The Seahawks returned home for an NFC West clash with the Cardinals in Week 7, and as has been the case for the past month, Seattle defense lead the way, helping the Seahawks to a 20-10 win at Lumen Field.
Here are seven rapid reactions to Sunday's win over the Cardinals, which improved Seattle's record to 4-2:
1. The defense was fantastic yet again.
The Seahawks held the Giants to a single field goal in a Week 4 win, and the defense was great again last week in Cincinnati—though that unfortunately didn't result in a win—and on Sunday, Seattle's defense got the job done once again.
The final numbers were impressive enough—the Cardinals managed just 10 points, 249 yards and averaged 4.0 yards per play—but the defense was even better than the stat sheet would indicate.
Arizona's first score, a field goal, came after a fumbled punt return to cap a three-play drive on which the Cardinals didn't get a first down. In the second quarter, the Cardinals put together a nice drive for a touchdown, but that score came immediately after a debatable roughing the passer call negated a Devon Witherspoon interception.
Making the performance all the more impressive is that the Seahawks held the Cardinals to just three points following three turnovers by the offense and special teams.
2. With DK Metcalf out, rookie receivers Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Jake Bobo came through in a big way.
Thanks to a hip injury suffered in last week's game, DK Metcalf, Seattle's leading receiver through five games, was inactive, the first game he has missed in his five-year career.
But even with Metcalf out, Geno Smith still had plenty of capable weapons to target, including a pair of rookies who made big contributions for the second straight week.
After catching four 48 yards last week, at the time his best game, first-round pick Jaxon Smith-Njigba was even better this week, catching four passes for 63 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown, his first NFL score. Jake Bobo, the undrafted rookie who has quickly become a fan favorite, also saw his role increase with Metcalf out, and he had four catches for 61 yards including a spectacular toe-tapping touchdown grab in the end zone that was initially ruled incomplete before Pete Carroll threw a challenge flag, leading to a review that overturned the call.
It was the first time the Seahawks have had two rookies with touchdown catches in a game since Tyler Lockett and Thomas Rawls both did it in 2015, and the first time two rookie receivers have scored in the same game in franchise history.
3. Jordyn Brooks was everywhere.
Jordyn Brooks has been such a steady presence all season for the Seahawks that it's sometimes easy to overlook the fact that he had surgery to repair a torn ACL only nine months ago, and less than eight months before he took the field for the season-opener.
On Sunday, Brooks put together what was arguably the best game of an already impressive season, making plays all over the place in run defense, pass coverage and rushing the passer. Brook finished the game with nine tackles, one short of Bobby Wagner's team-high total, as well as half a sack, two tackles for loss and a pass defensed.
4. Boye Mafe just keeps getting sacks.
After a solid rookie season, Boye Mafe has been a breakout player in Year 2, taking over a starting spot at outside linebacker and making plays week after week. On Sunday, Mafe recorded a sack for the fourth straight game, moving him ahead of last year's sack total with 11 games still to play.
5. Kenneth Walker III ran hard for his first 100-yard game of the season.
While Kenneth Walker III didn't find the end zone on Sunday, ending a streak of four straight games with a touchdown, he did have his best game of the season, yardage wise. Running hard between the tackles for much of the game, Walker ground his way to a 105 yard gain on 26 carries, taking on a bigger workload with backup back Zach Charbonnet out.
6. Turnovers have been an issue the last two weeks.
The Seahawks committed just one turnover in their first four games, the fewest in the NFL, but over the past two weeks, they have not done as good of a job taking care of the ball. After Geno Smith threw a pair of interceptions in Cincinnati last week, he had another one on Sunday, trying to find Bobo in the red zone. The Seahawks also had a pair of lost fumbles, one by DeeJay Dallas on a punt return and one by Smith on a mishandled snap, giving them five turnovers in the last two weeks.
Fortunately, the turnovers didn't cost the Seahawks the game this time around, thanks in no small part to the play of the offense.
7. Third down continues to improve, but the red zone issues showed up again.
A big factor in last week's loss was the Seahawks' inability to convert in the red zone—they were just 1 for 5, including 0 for 4 in the second half—and after scoring on their first red-zone trip, the Seahawks missed out on chances to blow the game open in the second half on their next two drives deep into Arizona territory. The Seahawks' next red zone possession saw the Seahawks fail to get in the end zone after having first-and-goal from the 1, settling for a short field goal instead. Then their next possession got to the red zone, only to end on the aforementioned Smith interception.
On a positive note, the Seahawks continued to trend in the right direction on third down for the second week in a row, this time going 7 for 13, including 6 for 9 prior to that interception, which came on third down.
Check out some of the best action shots from Week 7 vs. the Cardinals at Lumen Field on October 22, 2023. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery.