The 8-8 Seahawks head to Arizona looking to for a win over the Cardinals that could help them earn a playoff berth in Week 18. Here are six things to know about Seattle's opponent ahead of the 2023 regular season finale.
Kyler Murray: Leading The Way
In November, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray returned from an ACL injury that sidelined him until his Week 10 debut in the Cardinals' 25-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons. After some struggles early in his return, Murray has played well of late, and threw three touchdowns on Sunday to lead the Cardinals to a 35-31 road victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
In his last two games, Murray has completed 49 of 68 passes for five touchdowns, his first multi-score games of the season. The dual-threat Oklahoma University alum continues to use his legs to create yardage (5.4 YPC), while extending plays out of the pocket downfield. Seattle will look to slow down the two-time Pro Bowl selection in an effort to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Trey McBride: Sophomore Standout
Second-year Cardinals tight end Trey McBride was selected in Round 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft, catching 29 passes for 265 yards and a touchdown as a rookie. Through 16 games in his sophomore campaign, the Colorado State alum has tripled his production, catching 78 passes for 791 yards and two touchdowns heading into Week 18. McBride has been responsible for 40 first downs this season, as the Cardinals continue to incorporate him into the offensive gameplan. In Week 7, McBride caught three passes for 29 yards against the Seahawks in the Cardinals' 20-10 loss. Since that point, McBride has caught fewer than five passes just once. In his last five games, McBride has caught 37 passes on 44 targets for 326 yards and one score. Slowing down Arizona's offensive attack is key for Seattle's success in Week 18, and keeping the ball out of McBride's hand is one step towards a Seattle victory.
Point Differential: Arizona is Scoring More; While Giving up Plenty
The Arizona Cardinals currently rank No. 24 in points per game (19.4), as the offense continues to adjust to the return of quarterback Kyler Murray. But, in their last three games, the Cardinals rank No. 9 league-wide in scoring, averaging 26.7 points per contest.
On the defensive end, however, Arizona's struggles have played a part in their 4-12 record, with Arizona ranking No. 31 in points allowed (27.1 ppg). Over their last three games, the Cardinals tied with the Los Angeles Chargers (34.3 ppg) for the most points allowed per contest across the league.
DJ Humphries: Out (ACL)
In Arizona's Week 17 35-31 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, tackle DJ Humphries injured his knee. On Wednesday, Cardinals Coach Jonathan Gannon announced that the Florida alum tore his acl in the contest, forcing Arizona to place their 2015 first round selection on the IR.
"It's a blow for anybody," said Gannon. "For us as a team, he's a captain, one of our premier players. It's a part of the sport that is really hard. You guys know how I feel about the players and what they put into this, the sacrifices they make. Him being who he is, it's tough to swallow."
Humphries has dealt with knee issues before, suffering an MCL tear in 2017 that restricted him to five games. With Arizona being forced to play without a premiere blocker on the offensive line, Seattle will look to pressure Kyler Murray to affect the outcome of the contest.
Jalen Thompson: Mr. Ballhawk
Fifth-year Washington State alum Jalen Thompson was selected by the Cardinals in the 2019 Supplemental Draft. The Compton, California native and safety has become a valuable asset to Arizona's defense, recording consecutive 100-plus tackle seasons in 2021 and 2022. But in 2023, Thompson has become a shutdown defender against the pass, recording a career-high four interceptions through 14 games played, along with eight passes defensed. Three of those interceptions have come in Thompson's last six games, including an interception and three passes defensed against the Chicago Bears in Week 16. Despite Arizona's defensive struggles, Thompson has proven that he can change the course of a game and get the ball back in the offense's hands.
Michael Wilson: Year-1 Riser
In December, the Cardinals lost wideout Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to the IR, after dealing with a nagging heel injury that had hobbled him for several weeks. In his absence, 2023 third-round selection Michael Wilson has emerged as Arizona's primary wideout, catching 32 passes for 470 yards and three touchdowns. The Stanford alum caught four passes for 35 yards and a touchdown on Sunday to help the Cardinals steal a 35-31 road win over the Philadelphia Eagles. It was Wilson's first score since scoring twice against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 4's 35-16 loss. The Cardinals continue to look the 23-year old's way as he adjusts to the pro game, with five contests of five-plus targets. Seattle will look to keep Wilson out of the endzone and prevent his first 100-yard game, as quarterback Kyler Murray continues to grow chemistry with the Simi Valley, California native.
The Seahawks and Cardinals face off on Sunday, Jan 7, 2024. Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m. Take a look back through history at the Seahawks' matchups against the Cardinals.