Advanced Team Grades
Passing Offense (Overall)
Game Notes on Offense
Arizona's offense was firing on all cylinders against the Seattle Seahawks. With Kyler Murray leading the way, the Cardinals combined for over 500 yards and four touchdowns. This success stemmed from proper execution, great team chemistry and Arizona's ability to move the chains. Although it also helps that Arizona is loaded with playmakers who bullied Seattle's secondary this whole game.
While Kyler Murray's impact has already been mentioned, Arizona's skill players also balled out. RB Chase Edmonds stepped up big as a versatile ball carrier and pass catcher out the backfield. In relief of Kenyan Drake, Edmonds excelled with 58 rush yards and 87 receiving yards. He also churned out two explosive runs and helped extend nine plays for first downs. Similarly, Arizona's receivers stepped up big time two Sundays ago. Wideouts DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald, and Christian Kirk took turns bullying the Seahawks secondary en route to scoring 37 points in total.
Despite the Cardinals' offensive efficiency, they have a liability at the OL position. When it comes to run blocking, Mason Cole, Justin Murray, and Justin Pugh all failed to open rushing lanes for both Edmonds and RB Kenyan Drake. Fortunately, this unit kept Murray clean from any QB hits or sacks. However, it definitely helps to have a mobile QB like Kyler who can easily evade pressure.
Controlling the Line of Scrimmage
Game Notes on Defense
The Cardinals defense surrendered an inexcusable amount of passing and rushing yards. Russell Wilson shredded Arizona's secondary and LB corps for 383 yards and two touchdowns in the passing game. As Russell Wilson's favorite target, Tyler Lockette enjoyed much success shredding Arizona corners like Kirk Patrick for 15 catches, 200 yards, and three TDs. Kirkpatrick was a huge liability in coverage, where he surrendered 13 receptions for 136 yards. Likewise, Byron Murphy, Jordan Hicks, and De'Vondre Campbell struggled profusely against Seattle.
On the ground, Seattle's rush defense failed to control the line of scrimmage. Consequently, Seattle ran over Arizona's defense for 200 total yards while forcing 13 missed tackles. On the bright side, the Cardinals pass rush was active in the backfield, pressuring Russell Wilson 23 times. Moreover, they were able to intercept Wilson three times. As a result of these big plays, this defense did just enough to propel their offense to victory.
Despite losing the line of scrimmage, this DL was actually the strongest unit of Arizona's defense. During this game, pass rushers Corey Peters and Jordan Phillips were active in the backfield hurrying Russell Wilson. However, this unit, like the rest of the defense, got curb-stomped defending against the run. Although unlike the DL, the LBs and CBs on this team struggled to hold up in coverage. Even though this is just one game, this defense's deficiency is troubling. Despite Arizona's defensive productivity early in the season, I would not be surprised if they revert and continue getting burnt down the field.
Special Teams Comments
Kicker Zane Gonzalez completed three field goals and three extra points. Punter Andy Lee landed a punt inside the 20 and a 48 yarder.
Play of the Game
Isaiah Simmons interception against Russell Wilson in overtime.
Comments on Coaching
Kliff Kingsberry outcoached Pete Carroll during this chess game between two great tacticians. During this game, Kingsberry's aggressive play-calling was excellent. Due to Seattle's weakness in the secondary, Kingsberry's air raid system shredded the Seahawks defense for 360 passing yards and three TDs. However, he also took advantage of Seattle's defense when they opted to leave the box empty. As a result, Chase Edmonds and Kyler Murray excelled on the ground.
Kingsberry also managed the clock well and made terrific half-time adjustments to energize Arizona in the second half. His decision to ice his kicker was hilarious, but his willingness to go for it on fourth down is terrific. While Kingsberry gets tons of flack, he has the Cardinals executing both sides of the ball with tremendous effort. Plus, he has found creative ways to combine his players' skill sets and maximize this team's productivity.