Russell Wilson, Seahawks Beat Kyler Murray, Cardinals in Pivotal NFC West Battle

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2020

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson passes to DK Metcalf (not shown) for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

The Seattle Seahawks are back on track.

Seattle defeated the Arizona Cardinals 28-21 in Thursday's NFC West showdown at Lumen Field and snapped a two-game losing streak in the process. Russell Wilson, Carlos Hyde, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf led the way for the home team, which now sits atop the division by itself at 7-3. 

As for Arizona, it was unable to complete a season sweep of the Seahawks and fell to 6-4 despite a solid second-half showing from Kyler Murray.

Carlos Dunlap sacked the Cardinals quarterback on 4th-and-10 in the final minute to clinch the win.

         

Notable Player Stats

  • Russell Wilson, QB, SEA: 23-of-28 for 197 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs; 10 rushes for 42 yards
  • Carlos Hyde, RB, SEA: 14 carries for 79 yards, 1 TD; 2 catches for 16 yards
  • Tyler Lockett, WR, SEA: 9 catches for 67 yards, 1 TD
  • DK Metcalf, WR, SEA: 3 catches for 46 yards, 1 TD
  • Kyler Murray, QB, AZ: 29-of-42 for 269 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs; 5 rushes for 15 yards
  • Kenyan Drake, RB, AZ: 11 carries for 29 yards, 1 TD; 4 catches for 31 yards

           

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Bounce-Back Effort from Wilson, Solid Seattle O Enough for Win

There have been defensive concerns in Seattle all season, but the Seahawks still figure to be Super Bowl contenders as long as Wilson is under center and throwing to Lockett and Metcalf.

The trio wasted no time setting the tone, as Wilson found Lockett for multiple completions before he capped off the opening possession by evading pressure with his legs and finding Metcalf in the corner of the end zone.

It was a welcome development for the Seahawks considering Wilson threw a combined four interceptions in the last two losses, and he kept it rolling with another perfectly placed touchdown—this time to Lockett—as Seattle controlled play throughout the first half and took a nine-point lead into intermission.

While the offensive line struggled to protect the six-time Pro Bowler at times, his ability to escape rushers and either pick up yards with his legs or buy time for his receivers to break free consistently flummoxed Arizona's defense.

It wasn't just the aerial attack that was effective for Seattle, as Hyde unleashed some power on between-the-tackle runs and burst right through arm tackles. His third-quarter touchdown provided temporary breathing room, and his presence helped account for the injured Chris Carson.

Hyde also had a key fumble recovery on an errant pitch play with Wilson in the final minutes that preserved a drive ending with a Jason Myers field goal. 

A 28-point showing isn't going to break any record, but it was enough Thursday thanks to the defense and much-needed improvement from the turnover issues that plagued the group during the brief losing streak.

            

Slow Start, Late Collapse Costs Cardinals

Thursday's game set up nicely for Murray as he looked to bolster his MVP candidacy.

After all, Seattle entered play last in the league in yards (448.3) and 28th in points (29.6) allowed per game. Murray also accounted for 427 yards and four touchdowns in their last meeting and had plenty of momentum after finding DeAndre Hopkins for the winning Hail Mary last time out against the Buffalo Bills.

Nothing went according to plan in the first half.

Arizona started with two 3-and-outs, and Murray was grimacing following a hit to his shoulder. While Kenyan Drake kept the visitors within striking distance with a touchdown, Murray receiving treatment on the sidelines was a nightmare scenario for Cardinals fans.

Those worries alleviated some in the second half when Murray marched Arizona right down the field for touchdowns on its first two possessions out of the locker room. He found Dan Arnold for the first score and finished a 15-play, 90-yard drive with a throw to Chase Edmonds for the second.

Then the final 10 minutes happened.

Arizona lost all its momentum on a safety when J.R. Sweezy was called for holding in the end zone. It still had a final opportunity and drove into Seattle territory, but three straight incompletions and the Dunlap sack ended the comeback efforts.

         

What's Next?

Both teams are on the road in Week 12 when the Seahawks face the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cardinals play the New England Patriots.