"Chuck Knocks" is back for another season, but for the first time in five years our Seahawk Opponent Training Camp Previews will live on our website. Fear not, The Feltsulator is coming with us to the website. Game by game, Jackson Felts will simulate the entire 2020 season (not sure he can take the fans out of the stands, so sorry about the lack of authenticity). I'll handle the rest...
WEEK 7: ARIZONACARDINALS
THE INTERESTING SCALE: A+
QB Kyler Murray and HC Kliff Kingsbury entering their second NFL seasons was going to be captivating enough to carry Cardinal Camp, but Arizona elevated the "interesting scale" by pulling off THE blockbuster trade of the offseason and by adding arguably the draft's most intriguing prospect in Isaiah Simmons. Add to the mix Larry Fitzgerald returning for the 17th season of his legendary career, the game's premier edge rusher coming off a 19-sack season and Kenyan Drake playing an entire season in a Cardinal uniform, and Arizona looks to be a strong candidate for the league's most improved team.
THE NEW FACE ATCARDINALSCAMP: DeANDRE HOPKINS
There's a saying when playing poker. If you look around the table and can't identify the chump, then it's probably you. The Cardinals are the latest franchise to take advantage of Houston Texans HC/GM/Chump Bill O'Brien, stealing from the Texans arguably the best WR in the world for a washed up RB and 2nd round pick. So, now the 28-year old Hopkins and his nearly annual 100 catch seasons arrive on the doorsteps of theCardinals' NFC West rivals. One can only imagine the impact Nuk will have on Kyler Murray's development.
STAR OF CARDINALS TRAINING CAMP: KYLER MURRAY
Murray threw for 3722 yards as a rookie, ran for another 544. His TD/INT ratio of 20/12 is solid for an NFL quarterback, great for a rookie. The expectation is for a significant jump in production as Murray enters year two. After being sacked a league-high 48 times as a greenhorn, he must clean up his pocket awareness. If he does that, he'll certainly improve upon all his numbers, including the biggest statistic of them all, 5 wins.
FANTASY PICK: KENYAN DRAKE
You don't need anyone's advice on Murray, who should be a starter in every fantasy league this season, or Hopkins who is undeniably elite. But if you weren't paying attention to what Kenyan Drake did in a Cardinal uniform during the second half of last season, allow me to point a few things out. After being acquired from Miami at the deadline, Drake rushed for 110 yards in his Arizona debut. In 8 games, he rushed for 643 yards on 5.2 ypc. And over the course of his final three games, Drake exploded for 363 yards on over 6 ypc. Drake looks to carry that momentum in 2020.
That record jump out at you? It should. It's a four-and-a-half win improvement over last season. The league's best offseason mixed with the expectation for improvement from Murray in his second season gives the rest of the NFC West yet another serious playoff contender. I'm still not sold on Kingsbury though. If the Cardinals don't improve significantly, he'll be the cause.
SEAHAWKS AT CARDINALS: WHAT WILL WE BE SAYING MONDAY MORNING?
"We made a big deal, as usual, about the advantage of coming a bye week. We made just as big of a deal about the Cardinals coming off a short week. So, why didn't it factor? The Cardinals looked like the fresher team. Or maybe that's just the difference between Ground-and-Pound versus Air Raid? Ask Russ if he would have liked to enter into a shootout with Murray from the start? As it played out, Pete was clearly trying to take the air out of the ball by establishing the run. And it didn't work. Yes, halftime adjustments were made. And Russ, as always, made it interesting in the end. But not even a season-high 332 yards passing performance could erase the hole the Hawks' game plan dug for itself.... I officially hate that Hopkins is in our division. Thanks a lot, Bill. Those 2 first quarter touchdown catches set the tone. And, as usual, Chandler Jones was a nightmare to stop all game long... In the rematch, please give Russell, Tyler & DK the shootout they crave. I'm betting you'll earn a different outcome than 34-31 Cardinals."
Boy, that's depressing. Perhaps the Feltsulator produces a happier result. And in the end, isn't that all that matters?
With something like a home crowd at their back in the friendly confines of Arizona, the 4-1 Feltsulator Seahawks took aim at theCardinals. Arizona jumped out to a 3-0 lead on the first drive but Seattle responded immediately with a heavy dose of Chris Carson and six yard touchdown to take back the lead. A scoreless second quarter sent us to the third where the teams traded touchdowns. First Arizona with a Drake run, then the Hawks responded again with a four yard pass from Russell Wilson to Tyler Lockett (video 1). After a defensive stop, Wilson came back on, leading a long touchdown drive capped off by a five yard run by the All Pro quarterback (video 2). The 11 point lead was cut by another Arizona field goal, but Chris Carson then ran out the clock, moving the Feltsulator Seahawks to 5-1 with a 21-13 win.
Russell Wilson: 20 of 32 for 206 yards and 1 TD
Kyler Murray: 18 of 33 for 214 yards and 0 TD
Chris Carson: 31 rushes for 139 yards and 1 TD
Kenyan Drake: 22 rushes for 102 yards and 1 TD
Tyler Lockett: 8 catches for 64 yards and 1 TD
DK Metcalf: 4 catches for 57 yards
Larry Fitzgerald: 5 catches for 64 yards"