In their first meeting, in Arizona on Sept. 29, the Seahawks enjoyed their most lopsided victory of the season, 27-10.
The Cardinals have had little to enjoy to in coach Kliff Kingsbury’s first season.
Arizona did roll off three consecutive victories after that loss to the Seahawks — wins over the Bengals, Falcons and Giants by a combined 10 points — but lost their next six games.
Arizona comes to Seattle on Sunday with an 0-4 record against fellow NFC West foes and a 4-9-1 record overall. Five things to know about about the Cardinals this week:
1. A much-needed W
The Cardinals snapped that six-game losing skid with a 38-24 victory over Cleveland at home Sunday. How much did they need that win?
“Man, you have no idea,” receiver Larry Fitzgerald told the Arizona Republic. “It was like going to a funeral every day.”
It was Arizona’s first victory since Oct. 20, and their 38 points were a season high.
Kenyan Drake, acquired in a midseason trade with Miami, rushed for 137 yards and four touchdowns, Arizona’s first four-touchdown game since 1993.
“We talked all week long about playing a real dominant style of football,” Drake said. “There were a couple of gift-wrapped ones, where we were on the 1-yard line, and all I had to do was fall forward. The O-line did a good job of just pushing the pile forward, and I was able to fall in with a couple other plays where I didn’t get touched going into the end zone.”
2. Is this it for Larry Fitzgerald?
One of the greatest receivers in NFL history could be making his final appearance in Seattle on Sunday.
Fitzgerald, 36, is in his 16th season with the Cardinals. He hasn’t announced a decision about his future, but there has been much speculation in Arizona that this could be it for him.
“I told you guys, it’s a job,” Fitzgerald said after Sunday’s game, via ESPN. “I love what I do, but when it’s over, it’s over and I’m not going to lose any sleep.”
Fitzgerald ranks second in NFL history in receptions (1,370) and receiving yards (16,990), trailing only Jerry Rice in both categories. Fitzgerald’s 119 touchdown catches ranks sixth all-time.
3. Kyler Murray making progress
The rookie QB had one of his better games of the season in the victory over Cleveland on Sunday, completing 19 of 25 passes for 219 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
“It’s refreshing. Used to feeling that feeling,” Murray said of the victory.
Overall, the No. 1 pick has thrown for 3,279 yards, completing nearly 65% of his passes, with 17 TDs and 10 interceptions.
Kingsbury said Monday that Murray’s development as a leader has been “night and day” from when he first arrived in Arizona.
“You have a bunch of grown millionaires looking at you for direction and leadership and how you carry yourself, and that’s a lot to walk into,” Kingsbury said. “I just think the comfort level of being able to handle that every day, and the expectation on him every day — this franchise goes as he goes, whether it’s in a meeting, in practice or in a game — and I think he’s grown into that.”
4. Budda Baker’s breakout
The Bellevue High School product and former UW star has emerged as one of the most productive safeties in the league.
Baker, a 2017 second-round pick, has 125 tackles this season, which ranks as the sixth most in the NFL. His 92 solo tackles rank second in the league.
Another former UW standout, Byron Murphy has started all 14 games for Arizona as a rookie. He has 69 tackles with one interception and eight pass breakups, and some key lessons along the way. In a loss to Pittsburgh earlier this month, Murphy was twice flagged for pass interference and he allowed a touchdown reception in coverage.
“I think he’s another one, a young player that’s learning on the job and continuing to have ups and downs, but will be a lot better for it,” Kingsbury said after that game.
5. Arizona’s defense remains suspect
Statistically, Arizona has the NFL’s worst defense based on yards allowed (413 per game). And only Miami has allowed more points this season than the 398 Arizona has allowed.
There’s more: The Cardinals’ 34 passing touchdowns are the most allowed in the NFL, and their seven interceptions are the second fewest.
Arizona recently released veteran cornerback Tramaine Brock and veteran defensive end Terrell Suggs.
And veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson, who served a six-game suspension to open the season, has been inconsistent, with Kingsbury saying earlier this month that Peterson is “still a work in progress.” That certainly appears true for the defense overall.