It was a long way to go for the Cardinals to be honored, with its last winning season and playoff appearance being 2015. They then had three coaches and two owner quarterbacks, and Murray was traded a season later to replace Josh Rosen. Management sought to rebuild with the patient’s sense of urgency, believing that replacing them with competent free agents would land vulnerable players in the draft. Given the lack of depth in key areas entering this season, it remains to be seen if they can make it through Sunday and find a way to make up for the loss of Jones, one of the game’s primary pass racers. Kenya pushed Drake back and left the game with an ankle injury. However, when you have a playmaker in the quarterback, anything is possible.
Earlier in the week, in the win over the Cowboys on Monday night, he passed 24 of 9 for 188 yards. Much has been said about his season being low in completion percentage, but the debate over not noticing the fact that he was able to find a way to create plays when he didn’t have a game. He did not force passes, but instead chose to use his legs to take the main first lows on the 74-yard track and touch down at 10kg. Looking at a wider prism showed the progress he had made in the maturation process. His leadership has also shown growth. He was too far away as a player last year and was reluctant to hold team players accountable. Not so this year, with a pair of tight edges on a bubble screen lineup player KJ Failing to stop Wright showed his dissatisfaction when he was sidelined. Even when he was discussing the upcoming pie, he sounded like a different player.
“This is year 2 for me, understanding what happened last year is, for me, not pie week,” he said. “Last year we treated it like a pie week; this year, the head is down.”
The Seahawks seem to be going through their own transition. For much of the past decade the formula for their success has been tainted with security and the belief that Wilson is playing offense. Wilson lived until the end of his contract, but struggled to put constant pressure on defense stops or quarterbacks. Their current situation will not prevent them from winning games, but it could block the path to a Super Bowl victory, as defense often becomes more important in the postseason. Consider 2013, then Bayton Manning with the Broncos, setting a league record with 22 touchdowns in the first six games of a season. He finished that year with 55 aerial scores, but was knocked out by Seattle, 43-8, in the Denver Super Bowl.
Wilson now has 22 touchdown passes in six games, which is in line with the Manning-determined mark. If the Seahawks do not find some solution to their defensive problems, they may lose their ultimate goal, as the 2013 Broncos did. As it was, they entered the game by beating only one team (Miami). Their two wins were against one winning team (Atlanta and Minnesota) and two winning clubs (Dallas and New England).
It is fair to ask if we really know how good the Seahawks are at this point. The playoffs are good, of course. But is it enough to take a run all the way? That’s just the beginning. As for the cardinals, this season is all about constantly laying the groundwork and building it. They match the total number of wins they have already won last season, so in some respects they are playing with home money.
“I remember talking before the game (Diandre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk); I said we were going to find out what kind of team we are today,” Chase Edmonds, who had five carries for 58 yards, came in after 43 half-time. “We’ve had some good wins on the team, but you know they’m going to play in Seattle in January. Everyone knows they’ve going to be in the playoffs and playoff races. This is one of the games you’ll find out: How real are we? What did we create? We kept picking punches, but we responded well. So it’s a lot of hope for us, but it sets the standard for us to no longer be able to play below our competition.
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