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Isaiah Simmons Seizes Opportunity Against Seahawks

Notes: Running game stalls; Jalen Thompson injures leg

LB Isaiah Simmons celebrates a takedown of Russell Wilson.
LB Isaiah Simmons celebrates a takedown of Russell Wilson.

Isaiah Simmons waited longer than hoped for his first full-time opportunity on an NFL field, but made up for lost time Thursday night.

The Cardinals' first-round pick showed why the Cardinals took him No. 8 overall with a dazzling performance in the 28-21 loss to the Seahawks.

Simmons had a team-high 10 tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss and a pass breakup in place of veteran De'Vondre Campbell, who played sparingly due to a calf injury.

"I'll have to watch the film, but I definitely saw him flash," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "I felt like he was out there making plays."

Simmons had only played in specialized packages prior to replacing an injured Campbell last week against the Bills, but defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said before the Seahawks game that Simmons had proved worthy of more snaps.

He was regularly in the game at inside linebacker and showed that his mental acuity is catching up to the elite physical tools.

Simmons made an impact early on, sacking Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in the first quarter. He consistently made open field tackles on shifty receivers and added a pass breakup on a deep shot to running back Carlos Hyde.

Simmons now has one interception and one sack of the season, both of which have come against Wilson.


The Cardinals' vaunted running game did not find much room to roam against the Seahawks. Kenyan Drake, Kyler Murray and Chase Edmonds combined to carry the ball 18 times for 57 yards, a 3.2 yards-per-carry average.

"We have to do a better job of executing against a solid front," said Drake, who had 11 rushing attempts for 29 yards. "We had a little trouble earlier in the year against Detroit running that. (The Seahawks) also did a decent job the last time we played them, but we were able to wear them down in the fourth quarter. … Today we didn't get the job done, so we have to go back to the drawing board and expect to see that from other teams."

Murray only had five carries for 15 yards, easily the lowest yardage total of the season. He said the Seahawks were trying to make him hand the ball off on the zone reads which he's been so effective on this season.

"They definitely played for me in certain situations," Murray said.

While the ground game was a struggle, Drake and Edmonds were active in the passing game. Drake had four catches for 31 yards after entering the game with only 38 receiving yards all season.

Edmonds had four receptions for 36 yards, including a wide open touchdown catch in the fourth quarter that cut the deficit to 23-21.


Safety Jalen Thompson injured his leg late in the first half and didn't return. He was replaced in the lineup by Chris Banjo.

Thompson has only played four games this year as he missed significant time with an ankle injury suffered in the season opener against the 49ers.

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