The pain of the Cardinals-Seahawks rivalry

Posted by Darren Urban on July 6, 2016 – 11:25 am

By now, there is little question about the rivalry between the Seahawks and the Cardinals of the last couple of years (if you need to see the raw emotion, at least from the Cardinals’ side, check out the episodes “The Penthouse” and “Endings and Beginnings” of the “All or Nothing series). When you look at the analytics of it, as Bill Barnwell did in this article, the question arises — is it good to have such a rivalry, or not?

It’s not so much about the rivalry itself but the fact both teams are so good. Barnwell points out, through recent historical data, that to have two powerful teams in one division — the argument can easily be made that the two are among the top four or five in the NFL going into 2016 — can cost both a significant chance at a Super Bowl win.

Again, it’s not so much that the two teams beat up on each other, which can be part of it, but the reality that home-field makes a big difference in the postseason. When two strong teams are in the same division, it’s that much harder to obtain. Still, in 2013, when the 49ers were still strong and the Cardinals had 10 wins and the Rams were still doing well in the division, the Seahawks managed to emerge as a Super Bowl champion. And during the season, these days, there is little like Seattle week for the Cardinals.


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22 Responses to “The pain of the Cardinals-Seahawks rivalry”

  1. By texascard on Jul 6, 2016 | Reply

    As iron sharpens iron. So does one team sharpen another

  2. By Scott H on Jul 6, 2016 | Reply

    One of the more interesting aspects of this rivalry is how much home field has NOT appeared to matter when these teams play! The Cardinals haven’t beaten the Seahawks at UoP since 2012. And the recent losses have been beat-downs, plain and simple.

    Meanwhile, the Cardinals are 2-1 in their last 3 trips to Seattle and Carson Palmer has yet to lose there as our QB.

    Go figure. What explains THAT????

  3. By clssylssy on Jul 7, 2016 | Reply

    Very well stated Texascard! And, being in what is now regarded as the toughest division in football…and, being the top dog (at least for now)…has brought the Cards the kind of “Brand awareness” money can’t buy with all the marketing schemes imaginable. Good football sells and is what real football fans want to watch and bitter rivalries make everybody better!
    After so many lean years, it’s nice to be hanging with the winners and be in the “Contenders” conversation, not as a fluke because we had an easy schedule, but as a legit threat. Last season was riveting and football was fun to watch, especially since it was OUR CARDS that everybody was excited about watching! I think all of the country was won over by the Packers game(s) and genuinely wanted the Cards to win the SB. The Panthers game was the hurt felt all over the country and made a lot of people angry.
    The Cards/Seahawks rivalry–has a nice ring to it, kinda in the same vein as Steelers/Ravens, Packers/Bears, Cowboys/Eagles, Broncos/Chiefs…pretty awesome! While the Rams are on the rise (and have shown they can be a team not to sleep on), getting better all the time and the 9ers most certainly will return to their historic form eventually, I would feel cheated were the divisional distribution to change to accomodate playoff slotting. The fact is that the entire NFC is getting tougher and more competitive and there are no easy roads to Division Titles or Championships. It disturbs me when I hear talk of expanding the playoffs to allow more team a “chance” at getting in because I recognize this as the blatant opportunistic cash grab by the NFL it is; if teams don’t make the playoffs they just need to do better next time but don’t relax the standards so everybody gets a participation ribbon!
    We have our work cut out if we are to remain a dominant force in the NFL and having tough teams in our division like the Seahawks to practice on, will only make us all better!

  4. By Oscar Martinez on Jul 7, 2016 | Reply

    Hey Darren i don’t know your relationship with Arizona Cardnials espn blog writer ( Josh weinfuss ) but he literally writes the same exact article you write like it’s the exact same topic and everything he doesn’t even try to change it a little bit. So I was just wondering because I come here first for my cardinal news but then I go there and I read the same thing twice.

  5. By creditcard on Jul 7, 2016 | Reply

    Cards and Seahawks are both great teams, and have the ability to win the Superbowl provided neither team has a rash of injuries.

    The games between the Hawks and Cards is typically decided by a goofy looking ball that bounces in odd directions, and officials that see / don’t see things the rest of humanity does. These games are very physical and very exciting.

  6. By NYCardinals on Jul 7, 2016 | Reply

    Oscar Martinez,

    Weinfuss wrote here for about a year until ESPN broke up their division blogs into 32 teams and gave him a job. I was happy to see him leave. To me, his work was often based in conjecture, and I thought it clashed with Urban’s — which is frank and more importantly, better sourced. Weinfuss became even worse at ESPN.

    I think you’re right about the same topic being used, but I bet that has more to do with all the Cardinals reporters being at the same interviews and press conferences.

    Just my opinion, but I trust the information of people like Urban, Somers, et al. to be checked against multiple sources. I trust that they will report from the head, not the heart. Weinfuss . . . not so much.

    Again, just my opinion.

  7. By Jon on Jul 8, 2016 | Reply

    clssylssy —

    Re: Playoff expansion

    I think I mostly agree that there is no need to expand the number of teams who make the playoffs. BUT (and this is critical to me) they need to fix the issue where a 10-6 team can miss the playoffs while a 7-9 team can not only make the playoffs but actually have home field advantage for the first game as well. That is lunacy.

    The best teams should go to the playoffs, period. If a division sucks so bad that they can’t even produce a single team with a winning record, that division needs to miss out on the playoffs that year. We want to see the best teams in the league in the playoffs, not some team that squeaks in based on geography.

    Fix that first. Just my opinion

  8. By Scott H on Jul 8, 2016 | Reply

    I also do NOT want to see the playoffs expanded by adding more teams. That does nothing good for the sport. The season is long enough and I don’t know how many more games these guys can play. Careers are short enough as it is.

    I DO believe they desperately need to change the current format to one where the best 6 teams from each conference are your playoff teams, period. THAT definitely makes the sport better. Teams winning divisions with 7-9 / 8-8 records, just because the division was so bad, should NOT be going to the playoffs when other teams that are clearly better are out of it because of a format that is flawed. Why the NFL doesn’t get this….I have no idea. Maybe if they spent less time trying to put games in London and Japan and on Mars, they could figure out some of the painfully simple things that would make the game so much better.

    The NFL – king of pro sports on planet earth – only becomes a joke when teams with losing records are making the playoffs. Keep the divisions, keep the rivalries, all of that is fine. But it should not be that bad teams are playing in your post-season just because your format says each division winner has to make it.

  9. By clssylssy on Jul 8, 2016 | Reply

    Note– The Cards were 9-7 when we were seconds away from winning the Super Bowl in Feb 2009…careful what you wish for!

  10. By mitchaz on Jul 9, 2016 | Reply

    I may be in a minority but I consider the Cardinals’ rivalries with the 49ers and Rams just as heated and significant as the rivalry with the Seahawks. The NFC West is one of the top decisions in the NFL and it is very exciting to be a part of it. I like what texascard said—playing the teams in our division helps to make the Cardinals stronger in the NFC and versus the AFC. Hail to the NFC West—it is a modern version of the Wild Wild West!

  11. By mitchaz on Jul 9, 2016 | Reply

    Scott—as for the playoffs, I would like to see the NFL adopt a 10 win rule, so that any team that wins 10 or 11 games, but does not qualify in the top 6 of its conference would be added as a #7 seed, thus eliminating the #2 seed’s bye. I think if a team wins 10 or more games they have earned the right to be seeded in the playoffs, just as the Cardinals should have been in 2013, because winning 9 of their last 11 games made them very playoff worthy.

  12. By shannon robinson on Jul 9, 2016 | Reply

    I hate to be a kill-joy but the lack of diversity among our cheerleaders is surprising. The solution though is in the Cards’ discretion since there’s no roster limitations, just add ten more Native American, Hispanic, and African American cheerleaders to the group, you don’t have to cut anyone. Now is not a time to be stubborn or insensitive, beside it might be more fun

  13. By Scott H on Jul 9, 2016 | Reply

    mitchaz –

    Yeah, but how do you have an en-even number of playoff-teams?? Doesn’t work…does it? That would seem to necessitate some other changes that I’m not sure are possible. Also, you might go several years with no teams “qualifying” for this rule, then suddenly you’ll have one. How do you have a playoff system where the number of teams varies from year to year??

    OR, in any given year, you might have an NFC team that qualifies under this rule but none on the AFC. So….you have 6 playoff teams in the AFC but 7 in the NFC? Again, that just doesn’t seem to work. Regardless of format, you pretty much have to have a set number of teams every year, on both sides, so all things are equal.

  14. By Scott H on Jul 9, 2016 | Reply

    clssylssy –

    We were 9-7 in 1998, too, during the Jake Plummer years. I have no problems with 9-7 teams. Because that is a winning record. I think 9-7 is a legit playoff record. It’s the 8-8 & 7-9 teams that I have a problem with. And we seem to see at least one of those every year. They gotta go!

  15. By clssylssy on Jul 9, 2016 | Reply

    Scott…yep, we were but, I apparently misunderstood the complaint being more directed at the Cards missing the playoffs at 10-6. If you eliminate the Division winners of weak divisions, you are cutting out a four team fanbase which is ALOT of viewers and revenue; .just saying, this is all about business…or so we are constantly being told!

  16. By Scott H on Jul 9, 2016 | Reply

    True, that. But in regard to our 10-6 team missing the playoffs a few years ago….that is why I favor a format where the teams with the 6 best records make it from each conference. Just me, but I don’t think teams should make the post-season just because they were the best team in a bad division.

    And, yes, I fully accept that there will probably come a year where the Cardinals might be that 8-8 team that wins the division but we don’t go because there are other teams that have better records. If they ever go that way, that is. And I will be very OK with that.

    During previous seasons, when the NFC West was pretty bad ( wasn’t that long ago, actually ), I remember people clamoring for the Cardinals to win the division with a 7-9 record so we could be a playoff team. And NOTHING about that made me excited in the least. Honestly, if my team is going to be 7-9, I’d rather they NOT make the playoffs than be a national joke.

    When the Seahawks made the playoffs a few years ago with a 7-9 record, my honest reaction was better them than us. Because I knew they weren’t going anywhere. Yeah, they beat the Saints in Seattle ( a domed team playing outside in Jan….yeah, that’s gonna work, right? ) and then pretty much got smoked in Chicago the next week. I know the mantra of hey, just make it to the playoffs and anything can happen! But let’s get real – it DOESN’T happen for teams that are 7-9 because they aren’t good enough. They’re just not ever gonna be good enough to win three playoff games – probably all on the road – and then a SB.

    Good lord, I really need training camp to start so I can stop ranting about these less important matters. Not long now, though….

  17. By JohnnyBluenose on Jul 10, 2016 | Reply

    I live in Nova Scotia and I’m glad I do but it makes it difficult for me to see our Cardinals play at U of P Stadium. The first game I ever saw there was in 2006 and we played, you guessed it, the Seahawks. We won 27-21. Leinart was playing that day, not Warner. I was there the following Sunday as well when we lost to the Broncos 37-20. Again it was Leinart not Warner. And, much to my disappointment and just about everyone else’s too, it was not Jake Plummer playing for Denver. It was rookie Jake Cutler. I am happy to say that my wife and I will be back this year for two games….the Jets on Monday night and the following Sunday night against, you guessed it, the Seahawks. Another 27-21 victory would be sweet. Go Cardinals!!!!

  18. By michael tuckman on Jul 11, 2016 | Reply

    Re: playoffs

    With respect to re-formatting playoffs, keep in mind that not all schedules are created equally. Remember the 2014 season when the AFC North sported three teams at 7-4 or better after week 12? most of that was due to them playing the two worst divisons in football (AFC South and NFC South). AFC North sent three teams to the playoffs that year while four 9-7 teams missed out, all of whom had tougher schedules (Sd and KC played the 12-4 bronocs twice, bills played the SB winner new England twice). cinci lost in 1st rd (badly) and the ravens beats their AFC north steelers foes but lost to Pats, i.e. ZERO non AFC north wins int he playoffs.

    So…. don’t put in a 10win policy to reward teams with easy schedules. BUT, do require at least 9 wins (i.e. a winning reocrd) to host a playoff game as a divison winner. A 7-9 or 8-8 team’s reward for winning a division is the playoffs itself, they don’t need a bonus of home game too, especially when they’re likely oppoent (the #5 seed and first runnner up on the strongest division) likely has 10 or 11 wins

  19. By Kevin S Mesa on Jul 11, 2016 | Reply

    Re: playoffs

    Michael Tuckman’s point is an important one — schedules in the NFL have a lot to do with which teams are successful.

    That said, when a division is SO bad that the winner of the division isn’t even .500 — like with the Panthers at 7-8-1 two years ago — you know that team doesn’t really belong in the playoffs. Those Panthers were 3-6-1 outside their division.

    In general, I think the division winners deserve to go to the playoffs. I’d be OK with a rule, though, that said that if you aren’t at least .500, you lose your spot, and instead a third wild card gets in. I think I’d let a division winner in at 8-8, but I wouldn’t lose any sleep if they weren’t let in.

    I don’t think we should just go to top 6 records. A 9-7 division winner definitely gets in, in my book, over a 10-6 third wild card team.

    I do agree that once the field is set, the seeding should be based on record only. No 8-8 or 9-7 division winner hosting an 11-5 wild card team.

  20. By Scott H on Jul 12, 2016 | Reply

    Well, the way schedules are done according to the current format, they will never be created equal ( whatever that means ). Great point, but…can it ever be fixed?

    As long as division teams will continue to play each other 2X per year and each division will “arbitrarily” play all the teams from another division…..that’s 10 games right there that are dictated strictly by a scheduling format that has nothing to do with how equal teams may or may not be.

    At some point, how much do we really want to change the way things are? I mean, I would NEVER want to give up division games. Perhaps we need something closer to a format where the 6 division games are a given but the other 10 games on the schedule could be determined ( somehow? ) by how evenly matched they are with other teams??? Who knows?

    Ultimately, I don’t think there will ever be a way to create the schedules that isn’t flawed somehow.

  21. By William Barry on Jul 18, 2016 | Reply

    I would like to see the top 6 teams of the conferences play….it just makes sense.

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