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Seahawks-Cardinals features 3 of the NFL’s top players at their respective positions

A top-5 running back, a top-5 receiver, a top-5 quarterback, and Kyler Murray.

Arizona Cardinals v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks’ current winning streak started against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 6. With a little luck (and a solid game plan), the win streak will continue in Week 9 and the Seahawks will fly home with their bird bros. firmly in the rear view mirror.

Just one thing stands in the way ...

DeAndre Hopkins.

That’s not to say that the rest of the Cardinals team can be overlooked; it’s really just an acknowledgement that D-Hop is what some would call an X-factor.

The last time Seattle faced Arizona, Hopkins was serving the final game of his 6-game suspension for cheating using PEDs.

Since then, he’s been targeted 27 times and has caught 22 of those passes for 262 yards and 1 touchdown.

And, oh, what a touchdown it was.

Here’s a deeper look at Hopkins’ numbers the last 2 weeks:

  • The 27 targets represent 37% of Arizona’s pass attempts in Weeks 7 and 8.
  • His 81.5% catch rate puts him in the top 5 league wide.
  • The per-game average of 131 yards laps the entire league with only 3 other receivers averaging more than 100 yards per game. Tyreek Hill is second at 120.1, followed by Stefon Diggs (109.1) and Justin Jefferson (107.4).

Bottom line: He’s going to be a challenge for our young corners (and our safeties) all. game. long.


Fear not though ...

Seattle has its own X-factor: Kenneth Walker III - aka K9.

Since taking over as the starter in Week 6, Seattle’s new lead dog has carried the ball 62 times for 315 yards and 4 touchdowns.

  • K9’s average of 105.0 yards per game over that span is neck-and-neck with the pace set by the league’s #1 rusher, Nick Chubb, who has an average of 105.1 through 8 games.
  • Since Week 6, only Travis Etienne Jr. (356) and Derrick Henry (343 in 2 games) have more rushing yards than K9’s 315.

Expanding the look at Kenneth Walker III to include the full slate of games this season:

  • Only 4 running backs have more touchdowns than Walker’s 5: Nick Chubb (8), Jamaal Williams (8), Derrick Henry (7), and Josh Jacobs (6).
  • Only 2 running backs - Travis Etienne Jr. and Tony Pollard - have more runs of 40+ yards.
  • K9’s 5 runs of 20+ yards trail only Nick Chubb (8), Saquon Barkley (6), and Travis Etienne Jr. (6).
  • Kenneth Walker III’s 74-yard run against the Chargers is the league’s 3rd-longest run through the midpoint of the season.

Bottom line: Seattle’s lead dog is going to get fed on Sunday.


Turning our attention to the quarterbacks ...

Each QB has thrown for nearly 2,000 yards through the first 8 weeks of the season. Each has been sacked 19 times.

And that’s where the similarities end.

Kyler Murray

  • 325 pass attempts, 215 completions, respectable 66.2% completion rate
  • 1,993 passing yards (249.1 per game, 6.1 per attempt)
  • 10 touchdowns vs. 6 interceptions
  • QBR of 48.3 (tied for 18th) with a passer rating of 85.3 (21st)

Passing stats are only part of the story with Murray though since he is the definition of a mobile quarterback. Through 8 games, he has 51 carries for 299 yards (37.4 per game) with 2 touchdowns and 17 first downs.

One hundred of those yards came against Seattle 3 weeks ago - on only 10 carries.

Note to Clint Hurtt: Make Murray try to beat you with his arm, not his legs.

Geno Smith

  • 249 pass attempts, 181 completions, and a league-leading completion rate of 72.7%
  • 1,924 passing yards (240.5 per game, 7.7 per attempt)
  • 13 touchdowns (5th-most) vs. only 3 interceptions (3rd-fewest among players who’ve thrown at least 200 passes)
  • QBR of 66.6 (4th-best) with a passer rating of 107.2 (3rd-best)

It’s also worth noting that Geno has 35 carries for 158 yards with 1 touchdown and 10 first downs - which is pretty impressive since he’s not generally considered a mobile quarterback.

Bottom line: One QB is quietly lining up MVP votes while the other one is humming “Squad Up” in the huddle.


It should be a fun game on Sunday.

Go Hawks!