GLENDALE, AZ — The optimistic offseason headlines and hype surrounding Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury’s offense have settled… and headed into week four the Arizona Cardinals are still without their first win of the season. In fact, come Sunday, it will have been more than 300 days since the Cardinals won their last regular season game.
In come the Seattle Seahawks… The Seahawks have scored more than the Cardinals this season, given up less points and appear to be in the hunt for a playoff spot once again.
But, we all know division rivalries can sometimes trump statistical analysis. And if the Cardinals are going to show improvement in the win column from last season, a win over a division rival at home would be a great start.
Can the Cardinals pull off the divisional upset at home against the Seahawks? Here are a few predictions from the ABC15 sports team.
ABC15 sports director Craig Fouhy
The Cardinals have the 3rd-worst rushing defense in the NFL (157.0) and are also the 3rd-worst in total yards allowed (443.3)… Oh, and they also are giving up the 4th-most points per game (29.3).
That said, Seattle will likely come into the game with the idea of running the ball down the Cardinals throats. (Seattle is averaging 110.7 yards rushing per game).
On defense, the Seahawks defense is 4th-best in rushing yards allowed per game (67.7), so stopping Kyler Murray and the Cards passing game will be at the top of their list this weekend, forcing Arizona to run the ball to beat them.
Seattle comes in as 5-point favorites this weekend, and when you look at the Seahawks-Cardinals series, Seattle hasn’t lost at State Farm Stadium since 2012. Granted, there was one 6-6 tie back in 2016, but Glendale has been a favorable place to play for Pete Carroll and his Seahawks.
With both teams averaging in the low 20’s when it comes to points-per-game, I expect another close game, but a surprise win for Arizona.
My Prediction: Seattle 24 Arizona 27
ABC15 sports anchor Tim Ring
Week 4 of the NFL season and the Arizona Cardinals (0-2-1) already have their beaks to the wall. Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray's maiden voyage has shown promise and potential but has yet to produce a victory. Now, the Cardinals find themselves sizable underdogs against the Seattle Seahawks (2-1) Sunday at State Farm Stadium. The Cardinals are coming off a disappointing 38-20 loss to the Carolina Panthers - a game in which the defense struggled throughout and the 'air raid' offense crashed and burned in the second half. Finding a winning formula Sunday against their NFC West rivals will not be easy as the Cardinals have not defeated the Seahawks in Glendale since the 2012 season.
Russell Wilson remains a formidable force at quarterback and the Cardinals will need a much better defensive effort than what they showed in the loss to the Panthers. The Panthers rushed for 173 yards on the ground and put up 413 yards of total offense. For the third consecutive game this season, the opposing team's tight end ran free, decimating the Cardinals with critical plays and critical times. Through three games in 2019, the Cardinals have allowed five touchdowns to opposing tight ends. Seattle's tight end Will Dissly isn't a name that normally strikes fear into the heart of a defensive coordinator but one can bet the Seahawks will try to exploit what has undoubtedly been a weakness in the Cardinals 2019 defense.
Conventional wisdom tells us this is a game the Seahawks will win but I'm going against the grain for two reasons:
I don't believe the Cardinals are heading for another 3-win season. I think this team has 5 or 6 wins in them and if that's the case, they need to start notching a few. Sunday at home seems like it probably should be the place to start.
I don't believe the Cardinals are going to go 0-6 in the NFC West. Wins over the Rams and 49ers are going to be tough this season and winning in Seattle is never easy. If the Cardinals are going to win at least one in the division, I think it has to come Sunday.
In short, the Cardinals are due. They're due to put a complete game together on both sides of the ball. They're due to make a few plays on a defense. They're due to beat Seattle in Glendale. If I'm wrong, and there's obviously a good chance I am, buckle up Cardinals fans because it could be another long season.
Prediction: Cardinals 29 Seahawks 26
ABC15.com writer Clayton Klapper
The start of the 2019 season for the Cardinals can be looked at two different ways... Yes, the team is still winless headed into week four. However, Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury have shown flashes of what their offense can do and Murray has shown why he was a number one pick just a few months ago, averaging more than 275 yards per game passing. His inexperience has shown, but that’s expected considering he was a rookie starter going into week one without a true veteran QB in the locker room.
Point being, a three win team doesn’t become a playoff team overnight.
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks come into Arizona after a disappointing loss against the Saints, with a fourth quarter comeback attempt coming up short. If the Seahawks want to maintain pace and not fall far behind the Rams and 49ers in the division, a matchup against the winless Cardinals is one they need to take advantage of.
Moving forward: Week four is a tough matchup for the Cardinals, but the good news is that the next few weeks look a bit more manageable. After the Seahawks, the Cardinals next three opponents are a combined 2-7 on the season.
So, no, I don’t think the Cardinals will be able to grab the upset at home, but expect them to pick up their first win sooner than later.
My Prediction: Seattle 24 Arizona 17