Week Nine: Seahawks vs Cardinals
This is our second round with these divisional foes, and this time, we’ll be on their home turf. Can the Hawks keep the magic flowing another week? I think so. That said, I feel a little off about this one. Games at Arizona are sometimes really strange, and the Cardinals (3-5) are in a bit of desperation mode. This could be ugly. But as I said in the recap from last week, it is no longer a question of legitimacy with the Seahawks. It’s a matter of possibility, which appears to be wide open right now. As such, a win is certainly within the realm. Here’s my wish list.
- Strong defense against the run. I feel like this is on my list every week. But aside from defense against the run being a good thing in general, each game of late has brought specific challenges in that area. Once again, the Hawks face a running quarterback in Kyler Murray. In the first game, he got us for 100 yards rushing. I’d love for the defense to shave a digit or two off that number and to neutralize Mr. Murray.
- Secondary smackdown of DeAndre Hopkins. This Cardinals star receiver did not play in the first matchup as he was serving a six-game suspension for violating the league’s PED policy. Murray and Hopkins have a special synergy. There has been speculation that Hopkin’s early absence is the reason for the Cardinal’s inconsistency and struggles this season. The two may be reunited, but let’s hope the secondary can dream crush that bromance. And it could be a lot of fun to see a little mano y mano between Hopkins and corner-on-fire Tariq Woolen.
- Nobody gets hurt and nothing weird happens. There’s some peculiar energy around State Farm (formerly Glendale) stadium. It was the setting for the play that shall not be named, crushing the Seahawks aspirations for back-to-back Super Bowl wins and possibly killing a dynasty in the process. It has also been the site of bad injuries, some of which were career-ending. May the football gods protect all the players from injury. May they also shield the Seahawks from poor decisions and bad plays.
Player to watch this week: Tyler Lockett. Tyler had a tough go of it last week. With a dropped pass and a fumble that resulted in a touchdown for the opposing team, he was uncharacteristically off his game. But then he roared back to make the catch for what was probably the game-winning touchdown. He was also playing injured, or semi-injured anyway. My guts says he’ll be back in all his glory on Sunday and that we will once again bask in the wonder of his spectacular play.