Seahawks hold on to beat Cards and seize lofty perch atop the NFC West

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Russell Wilson had two touchdowns as the Seattle Seahawks showed why they are one of the top teams at protecting leads with a 28-21 win over Arizona to break a three-way tie for first place in the NFC West.

Seattle was struggling coming into Thursday's showdown, but by avoiding their first three-game losing skid since 2011 they were able to grab the lofty perch atop the NFL's West Division.

Russell completed 23 of 28 passes for 193 yards and had no interceptions as the Seahawks improved to 7-3 on the season.

"We ran the ball extremely well, we threw it well and we made our plays. It was great," said quarterback Wilson. "We were prepared and ready to go. The coached called a great game. We were locked in and zoned in."

The Cardinals, who were coming off a thrilling last second-win over Buffalo when Kyler Murray threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins in the end zone, dropped to 6-4 on the season.

The logjam at the top of the division also includes the Los Angeles Rams, who are in second place at 6-3. The Rams play Monday at Tampa Bay.

Carlos Hyde, who missed three games with a hamstring injury, returned to rush for a season-high 79 yards, for the Seahawks, who limited the Cardinals to 314 yards on offence.

The Cardinals reached Seattle's 27-yard line in the final minute, but recent acquisition Carlos Dunlap sacked Murray on fourth-and-10 to help seal the win.

"That's why we brought him here to make plays like that," Wilson said of Dunlap.

Wilson tossed touchdown passes of 25 yards to DK Metcalf and 11 yards to Tyler Lockett in the first half, and the Seahawks took a 16-7 lead into the third quarter. Jason Myers booted a 27-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

Wilson had been in a funk of late after being considered the league MVP favourite by many at midseason. The interception-prone Wilson had committed 10 turnovers in the past four games.

He was so please with his play on Thursday that Wilson started singing to himself. "I always sing in the middle of the game. It keeps me poised, keeps me neutral," he said.

Arizona quarterback Murray, who was 29 of 42 for 269 yards and two touchdowns, threw a three-yard scoring pass to Chase Edmonds with 13:19 remaining to pull the Cardinals within 23-21.