Rapid Reactions: Cardinals move to 9-2 after stellar road win in Seattle
The Arizona Cardinals were once again without the services of starting quarterback Kyler Murray on Sunday, but that didn’t matter much as they cruised to a 23-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
The victory moves the Cardinals to 9-2, which currently paces the National Football League.
Backup quarterback Colt McCoy was able to overcome a poor performance a week ago, as the veteran signal caller threw for over 300 yards for the first time since 2014.
Arizona Sports’ hosts and editors react to the win:
John Gambadoro, co-host of Burns & Gambo: Huge win. Colt McCoy did his job has been worth every penny they are paying him.
He won two of the three games he had to fill in for Kyler Murray. He allowed Arizona to make sure Murray didn’t rush back too soon. And in the process, he helped Arizona regain the top overall seed in the NFC.
McCoy was brilliant – he went 35-of-44 for 328 yards with two touchdowns and NO picks, plus rushed four times for 20 yards before the two kneel downs. On the touchdown drive that put the game away, he had an 11-yard keeper, escaped pressure to find Wesley for 12 yards and found Ertz on a big 3rd-and-7 for 20 yards.
He put Arizona in position to win this game easily – but Matt Prater left seven points on the board with two missed field goals and a missed extra point.
My favorite McCoy play was when he escaped a sack by Jordyn Brooks and found Ertz for 15 yards early fourth quarter – the drive ended in a missed field goal but all the time Arizona took off the clock with these conversions was a big key to the win.
I also loved his touchdown pass to Ertz that made it 13-3 when he dropped the ball on what looked like a handoff, picked it up and found Ertz. Speaking of Ertz, he has been such a gigantic addition. It’s nice to have a tight end help Arizona win a game instead of losing one. Ertz had eight catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns – worth the draft pick general manager Steve Keim gave up for him without a doubt. And AJ Green stepped up with four big catches for 78 yards and drew an important pass interference penalty. Need to mention the job Chandler Jones did with the two sacks – he made his presence felt.
With the win, Arizona did what I expected – buried Seattle. The Seahawks are DONE! That loss puts them out of their misery. They are not making the playoffs at 3-7 and with all those teams ahead of them. And with the way they play, they are just not a good football team. I’m sure the decision to sit Kyler and Deandre Hopkins were tough ones but Arizona trusted its depth and now they will play in two weeks with what should be a very healthy roster.
Dave Burns, co-host of Burns & Gambo: A couple of weeks ago I think I used the word “perfect” to describe the kind of day the Cards had in beating the 49ers.
So what is more perfect than perfect? Is there even a word for that? This one had all the markings of what made that win in the Bay Area so great.
Colt McCoy was spectacular yet again in filling in for Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury once again dialed up a game plan that was custom-fit for McCoy’s skill set. AJ Green, James Conner, Zach Ertz each had big moments. The line play was good. The defense suffocated Seattle on third downs and held the Seahawks to field goals when inside the 10-yard line.
Heck, even the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys lost to vault the Cards back into the best record in the NFC and the NFL.
What made this moment even better than two weeks ago was what it meant for Seattle. The Cardinals effectively ended their season on Sunday afternoon.
At 3-7 their hopes of making the postseason are dim. Who knows, given the uncertainty of Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll’s relationship, it’s possible an era came to an end and we were lucky enough to have the Cardinals in the house when that wheel went round.
Now, finally, the bye week. To go into it with a 9-2 record and a 2-1 mark without your two main offensive stars bodes well for the future.
Murray and Hopkins should be fresh and ready to go in two weeks and the Cardinals will be in a strong position for their final push to the top seed in the NFC.
Tyler Drake, editor and Cardinals reporter: The Cardinals got to feel great right now. Not only did they keep their perfect divisional record intact, they did so without risking Kyler Murray’s health, opting to roll with Colt McCoy on Sunday. McCoy provided a bounce-back effort that resulted in more than 300 yards and two touchdowns from the signal caller, who hooked up with Zach Ertz and A.J. Green throughout the afternoon.
It may not seem like much now, but giving Murray even more time off could be a major factor late in the season. Now he gets the bye week to get fully right as opposed to rushing back and risking a reaggravation of that left ankle injury. Murray’s MVP odds have undoubtedly taken a hit with the missed games, but with playoff aspirations firmly in the team’s mind, I’m sure he doesn’t mind.
Speaking of rushing, it appears that is the case for Russell Wilson, who turned in another rough showing since returning from finger surgery. He didn’t get much help outside of Seattle’s field goal kicker, though.
But let’s not forget what really set the tone on Sunday, a hungry defense. Chandler Jones and Isaiah Simmons were quick to make some noise with a pair of sacks, while the unit had little trouble keeping Seattle at bay until late in the game.
Matt Prater’s misses are a bit of a concern, surrendering seven points on an extra point miss and two errant field goals, but he still hung in there and converted a 53-yarder. It appeared there may been a snap or two that was off as well, but is expected with long snapper Aaron Brewer sidelined with a broken arm.