5 Key Moments in Seahawks’ 28-21 Win Over Cardinals

Nick Lee

Football is a game of inches. One play, one moment, one yard could mean the difference between victory and defeat. Let’s take a look at five key moments that drove the Seahawks to victory on Thursday night against the Cardinals.

1. Russell Wilson TD pass to DK Metcalf 

In the game’s opening drive, the Seahawks marched right down and set the tone from the beginning. After seven turnovers in the previous two games and coming off a game where Metcalf was basically nonexistent, this play made it clear that this game was going to be different. Wilson’s special playmaking ability was back with him extending the play under pressure and Metcalf re-established himself as a dominant receiver coming open on a crossing route for a 25-yard touchdown connection to give Seattle an early 7-0 lead.

2. K.J. Wright tackles Kyler Murray for a loss

With Seattle clinging to a 13-7 lead late in the second quarter, it looked as if Arizona was going to drive down and perhaps take the lead before halftime. Containing Kyler Murray is no small task. The former Heisman Trophy winner kept a read option on 3rd and 1 and looked to make an easy first down. However, Wright had other ideas. The two danced in tandem, Murray trying to out-maneuver the 31-year-old vet. Wright didn’t budge and took Murray down for a loss and forced a Cardinals punt. 

This was a double bonus because not only did it prevent Arizona from getting a late-first half score, but it gave the Seahawks a chance to score before the half expired, which they did with a field goal from Jason Myers. That gave Seattle a crucial two-score advantage going into the break.

3. Dre Kirkpatrick taunting penalty against Metcalf

The Seahawks had a razor-thin 16-14 lead midway through the third quarter and the Cardinals looked to have stopped the Seahawks short of a first down on 3rd and 7 past midfield. However, Cardinals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick got into a scuffle with his Metcalf, who he had been in coverage against on the previous play. The two sides had to be separated and when the dust settled, the referees slapped Kirkpatrick with an unsportsmanlike penalty that gifted Seattle a first down.

Two plays after the Seahawks had their drive generously extended by that boneheaded penalty, they took a commanding 23-14 lead and put Arizona in a hole with a touchdown run by Carlos Hyde.

4. L.J. Collier forces a safety via a holding penalty

Usually when there is a safety involved in a game, it plays a big role in the outcome. With the Cardinals pinned deep after what is another candidate for a key play, when Murray was tagged with intentional grounding that sent the Cardinals backward to their own two-yard line after a successful blitz by Jamal Adams, the Seahawks pinned their ears back looking to make a big play up by just two points. 

Collier rushed inside and beat Cardinals guard J.R. Sweezy, who ended up holding the second-year defensive end in the end zone. This caused a flag and by rule, gave the Seahawks two points on the safety and a 25-21 lead. It put the Cardinals out of field goal range for a tie. Not only that, but it gave the ball to back to the Seahawks, who drove down for a field goal to get up by a full touchdown. 

5. The game-sealing fourth down sack by Carlos Dunlap

Despite all the mistakes for the Cardinals, they had a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter with a touchdown. They were driving down the field with ease and a minute left in the game. They got down to the Seattle 27 yard-line but Murray threw three straight incompletions, setting up a decisive 4th and 10 situation.

The Cardinals were in a similar spot the week before against the Bills before they won on a Hail Mary. This fourth down was going to be a test for Seattle’s defense. Unlike the last matchup between these teams, they came through in a big way. Dunlap, who has been an absolute wrecking ball since his arrival, came off the edge, beat the right tackle Kelvin Beachum, and sacked Murray for a turnover on downs with 34 seconds left in the game. The sack sent the Seahawks’ sideline into a frenzy as they knew they were a kneel down away from victory and a return to the top of the NFC West.