GLENDALE—As State Farm Stadium emptied out, a chant of "Sea-Hawks!" echoed from somewhere in the concourse. It was repeat of a sound heard a few times throughout the game, most notably after a Kenneth Walker III touchdown run that gave the Seahawks a two-score lead in an eventual 31-21 win over the Cardinals.
As they have done so often in recent years, the Seahawks came to the desert and left with a win, improving to 6-3 to stay on top of the NFC West. The win was the Seahawks' fourth straight, all by double digits, and they are now 8-1-1 in road games against the Cardinals dating back to 2013.
Here are six rapid reactions from Sunday's win:
1. Geno Smith and the offense responded to adversity in incredible fashion.
Geno Smith's 2022 season has been full of great moments, with very few plays he would like to have back. But on Sunday, Smith had what could have been a game-changing miscue, lobbing a screen pass that didn't get past linebacker Zaven Collins, who not only snagged the ball out of the air for an interception, but was able to return it for a touchdown that gave the Cardinals a 14-10 lead midway through the third quarter.
Smith was not about to let one bad play affect him, not after eight-plus games of standout play, and he and the offense responded to that turnover in a big way. On the ensuing drive, Smith completed six of seven attempts for 54 yards, the last one a 9-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett that put the Seahawks on top for good. The Seahawks went 4 for 4 on third down on the drive, part of a great day on that crucial down, with Seattle converting on 10 of 15 third downs.
After the defense came up with yet another stop, Seattle's offense put together another impressive drive, this time with Kenneth Walker III leading the charge. On what was a challenging day for the running game against a tough Cardinals offense, Walker finally found some running room, rushing for 33 yards on six carries, including a 1-yard touchdown to cap a 13-play, 81-yard drive.
Finally, when the offense needed one more drive, not necessarily to score, but to close out the game following a Cardinals touchdown that cut Seattle's lead to 3, that unit came through for a third time. On the first play of the drive, with the Cardinals and everyone else watching expecting a handoff, the Seahawks instead went play action, with Smith rolling out before hitting an open Noah Fant, who took the short pass 51 yards. Walker picked up 9 yards on the next play, the Seahawks quickly picked up another first down, Walker got another first down with 12 yards, putting him over 100 yards, and then put the game on ice with a 5-yard touchdown run.
2. Kenneth Walker III is a closer.
Last week, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll lauded Walker for helping close out a win over the Giants with a 16-yard touchdown run, and on Sunday he did his coach one better, putting up a monstrous second half to help close out a win.
Going against a tough Arizona defensive front, Walker was limited to just 31 yards on nine carries in the first half, but he got rolling in the second half, scoring the Seahawks' final two touchdowns and rushing for 78 yards on 17 carries, giving him 109 for the game.
3. Uchenna Nwosu and the rest of the pass rush got going in the second half.
The Seahawks got pressure on Kyler Murray in the first half, but were unable to get him down, and sometimes the results were maddening, never more so when a third-down near sack turned into a 21-yard run on a drive that ended with a Cardinals touchdown.
But in the second half, with Uchenna Nwosu leading the way like he has all season, the Seahawks pass rush got going, sacking Murray five times, including two more for Nwosu.
With those two sacks, Nwosu is up to 7.0 this season, establishing a new career-high with eight games left in the season.
Bruce Irvin also had a sack, his first since he had a career-high 8.5 with Carolina, and his first as a Seahawk since the 2015 season.
4. Ryan Neal just keeps making plays.
Ever since Ryan Neal moved into the starting lineup in Week 5, he has come up with a big play or two every week, and Sunday's game was no exception.
In addition to his usual sure tackling in the open field, Neal made a play at the end of the first half that in all likelihood took points off the scoreboard for Arizona, allowing the Seahawks to take a 10-7 lead into the locker room. With the Cardinals going for it on fourth-and-short with less than a minute left, Kyler Murray escaped pressure in the backfield, broke out for a big gain, but as Neal dove to tackle Murray, he was able to knock the ball loose, with Josh Jones recovering, a play that prevented the Cardinals from taking a couple of shots at the end zone or kicking a field goal to end the half.
5. Tyler Lockett came through yet again.
A week after scoring a big touchdown to give the Seahawks the lead, he did it again in Arizona, hauling in a 9-yard touchdown to give Seattle a lead it would never relinquish. It came on a drive in which Lockett took a big hit and hung on to convert on third-and-12, and contributed to him catching five passes for 67 yards.
The touchdown was Lockett's 49th receiving touchdown of his career, tying Doug Baldwin for the second most in team history, trailing only Steve Largent.
6. The tight ends came up huge.
As mentioned earlier, Fant helped put the game away with a big 51-yard catch and run, and it was part of a 5-catch, 96-yard game that was his best as a Seahawk from a pass-catching standpoint. Will Dissly, meanwhile, added three catches for 24 yards, including two big catches on that aforementioned touchdown drive following the pick-six, while Colby Parkinson chipped in a pair of catches for 6 yards.
Check out some of the best action shots from Seahawks vs. Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on November 6, 2022. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery.