Preview: Cardinals Rematch with Seattle Matchups, Analysis and Predictions

Combo preview for the Cardinals Thursday Night Football matchup with the Seahawks.
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The first Cardinals rematch of the year follows an overtime battle against the Seattle Seahawks in which they came from 10 points behind in the fourth quarter to win 37-34. 

That game was on the national stage of Sunday Night Football, and this one will be too on Thursday night.

"We're going to be off the next three, four days," safety Budda Baker said. "So, we've got to give it our all this Thursday game."

Where to watch/listen

TV: FOX/NFL Network with Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Kristina Pink and Erin Andrews 

Streaming: Amazon Prime Video

Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM with Dave Pasch, Ron Wolfley and Paul Calvisi 

Spanish Radio: KHOV 105.1 FM with Luis Hernandez and Rolando Cantu

Inside slant

The “Hail Murray,” a 43-yard connection from quarterback Kyler Murray to a triple-covered DeAndre Hopkins in the end zone, won the game for Arizona and awarded it first place in the NFC West. 

The Seahawks have dropped three of the last four games and are tied with the Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams at 6-3, but Arizona owns the tie-breaker. A third straight loss for the Seahawks would be their first during the Russell Wilson era.

There may be six games to play after this week, but if the Cardinals and Seahawks stay close in the standings, tie-breakers will matter.

"For the older guys who have been in this situation before, we just have to get these young guys to understand that you have to relish the moment, you have to make the best of these moments because this could really set us apart from everybody else in the division," cornerback Patrick Peterson said.

Arizona’s offense has scored 30 or more points in five straight games. 

In that span, Murray has completed 67.7 percent of his passes for 291 yards per game. He was especially prolific against Seattle, throwing for 360, rushing for 67 and leading the comeback.

That game was an offensive shootout where the difference ended up being turnovers. 

The Cardinals turned it over twice while forcing three. Wilson’s interception by rookie Isaiah Simmons in overtime set up the game-winning kick. Wilson has seven interceptions in his last four games, one of several reasons why the Seahawks have been sputtering. 

Another is defense. The Seahawks allow the most yards through the air in the league by a wide margin. Back from injury is All-Pro safety Jamal Adams, who missed the first meeting with Arizona, but their starting cornerbacks are out. 

Offensively, the Seahawks are the top scoring team in the league, but last week, the Rams snapped their three-game streak of scoring at least 34 points. 

If the Cardinals can continue to bait Wilson to throw interceptions and hold Seattle like Los Angeles did last week (season-low 16 points), they’ll have a good chance to pull away against a reeling Seahawks defense.

Who’s in/ who’s out

The Cardinals defense received several blows on Sunday. Nose tackle Corey Peters suffered a season-ending knee injury. Inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell went down with a calf issue and is questionable for Thursday. Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips didn’t play with a hamstring, and he is out again.

The rest of the injury report:

The Cardinals have three active defensive linemen and one on the practice squad. Josh Mauro, Angelo Blackson and Trevon Coley will be counted on heavily and it's likely that Michael Dogbe will be elevated from the practice squad. 

If Campbell is unable to go, the coaching staff has showed confidence that Simmons is ready to fill in.

"We definitely feel Isaiah is in a place where he can play a ton of snaps and start if need be," Kingsbury said. "We like the way he's progressing."

A couple of the Seahawks' primary playmakers are questionable. Primary running back Chris Carson (foot) got hurt against Arizona after running for 34 yards on five carries. 

Receiver Tyler Lockett was magnificent against the Cardinals with 15 grabs and 200 yards, but he is questionable with a knee issue.

More bad news for Seattle is that starting corners Shaquill Griffin (hamstring) and Quinton Dunbar (knee) are out along with center Ethan Pocic (head) and guard Jordan Simmons (calf).

Matchups to watch

Cardinals first half vs. second half

The Cardinals defense allowed 27 first-half points to Seattle and they trailed 27-17. The second half was a total departure, as Arizona held the Seahawks to seven points and shut them out in overtime.

"I thought in the first half of that game, they simply played faster than we did," defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said. "They had a great plan and a bunch of shifts and motions that we were chasing and not being ahead of.

"But, the second half, we caught our balance and played better and it slowed down for us and we made some plays on the ball. So we have to start the way we finished and play with great eyes and great technique."

The Cardinals had two interceptions in the second half and overtime. 

Seattle rushing vs Cardinals line

Seattle ran for 200 yards despite losing their top rusher and playing a healthier Cardinals defense.

Wilson ran for 84 yards that game, and if Carson returns, the Seahawks rush attack has potential to be much more lethal. 

Then again, they are missing multiple offensive linemen and the Cardinals stood strong against the run last week while facing mobile quarterback Josh Allen.

More on the matchup here.

Deandre Hopkins vs Seahawks secondary

Hopkins had an eventful day the last time he faced Seattle. He went viral for an exchange he had on the freeway before the game, then caught 10 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. 

That was a game in which both Griffin and Dunbar played. Adams should help, but Hopkins against backup corners spells trouble. 

Hopkins also just won NFC Offensive Player of the Week after defeating Buffalo.

More on that here.

Predictions

Another consensus. It appears we all expect a lot of points and a close battle, similar to the first meeting. 

Howard Balzer: Cardinals win 31-30

Mason Kern: Cardinals win 34-30

Alex Weiner: Cardinals win 35-32

Line: Seattle -3