After a 17-13 road defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 6, the 3-2 Seahawks return to Lumen Field to face the Arizona Cardinals in an NFC West matchup. Here are six things to know about the 1-5 Cardinals ahead of Sunday's Week 7 matchup.
Running Back By Committee with James Conner Out
Cardinals running back James Conner is expected to miss Week 7 action, following a knee action sustained during Week 5’s 34-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, forcing Arizona to place him on injured reserve (IR). The seventh-year Pitt alum leads Arizona in rushing yards (364) and touchdowns (2) across five games. With no other Arizona running back accumulating 100 yards on the ground thus far this season, the Cardinals will be without their primary ball carrier until at least November 12 due to IR restrictions.
With Conner out, the Cardinals remained committed to the run last week, relying on Keaontay Ingram and Damien Williams, as well as quarterback Joshua Dobbs, with that trio combining for 25 carries for 123 yards.
Marquise Brown: Primary Target
Through six games, Cardinals fifth-year wideout Marquise "Hollywood" Brown is off to a strong start. The Oklahoma alum has caught 29 receptions for 334 yards, nearly half of his 2022 total (709) over 12 games played. Through six games, Brown has been targeted 53 times - tying for No. 11 league-wide. Seattle faced Brown last season in Week 6's 19-9 victory, holding him to five catches for 68 yards and no touchdowns.
Dennis Gardeck: Sack Chaser
Sixth-year Cardinals linebacker Dennis Gardeck leads the team in sacks with four through six games, as he inches closer to his career-high of seven (2020). The Sioux Falls alum also leads Arizona in tackles for loss with six. Gardeck will be looking for his first sack since Week 4's 35-16 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Seattle will look to rebound from its Week 6 protection woes, with quarterback Geno Smith sacked four times and hit 14 times against the Bengals. Preventing Gardeck from getting into the backfield will be a priority.
Redzone Woes: Bend and Break
The Cardinals are currently allowing 27 points per game, ranking No. 27 league-wide. Over their last-three contests, Arizona's 31.7 average points allowed ranks second worst behind the Carolina Panthers (35 PPG). Arizona is allowing a league-worst five red zone attempts per game, with 2.7 of those attempts translating into scores per contest (31st).
Air Mail: Arizona's Secondary Woes
Seattle will look to attack the Cardinals' secondary, as Arizona continues to struggle in the pass game. The Cardinals currently rank No. 22 league-wide in passing yards allowed per game (243.3 yards per game), including 253.7 yards per game over their last three contests. Arizona is currently tied for No. 28 in passing first downs allowed per game (13.2). Seattle's offense will look to regroup from Week 6's 17-13 loss against the Bengals with a big performance through the air.
Budda Back In Seattle?
After missing five games with a hamstring injury that landed him on injured reserve, safety Budda Baker returned to practice this week with the goal of taking the field in his hometown. Getting back the Bellevue High graduate and former University of Washington All-American would be a big boost for Arizona's defense. One of his team's best players, Baker is a two-time first-team All-Pro and five-time Pro-Bowler, and would significantly upgrade a defense that has struggled this season.
The Seahawks and Cardinals face off on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. PT. Take a look back through history at the Seahawks' matchups against the Cardinals.