Seahawks vs. Cardinals: Behind Enemy Lines ahead of Week 9 matchup

The award-winning, paradigm-smashing 2022 Seahawks have a chance to send a division rival home early this week. If they beat the Cardinals on Sunday in Arizona, it will drop their NFC West foes’ record to 3-6 on the season – putting their chances of making the playoffs in the extremely-slim category. Make no mistake: this game is must-win territory for the Cardinals.

To learn more about the enemy, we spoke with Cards Wire managing editor Jess Root. Here are a few questions he answered about the status of his team.

The Cards enter this week 3-5 and are in must-win territory. What’s gone wrong?

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It has been a little of everything. They fall behind every game. They have allowed five first-drive touchdowns this season, the most in the league, and have not scored a touchdown in the first quarter of any game. They have been ravaged by injuries, losing Marquise Brown, Rodney Hudson, James Conner, Rashard Lawrence, Darrel Williams, Justin Pugh and Nick Vigil. When they get things going, they have untimely mistakes, like bad snaps in the red zone or a muffed punt after a three-and-out. Kyler Murray has not been as good this year and his supporting cast has not helped. A.J. Green has given them nothing. The defense plays well but gives up critical long drives in key moments.

Who is to blame and why is it Kliff Kingsbury?

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Haha, the easy answer is coaching. However, he isn’t the one dropping passes on third down in their first drives and not giving up sacks or getting called for penalties.I guess if I have to assign most blame, it would be ownership for giving the coach, GM and QB long extensions. Despite being a year when urgency should have been at an all-time high to start, urgency has been an issue all year.

How would you assess Kyler Murray’s season so far?

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It has been disappointing, but aside from the game in Seattle, I think he has played well and has had his teammates fail him. The Seattle game was the one where he was off. He missed throws he normally makes. But when we all wanted to see him take the next step, things just look hard. And when he is playing well, there are untimely turnovers.

Have any of Arizona’s rookies stepped up or showed potential?

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The rookies have not given them much, although they are playing. Their best draft pick was Marquise Brown (haha). Before his injury, he looked like a legitimate No. 1 receiver. That bodes well. Second-round pick, tight end Trey McBride, is playing but has critical mistakes like missed blocks and penalties. Third-round pass rushers Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders each had their first career sacks against the Seahawks but those are their only sacks. Sixth-round running back Keaontay Ingram played well in one game he had a role on offense.

What’s your prediction for this week?

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The Seahawks are definitely playing better. The Cardinals badly missed DeAndre Hopkins in the first matchup. But the Cardinals do have their backs against the wall. A loss would put them three games behind Seattle in terms of wins and losses and would also be another game behind getting swept head-to-head. Nothing about the play of both teams suggests that the Cardinals will win but I believe the urgency will be there from start to finish and they will bounce back. Cardinals 23, Seahawks 20.

Story originally appeared on Seahawks Wire