green but it wasn’t close!

The Seahawks benefited from a roughing the passer and a questionable defensive holding penalty on what would’ve been a 3rd down stop. We’ll take it! Kenneth Walker III had an electrifying 21-yard run that set up 1st and 10 at Arizona’s 11. Yet another sack taken by Geno resulted in a Myers field goal. 12-3 Seahawks.

Just as the Cardinals were on course to at least threaten to score again, Coby Bryant stripped Kyler Murray on a rushing play and Tariq Woolen recovered it! Rookie and rookie teaming up!

Seattle went three-and-out again and Michael Dickson, perhaps in a panic looking to avoid the rushers, fumbled the ball in the end zone and the Cardinals recovered for a score. It was going to get blocked with that bust in protection and instead it turned into a Chris Banjo TD. Matt Ammendola missed the PAT. 12-9 Seahawks.

4th Quarter

The Seahawks offense, unable to get into the end zone all game, worked on a 7-play, 75-yard drive that saw some clutch throws from Geno Smith and a dazzling 10-yard score by Kenneth Walker III. The rookie getting it done! 19-9 Seahawks.

It didn’t take long for the Cardinals to get into Seattle territory, but keeping in mind the kicker situation they went for it on 4th and 2 inside the Seahawks’ 30 and Quinton Jefferson killed the drive with a clutch sack. And the Cardinals blew a timeout before that, leaving them with just 1 left in the final ten minutes.

After a Seahawks three-and-out, the Seattle defense again came up huge. Poona Ford swooped in for the fifth sack of Kyler Murray, then swatted away a 2nd down pass. Punt time as the defensive line overwhelmed Arizona’s group. This provided the Seahawks with terrific field position in Arizona territory. They wasted it, as was the theme for this very defensively oriented battle.

Arizona went for it on 4th and 3 at their own 14, and pretty much had to given the time left and the lack of timeouts. They got the conversion for their first 4th down success. Their next one? Picked by Tariq Woolen. Four picks in four games! That pretty much ended it. 19-9 Seahawks.

Seahawks Injury Report

DL Shelby Harris left the game with an undisclosed injury in the final minute of the 4th quarter.

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter: Matt Ammendola 23-yard field goal - SEA 0, AZ 3

1st Quarter: Jason Myers 39-yard field goal - SEA 3, AZ 3

2nd Quarter: Jason Myers 27-yard field goal - SEA 6, AZ 3

2nd Quarter: Jason Myers 34-yard field goal - SEA 9, AZ 3

3rd Quarter: Jason Myers 32-yard field goal - SEA 12, AZ 3

3rd Quarter: Chris Banjo fumble recovery in end zone - SEA 12, AZ 9

4th Quarter: Kenneth Walker 10-yard touchdown run - SEA 19, AZ 9

Next Week’s Opponent

The Seahawks go on the road for a clash with the Los Angeles Chargers (3-2), who wrap up Week 6 with a Monday Night Football game against the Denver Broncos. Kickoff time is 4:25 PM ET/1:25 PM PT on FOX on Sun, Oct. 23.