The game at State Farm Stadium was over last season, the Seahawks having run their record in Arizona to 6-0-1 since 2013, and Larry Fitzgerald had finished with his good-sport handshakes for the day.
"I remember last year walking off the field and hearing some of the (Seahawks) guys talking about this is a home game for us," Fitzgerald said. "That didn't particularly sit well."
It shouldn't. The last time the Cards beat the Seahawks in their own building, Russell Wilson was a rookie (and even then he nearly pulled out a last-second win.) The Cards have returned the favor, going 5-2 in Seattle over the same time period.
Justin Pugh said he was focused on the now rather than the past, and the now has a lot at stake. There's a national TV audience, of course, anxious to see if what the Cardinals did on Monday night against a bad Cowboys team will translate against the undefeated Seahawks. There's the monkey on the back about getting a win at home. There is the chance to stay in the race for the NFC West title – or fall pretty far behind considering it'll be seven games into the season.
-- It's awesome to see Markus Golden coming back to Arizona. This was something I wondered about before the Cards signed Devon Kennard, and that Golden is being asked to help after his buddy Chandler Jones got hurt is fitting in a way. He isn't Chandler, but it's a good piece to have for the balance of the season.
He's also a perfect fit off the field/in the locker room. He still has friends on this team, he has a motor that doesn't quit, and if this team ever wants extra energy in these near-empty stadiums, Golden will bring it. He may turn out to be a rental, but it says something about what the Cardinals think they can do this year.
-- They won't have Golden this weekend, for a bunch of reasons. They'll have to find a way to get after Russell Wilson without him. That's a major key Sunday.
-- Wilson, who has stunningly never received an MVP vote, seems like 2020's leading candidate. He also was very Wilson-esque the last Seattle game, driving the Seahawks 90 yards or so for the game-winning touchdown in the waning seconds.
"He makes the entire football team go," defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said, before deadpanning. "I think they purposely keep games close into the fourth quarter to allow Russell to take them over and win it."
-- It wasn't scheduled, obviously, but this will be the sixth time in seven "Sunday Night Football" games this season at least one NFC West team will have been featured.
-- This is the Cardinals' "Crucial Catch" game to bring attention to the fight against cancer, so there will be different colors involved in the towels, gloves, etc. As usual, the Cardinals will wear their black alternate jerseys (with the white numbers), which works better with all the extra colors.
-- Yes, the Cardinals are on a short week. Yes, the Seahawks are coming off a bye. Yes, that seems to be a huge advantage … but for who? Courtesy of NFL Media Research, each of the last seven times a team coming off a Monday night game has played a team coming off a bye week, the MNF team has won – and won by an average of 14 points. I wouldn't have guessed that.
-- The Seahawks will not have safety Jamal Adams, who is still dealing with a groin injury. That is a plus for the Cards, because Adams is a problem when he's playing.
-- The Cardinals are getting high marks for their play from some analytical outlets, but Pugh doesn't want to hear it. In part because he doesn't want the unit to lose sight of what they still need to accomplish, in part because props don't really matter.
"If you want to be one of the best offensive lines, you have to do it (over a season)," Pugh said. "Can't be for a few games and then you disappear. … All these metrics, they don't know our scheme, they don't know our playcall, they don't know our assignments
"When we put on the film, we have to feel good about it, the coaches have to feel good about it. In this building we have to know we're heading in the right direction, which we are. But I don't want to hear from anybody about our offensive line. Everyone wants to bash us one minute and tell us we're the greatest the next minute. At the end of the year we'll let the results speak for itself."
-- Yes, I think DeAndre Hopkins is going to play.
This is going to be fun. See you Sunday.