The Cardinals enter Week 18 as the fifth seed in the conference and looking to secure a 12-5 record Sunday when they host the Seahawks at State Farm Stadium. The Cardinals can win the NFC West -- with a victory and Rams loss -- for the first time in six seasons.
Ahead of the matchup, here are five Cardinals to watch for in this week's spotlight.
Murray looked like the MVP candidate he was pre-injury in the victory against Dallas last week, and since the Seahawks sport the third-worst defense in total yards allowed, it's reasonable to believe Murray will be even better in the regular-season finale. In his career, Murray has a passer rating of 97.0, 988 yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions in four games against Seattle.
With a passing touchdown, Murray would become the first player in NFL history to have 70+ passing TDs and 20+ rushing TDs in his first three seasons.
With a passer rating of 120.0+, Murray would establish a franchise single-season record with six such performances in 2021. He is currently tied with Kurt Warner (5 in 2009).
With a completion percentage of 70.0+, Murray would establish a franchise career record with 16 such performances. He is currently tied with Warner (15) for the most in franchise history.
Byron Murphy Jr.
Murphy Jr. will look to rebound Sunday after a rough showing against Dallas' wideouts last week. The cornerback will likely hae a chance to cover both DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett; both considered No.1 receivers. Lockett leads Seattle in receiving yards (1,077), yards per catch (15.8), and yards per game (71.8). Metcalf leads the team in targets (118), receptions (70), and touchdowns (12).
Conner was productive against Seattle Week 11 with nearly 100 yards of total offense. The running back may return Sunday for their next meeting after missing two consecutive games with a heel injury. It's uncertain how much Conner will play since coach Kliff Kingsbury said they will be cautious with Conner, because of the playoffs on the horizon.
With a touchdown (of any kind), Conner would have 17 TDs in 2021. In franchise history only David Johnson (20 in 2016) would have more.
With two touchdowns (of any kind), Conner (6) would join David Johnson (8 in 2016) as the only players in franchise history with multiple TDs in at least six games in a single season.
With two rushing touchdowns, Conner would have 16 rushing TDs in 2021. That would tie the franchise's record for a single season (16 by David Johnson in 2016).
The defensive tackle was key for the Cardinals' run defense limiting Dallas' rushing attack last week. They will aim for similar success against Seattle's rushers on Sunday. Chris Carson and Alex Collins remain on Injured Reserve, leaving running back Rashaad Penny to receive most of the carries. Penny is finally living up to his draft status; In Seattle's blowout victory last week against Detroit, Penny had 170 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
The outside linebacker will return Sunday after missing last week on the Covid list. Aside from helping stop the run, Golden will have to make life difficult for quarterback Russell Wilson. When Wilson has a clean pocket to work with, it's never an ideal situation for opposing defenses. Golden registered a sack and two tackles for loss Week 11 in the Cards' victory over Seattle.
With 2.0 sacks, Golden would have 13.0 sacks in 2021, a new career high. It would also give him 11.0 sacks in his last 11 games played.
Images of the top Cardinals in the spotlight against the Seahawks: LB Markus Golden, QB Kyler Murray, RB James Conner, DT Corey Peters and CB Byron Murphy Jr.