The Seattle Seahawks will be playing their final game of the season on Sunday against the Cardinals in Arizona. There has been lots of speculation about whether this will be the last time Wilson plays for the Seahawks, and there is a bit of uncertainty around the team.
The Cardinals have everything to play for in this game with the division title on the line.
Seattle will be trying to play spoiler this Sunday, but here are three reasons why that will be difficult.
Seattle Seahawks: 3 concerns vs. Arizona in Week 18
1. Kyler Murray is back, and he adds a new dynamic to Arizona’s offense
The Seahawks were expected to defeat the Cardinals without Kyler Murray at quarterback in their week 11 matchup. However, Colt McCoy was able to dink and dunk his way through Ken Norton’s base defense throwing for 328 yards, 2 touchdowns while completing 35 of 44 passes in a 23-13 Cardinals win.
Kyler Murray is a game-changer, as he is one of the league’s best mobile quarterbacks, and is always a threat to create with his legs. The Seahawks will likely need to put a spy on Murray to take away his ability as runner, but also expect Murray to be a handful in the passing game, as he is so elusive when throwing the ball.
2. Arizona has the better defense
The Cardinals have given up 60.9 yards fewer than the Seahawks have this season, allowing just 322.1 yards per game (10th in the NFL) to the Seahawks 383.8 yards per game (30th in the NFL). Arizona’s defense has also been better at taking the ball away from their opponents, creating 25 takeaways (8th in the NFL) to Seattle’s 17 takeaways (23rd in the NFL).
With the Cardinals giving up fewer yards and being better at forcing turnovers, the Cardinals come into this game with the upper hand on the defensive side of the ball.
3. Arizona also has the better offense
Statistically, the Cardinals are better at scoring than the Seahawks, as they average 26.2 points per game (11th in the NFL), 3.9 points more than the Seahawks 22.3 points per game (17th in the NFL). They also average 60.7 more yards per game than the Seahawks do, averaging 377.9 yards per game (8th in the NFL) to the Seahawks 317.2 (23rd in the NFL).
Another scary stat is Seattle still is last in time of possession, averaging 25 minutes and 31 seconds time of possession per game. The Cardinals are seventh in time of possession averaging 30 minutes and 58 seconds time of possession. Clearly, the Cardinals are better on offense than Seattle overall and have demonstrated better ball control.
Seattle will have their hands full on defense with Kyler Murray adding an explosive element to the Cardinals offense. This is concerning because the Cardinals were so successful with backup quarterback Colt McCoy in Seattle’s first matchup with Arizona. For the Seahawks to have a realistic shot at an upset, their offense will need to score more than the paltry 13 points they put up the first time these two teams met.