The Arizona Cardinals were in need of a quick start in Week 11 following last week’s lackluster showing against the Carolina Panthers.
They got just that against a reeling Seattle Seahawks squad.
While the score read just 7-0 in favor of Arizona after a quarter of play, the Cardinals were squarely in the driver seat.
The Cardinals defense wasted little time making an impact on Sunday.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was given little time to settle in after making just his second start since returning from finger surgery, getting met head on in the backfield by linebackers Chandler Jones and Isaiah Simmons for back-to-back sacks.
By the end of the first quarter, the Seahawks had just 35 yards of total offense.
And right there to continue the onslaught was quarterback Colt McCoy and a methodical Cardinals offense.
Using a similar blueprint as they did against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 9, the Cardinals relied on short passes, misdirection and the legs of running back James Conner to move the chains.
Kicking things off on its own 18-yard line, the offense didn’t blink, manufacturing a 16-play, 82-yard drive capped off by a one-yard shovel pass from McCoy to tight end Zach Ertz to take an early 7-0 lead.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) November 21, 2021
“I think it was complimentary football,” linebacker Jordan Hicks told reporters after the game. “We did a good job of getting off the field and the offense did a good job of staying on the field. When we can do that, this is what it looks like. We put it together. That was a really good team win.”
The impressive drive took 9:27 minutes off the clock, giving the defense ample time to recharge.
Seattle wouldn’t be held scoreless much longer, however, finally getting on the board after a red zone trip resulted in a 27-yard field goal from kicker Jason Myers.
But right there to answer was Arizona with another long drive late in the second quarter that ended with another TD strike to Ertz.
The Cardinals chewed up 6:31 minutes of clock on the 13-play, 92-yard drive. It marked the Cardinals’ fourth scoring drive of the season that was at least 90 yards.
Down 13-3 after a missed PAT from Cardinals kicker Matt Prater, Seattle was given one last shot at scoring before halftime.
But much like the team’s previous drive, Arizona’s defense was there to halt Seattle in the red zone. Despite getting a first-down look on the Cardinals’ 13-yard line, the Seahawks were held out of the end zone, settling for a 27-yard field goal and trimming the Cardinals’ lead to 13-6.
Seattle’s first half can be summed up to one step forward, two steps back, however, with the Seahawks leaving just over a minute on the clock for McCoy and Co. to get one last score on the board.
Behind the arm of McCoy, the Cardinals drove down to Seattle’s 28-yard line before a four-yard scramble gave Prater a 37-yard look with three seconds left on the clock.
Instead of pushing the lead to 16-6, Prater was once again off target, though, missing wide left on the 39-yard try to end the half.
And while Arizona wouldn’t be able to keep Seattle out of the end zone, finally surrendering a two-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter, the Cardinals defense did more than enough to keep things in its favor throughout the second half.
Leading the way defensively was Jones, who added another sack to the stat sheet in the third quarter and now sits at eight sacks on the year. He added two tackles for loss and three QB hits in the victory. Markus Golden and Simmons also came away with sacks.
“This is a conference and division game, so the importance of focusing on what the coaches are saying, no mistakes, it has to be perfect football when you’re playing division games, because these games matter,” Jones told reporters after the win.