The Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals both reside in the NFC West, so they share a field with one another twice a season. The Cardinals have been through three different team names since this rivalry began, first starting with the St. Louis Cardinals, then the Phoenix Cardinals before settling with their current moniker in 1995. The Seahawks have always been the Seahawks, but they have not been around nearly as long as the Cardinals. The Seattle Seahawks made their NFL debut in 1976 as an expansion franchise. Since the NFL expanded again and realigned the divisions in 2002, the Cardinals and Seahawks have shared a division and thus play each other twice a season.
History of Seahawks vs. Cardinals Rivalry
How far back does the rivalry go between the Cardinals and Seahawks? September 12th, 1976 marked the first regular season game of the new expansion team known as the Seattle Seahawks. Their inaugural game of their NFL history came against the St. Louis Cardinals. The St. Louis Cardinals later moved out west and were an earlier version of the Arizona Cardinals that you see today. Gone, too, is the Seattle Kingdome, where the expansion Seattle franchise made their debut.
The Cardinals won the first-ever match up between the two franchises 30-24 in that 1976 debut, but after that game this rivalry lay dormant for some time. The two teams only met five times between that 1976 match up and 1995. The Cardinals, located in Arizona by 1995, won all of those match ups. It was not until the 1998 season that Seattle earned their first win against the Cardinals, twenty-two years after the two teams first met.
In 2002, the NFL re-aligned their divisions and the Cardinals and Seahawks were placed in the same division, where they have remained ever since. The Cardinals helped inaugurate Seattle’s new Seahawks Stadium in September 2002, which ended with a 24-13 Cardinals victory. From 1976 until 2002, the two teams met just six times. Since 2002, Arizona and Seattle have met thirty four times. As you can imagine, the rivalry really was not born until the realignment in 2002 and has intensified ever since.
Since 2002, there have been some memorable moments in this rivalry. Neil Rackers converted three 50+ yard field goals in one game (55, 55 and 50) in a 25-17 victory in the desert in 2004. That was one of the few times in NFL history that feat has been accomplished. In a 2008, Cardinals win, Kurt Warner tossed for 395 yards passing, much of which went to Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald with 13/186 and 10/151 catches and yards respectively in a Cardinals victory.
However, the biggest and most intense game between the two franchises came in Week 16 of 2013 when the Cardinals snapped the Seahawks fourteen-game home winning streak by a score of 17-10. Carson Palmer scored a game-winning touchdown pass in his first game against his former college coach Pete Carroll. The game also marked QB Russell Wilson’s first loss at CenturyLink Field in two seasons as a starter.
The two teams are also remembered for one of the uglier games played in the modern day NFL in Week 7 of the 2016 season on national television. The game resulted in a tie after both kickers missed field goals under 30 yards that would have given their team the win. There was also a blocked field goal and blocked punt, a turnover on downs, 135 yards of combined penalties, 257 yards of offense by the Seahawks and they combined to go 13 for 35 on third down plays. For all of the great moments in this rivalry, that game is one that both fan bases would like to forget.
Head to Head Analysis of Seahawks vs. Cardinals
Since the Seahawks were created in 1976, the two teams have met forty times in the regular season. Seattle holds an overall advantage of 20-19-1 over the Cardinals and have outscored them by a total of 996-774. Arizona is 9-9-1 at home, while Seattle has managed an 11-10 record in the Pacific Northwest. Basically, there is no home-field advantage when these divisional foes meet.
The series was dominated early by the Cardinals, who won the first five match ups between the two. Two of those five wins came in overtime at the end of the streak, signaling Seattle’s increased competitiveness. That five game winning streak is still the longest in series history, although the Seahawks did win seven out of eight in a stretch from 2002-2006.
The rivalry has definitely shifted in favor of the Seahawks as they have won eleven of seventeen, including that infamous tie, against the Cardinals since 2010. This shift can also be attributed to the arrival of Russell Wilson in Seattle and the Cardinals still searching for a replacement in the post-Carson Palmer era.
A Glance at Postseason Success in Seahawks vs. Cardinals Rivalry
Prior to the Seattle Seahawks coming on strong late in 2018, there were rumors that Pete Carroll’s job was at stake. After a late resurgence that found them in the playoffs, those rumors were quickly dispatched. Russell Wilson certainly is not going anywhere, and as long he is behind center the Seahawks will be playoff contenders. However, with the emergence of the Los Angeles Rams and the Garoppolo trade to San Francisco, their reign as clear favorites in the NFC West is over.
Seahawks vs. Cardinals Rivalry Outlook
The Cardinals are playing musical coaches, heading into the 2019 season with a new head coach after just one year of a new head coach. The franchise’s immediate future rests on the arm of quarterback Josh Rosen, who was drafted to come in and return the Cardinals to prominence. As of right now, there is nothing to show that Arizona is ready to compete with the other three teams in the division, so expect Seattle’s reign of terror to continue over the Cardinals for the time being.