How the West Was Won Week 10: Cardinals build 3-game cushion with win in Seattle
The Arizona Cardinals viewed their Week 10 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks as an opportunity to not only build a comfortable lead in the NFC West but to “bury” the two-time defending champions.
It looked tenuous in the fourth quarter, but ultimately Bruce Arians’ team did just that, handing the Seahawks their first-ever prime time home loss under Pete Carroll.
Earlier in the day, the St. Louis Rams continued their mystifying season by getting blown out by the Chicago Bears at home.
Here’s a closer look at what happened in the NFC West in Week 10.
Arizona Cardinals 39, Seattle Seahawks 32
Statement made. Critics of the Cardinals pointed out the fact they “hadn’t beaten anybody” in building a 6-2 record over the first half. Those same people treated Sunday’s showdown in Seattle as a “prove it” type of game.
The Cardinals proved it. Arizona built an early 19-0 lead, lost it and then got two fourth-quarter touchdowns to slam the door on the Seahawks and extend their lead to three games.
Carson Palmer, who had two costly second-half fumbles that spearheaded Seattle’s surge, hit Jermaine Gresham on a 14-yard touchdown pass with 8:41 to go that put Arizona back up 32-29. Andre Ellington added the punctuation with a 48-yard touchdown scamper with just under two minutes to go.
Arizona Money Quote: “Can’t say enough about the resiliency of our team. A lot of things went wrong for a stretch of about seven or eight minutes. If there’s one thing I’ve always said about Carson, man, he is resilient. He stayed strong on the sideline, believed in his guys and made plays to win the game.” — Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians.
Seattle Money Quote: “It’s really disappointing that we put out such a miserable first half of football. To be that far behind the sticks with penalties and all that, in that kind of position, it’s really hard to play ball.” — Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.
Stat of the Game: The Cardinals held the ball for 38:52 — their season-high and the seventh-highest time of possession in the league this season. Arizona ran 84 plays on offense while Seattle had only 52 offensive snaps.
Chicago Bears 37, St. Louis Rams 13
The Rams built an early 10-7 lead in the first quarter on a Todd Gurley touchdown run and a Greg Zuerlein field goal, but things got sideways after that.
Chicago’s Jay Cutler completed 19-of-24 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns as the Bears won going away.
Cutler hit tight end Zach Miller on an 87-yard touchdown in the first quarter, and added an 83-yard screen pass to running back Jeremy Langford in the second, becoming the first-ever Chicago quarterback to accomplish that feat.
After beating Cleveland and San Francisco to nudge their record over .500, the Rams have now lost back-to-back games to NFC North foes to fall to 4-5.
St. Louis Money Quote: “There’s no pointing fingers in situations like this. It’s easy to point fingers. It’s all of us.” — Rams QB Nick Foles
Stat of the Game: Miller’s touchdown was the longest by any NFL tight end since Pittsburgh’s Heath Miller had an 87-yard score in 2006 against the Miami Dolphins.
Week 9 Award Winners
Offensive Player of the Week: Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals – Palmer was outstanding again, completing 29-of-48 for 363 yards and three touchdowns against the Seattle “Legion of Boom” secondary. It was the most passing yards against the Seahawks since New England’s Tom Brady threw for 388 in Week 6 of the 2012 season.
Honorable Mention: Arizona WR Michael Floyd, Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald, Seattle WR Doug Baldwin
Defensive Player of the Week: Tyrann Mathieu, DB, Arizona Cardinals – Mathieu had an interception in the third quarter that led to a field goal that stretched the Cardinals’ lead to 25-10. He should have had two others on the night, but regardless, it’s becoming evident that the third-year star out of LSU is becoming the emotional leader and best player on one of the league’s premier defenses.
Honorable Mention: St. Louis DT Aaron Donald, Seattle S Kam Chancellor, Seattle DE Cliff Avril