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2010 Regular Season
SEATTLE @ CARDINALS  PREVIEW

  • When: Sun. 11/14 - 4:15 pm ET FOX

  • Satellite Radio 11/14 -  4:15 pm - SIRIUS Ch 126

  • Televised: Sun. 11/14 -  4:15 pm ET (DirecTV Sunday Ticket  Channel 713)

 

Overview
Last Game
Meet the Seahawks
Cardinals Roster
Cardinals vs. Seattle Matchups

Overview:
Both teams are coming off demoralizing losses - the Cardinals losing a heartbreaker after blowiing a 14-point 4th quarter lead in Minnesota; the Hasselbeck-less Seahawks getting smoked by the G-men of NJ. The two teams are looking over their shoulders at an upcoming St. Louis Ram team and a Niner team that started slowly but has fought its way back. This contest figures to be a game of emotions - which team will have the most resliancy needed to bounce back.

Late Breaking - Injuries (as of Sun. Nov. 14)

Seattle Seahawks
Name Position Injury Practice Status Game Status
Marshawn Lynch RB Thigh Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Michael Robinson RB Hamstring Did Not Participate In Practice Doubtful
Mike Williams WR Finger Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Golden Tate WR Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Brandon Stokely WR Calf Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Chris Baker TE Foot Full Participation in Practice Probable
Mike Gibson G Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Doubtful
Russell Okung T Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Raheem Brock DE Back Did Not Participate In Practice Probable
Colin Cole DT Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Lofa Tatupu LB Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Probable
Earl Thomas S Not Injury Related Did Not Participate In Practice --

Arizona Cardinals
Name Position Injury Practice Status Game Status
Chris Wells RB Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Questionable
Darnell Dockett DT Shoulder Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Paris Lenon LB Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice Questionable
Will Davis LB Knee Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Clark Haggans LB Groin Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Joey Porter LB Knee Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Kerry Rhodes S Hand Limited Participation in Practice Probable

Last Game:
Seahawks were steamrolled by the Giants 41 - 7. Backup QB Charley Whitehurst started his first game in place of Matt Hasselbeck (concussion). Althought the Giants' turnover edge over the Seahawks was only 3 to 1, the G-Men dominated the Time of Possession battle 42:34 to 17:26, suggesting that Seattle's offense (without Hasselbeck) couldn't get much going, while their defense couldn't get off the field.

First Quarter

  • Seattle received the KO, started from its 16 and lost 5 yards on its way to a three and out. Giants got the ball on their own 39 and managed to get to the Seattle 39 before Curry's tackle caused Boss to fumble (recovered by Hawthorne) . Seattle started at their own 29 and this time netted one yard while going 3 & out. Ryan's 27-yard punt (& a Seattle penalty) put the ball on the NY  48. A 16-yard interference call on Trufant moved the ball into the red zone along with a couple of 8 - 9 yard completions set the stage for a 2-yard TD run by Bradshaw.     Giants 7 - Seahawks 0.

  • Leon Washington returned the KO to the Seattle 21, where, this time they picked up 9 yards on the way to their third consecutive 3 & out. Ryan's punt was a slight improvement at  33 yards. Giants took over on their own 37 and scored their second TD on a 46-yarder from Manning to Nicks.   Giants 14 - Seahawks 0.

  • L Washington fumbled the ensuing KO, with Goff picking up the ball and returning it to the Seahawk 4.  Bradshaw blew up the middle for the Giants' 3rd TD of the quarter. Giants 21 - Seahawks 0.

  • Washington responded with a 57-yard return of the ensuing KO. Seahawk ball on the Giants' 32.  Seattle picked up its first 1st down and were at the Giants' 12-yard line as the quarter ended. First Quarter Score: Giants 21 - Seahawks 0.

Second Quarter

  • On the first play of the quarter, Whitehurst's pass intended for M. Williams was picked off in the end zone and returned to the NY 27. Heavy doses of Brandon Jacobs followed by a series of short completions followed by a couple of runs by Bradshaw put the ball on the Seattle 6-yard line where Manning hit Smith for the Giants' 4th touchdhown. (Drive took 11 plays and used up 5:31)  Giants 28 - Seahawks 0.

  • Washington returned the short KO to the Seattle 36. Seattle picked up a couple of first downs where - at the Giants' 25 - Whitehurst's pass intended for M Williams was picked off by Webster and the Giants got the ball back at their own 14-yard line. A 32 yard completion to Manningham followed by a series of short-medium gains ranging from 4 - 13 yards set up a 5 yard TD pass from Manning to Boss. Giants 35 - Seahawks 0.

  • 0:53 left til halftime. After another short kickoff, Seattle started at their own 43, reached the Giant 40 before turning the ball over on downs. Manning took a knee to end the half.   Halftime Score: Giants 35 - Seahawks 0.

Third Quarter

  • Giants received the 2H kickoff and - undermined by two flags - were forced to punt from their own 24. Seattle took over at their own 32 and went 3 & out. A 22-yard punt return and Seattle penalty gave the Giants the ball at the Seattle 47. First play from scrimmage - a 38-yard ramble around RE by Brandon Jacobs. Drive stalled at the Seattle 7 and Tynes kicked a 25-yard FG. Giants 38 - Seahawks 0.

  • Morrah returned the short kickoff to the Seattle 39 where they went 3 & out. Giants took over at their own 20 and made it to the Seahawk 12, where they apparently kicked a 30-yard FG, but an illegal formation call on Seattle nullified the play and 5 plays later (including an offsides call on Clemons), the Giant drive stalled anyway at the 2-yard line and Tynes kicked a 20-yarder to end the quarter (T the 15-play drive consumed 8:29).    Third Quarter Score: Giants 41 - Seahawks 0.

Fourth Quarter

  • Seattle returned the KO to their own 30 and on the second play of the series, Lynch zipped 26 yards up the middle and Whitehurst then hit M Obamanu  for 36 yards and a TD. Giants 41 - Seahawks7.

  • 13:34 left to play. Giants started at their own 20 and - with Rosenfeld in for Manning - mixed 11 runs by D Ware, 3 runs by Jacobs and 3 knees by Rosenfeld to eat up all but 0:34 on the clock. Final Score: Giants 41 - Seahawks7.

Highlights/Lowlights

  • Time of Possession: Giants 42:34. Seattle 17:26

  • Giants picked up 30 first downs (Seattle picked up 8).

  • Giants' offense netted 487 yards (vs. Seattle's162)

  • Giants ran 79 offensive plays (Seahawks ran 37).

  • Seattle ran for 47 yards (Giants ran for 197)

  • Seattle passed 23 times/ran just 14 times

  • Whitehurst passed for 113 yards (average gain per pass play 4.9 yards). He went 12 for 23.

  • Seattle's net punting average was 36 ypp (vs. 44 for the Giants)

  • Seattle was penalized 9 times for 70 yards (Giants picked up 5 penalties)

  • Seattle turned the ball over 3 times (the Giants once)

  • Lynch carried 11 times for 47 yards, 2 interceptions, a TD and a 44.3 passer rating.

  • Whitehurst was 12 for 23 for 113 yards.

  • Butler led receivers with 3 catches (of 6 thrown to him). Williams went 2 for 8 and Stokely went 2 for 3.

  • Hawthorne led Seattle tacklers with12, followed by Trufant 9) Tatupo (9) and Balmer (8)

  • K Jennings defended against 2 passes (4 or 5 others defended against 1 pass).

Meet the Seahawks
Red = Underperforming vs. Opponent Totals. Green = Underperforming vs. Opponent Totals. Black = Close to the Same as Opponent Totals. (Note - Last week's drubbing by the Giants may have made the numbers below look a lot worse than they would have had they not played the Giants.

Seahawks Opponents
TOTAL FIRST DOWNS 113 159
FIRST DOWNS (RUSHING-PASSING-BY-PENALTY) 32-71-10 46-103-10
THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS 38/113 41/119
FOURTH DOWN CONVERSIONS 3/8 5/11
TOTAL OFFENSIVE YARDS 2,090 3,065
OFFENSE (PLAYS-AVERAGE YARDS) 470-4.4 552-5.6
TOTAL RUSHING YARDS 669 901
RUSHING (PLAYS-AVERAGE YARDS) 188-3.6 226-4.0
TOTAL PASSING YARDS 1,421 2,164
PASSING (COMP-ATT-INT-AVG) 148-260-9-6 168-305-6-7.5
SACKS 21.0 22.0
FIELD GOALS 10/12 15/17
TOUCHDOWNS 14 19
TOUCHDOWNS (RUSHING-PASSING-RETURNS-DEFENSIVE) 4-7-2-1 7-11-1-0
TIME OF POSSESSION 26:44 33:15
TURNOVER RATIO +0

  • Hasselbeck has a 70.8 passer rating (6 TD's/7 Picks) and has been sacked 22 times.

  • Although Forsett (76 carries for 333 yds) is the leading rusher, recently acquired Marshawn Lynch (61 for 188) now gets most of the carries.

  • Mike Williams leads in receptions with 35 catches for 400 yards, 2nd best receiver is their TE (Carlson (22 for 220).

  • Obamanu and Butler lead in TD catches with just 2 apiece.

  • Mare has been perfect in FG's with the exception of one miss inside the 30 and one inside the 50.

  • Although Tate has returned 15 punts (to Washington's 3) Leon's average punt return yardage is 22.7.

  • Washington has returned 24 kickoffs for an average of 31.4 ypr.

  • Trufant and Taputo lead the defense in tackles with 44.  Right behind them are Milloy (43) and Thomas (39).

  • Clemons leads the team in sacks with 5.5 followed by Milloy and Brock, each who have 3.0.

  • Thomas leads the defense with 4 interceptions (Seahawks only have a total of 6, compared to 9 by their opponents).

 Quarterbacks
08 Hasselbeck, Matt QB 6-4 225 35 12 Boston College
06 Whitehurst, Charlie QB 6-5 225 28 5 Clemson
Hasselbeck has a 70.8 QB Rating; Whitehurst 44.3. Hasselbeck suffered a concussion two weeks ago and didn't play against the Giants. His replacement's  (Whitehurst) performance reminded us of  the same rust/lack of game-experience we saw from Anderson and Hall. (We don't know Hasselbeck's status for Sunday, but are guessing he should be good to go). All we know is that when Hasselbeck's healthy, you know you'll have to defend against a very bright, well-grounded, resourceful, quick-drop QB who spreads the ball around to a lot guys and is surprisingly mobile. In the first game against us, we failed to contain against his roll-outs and play action boots to the right, and he killed us. However, if we get to face Whitehurst, instead, our challenge becomes considerably less formidable.


 Running Backs
24 Lynch, Marshawn RB 5-11 215 24 4 California
20 Forsett, Justin RB 5-8 198 24 3 California
33 Washington, Leon RB 5-8 203 28 5 Florida State

26 Robinson, Michael FB 6-1 223 27 5 Penn State
In our first game, Lynch (in his second game since arriving from Buffalo) flat-out pounded us. Our guys simply looked as though they were on roller skates trying to bring him down. Washington's forte is primarily the return game, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't be dangerous lined up in the backfield. Forsett is getting used to being the backup RB and is solid in that role.


 Wide Receivers
11 Butler, Deon WR 5-10 182 24 2 Penn State
15 Stokley, Brandon WR 6-0 192 34 12 Southwestern La.
xx Martin, Ruvel, WR (No info from roster)
17 Williams, Mike WR 6-5 235 26 4 USC

87 Obomanu, Benjamin WR 6-1 204 26 5 Auburn
81 Tate, Golden WR 5-10 202 22 R Notre Dame
We had humongousd problems covering Mike Williams - he simply out-physicalled our CB's. He leads all Seattle receivers with 35 grabs for 400 yards. Butler is 3rd in catches (behind the TE Carlson) with 19 catches for 180 yards and playing at a high level. While not quite the receiver he was in Indy, Stokely provides veteran clutch stability. Obamanu a TD pass last week. We had Tate near the top of our draft list this past Spring.

 Tight Ends
89 Carlson, John TE 6-5 251 26 3 Notre Dame
86 Baker, Chris TE 6-3 261 30 9 Michigan State
88 Morrah, Cameron TE 6-3 251 23 2 California

85 McCoy, Anthony TE 6-5 259 22 R USC
Carlson is emerging as one of the best receiving TE's in the league (2nd among Seattle receivers with 22 catches for 240 yards). He presents another receiving option for our LB's and DB's to keep track of. We were impressed by Morrah prior to the draft a couple of years ago. McCoy is said to be one of those USC guys Carroll knows more than a little about.

 Offensive Line
76 Okung, Russell LT 6-5 310 23 R Oklahoma State
78 Polumbus, Tyler T 6-8 300 25 3 Colorado
69 Pitts, Chester LG 6-4 308 31 9 San Diego State

64 Gibson, Mike G 6-3 298 24 3 California
67 Barbre, Allen T/G 6-4 300 26 4 Missouri Southern
65 Spencer, Chris C 6-3 309 28 6 Mississippi
xx White, Chris C (no info from roster)
77 Andrews, Stacy RG 6-7 340 29 7 Mississippi

75 Locklear, Sean RT 6-4 310 29 7 North Carolina State
Little change in the starters since our last game with them.Okung was a top draft pick and, for a rookie, gets to start (at a position carrying a huge responsibility). Former guard Locklear holds down the right bookend spot. Andrews and Spencer were hightly regarded when they were drafted. Pitts returns from injury. These are the guys who determine how well guys like Forsett, Lynch and Washington can run and whether or not Hasselbeck remains upright. (Note - Hasselbeck's been sacked 22 times and Seattle runners are averaging 3.6 yards per carry).
1



 Defensive Line


91 Clemons, Chris LDE 6-3 254 28 7 Georgia
98 Brock, Raheem DE 6-4 274 32 9 Temple
58 Davis, Dexter DE 6-1 244 23 R Arizona State
92 Mebane, Brandon LDT 6-1 311 25 4 California
94 Siavii, Junior DT 6-5 315 31 5 Oregon
90 Cole, Colin RDT 6-2 328 30 8 Iowa
93 Terrill, Craig DT 6-2 296 30 7 Purdue
73 Okam, Frank DT 6-5 350 3 Texas
95 Balmer, Kentwan RDE 6-5 315 23 3 North Carolina

97 Wilson, E.J. DE 6-2 289 22 R North Carolina
99 Jay Richardson DE, 6-6 280

Seahawks employ a 4-man front, but ,man the right side with Balme who - at 315 lbs more in line with those big 3-4 type DE's. As pass rushers, Clemons and Brock can bring it. Mebane, Siavi, Okam and Balmer bring toughness. Clemons leads the team in sacks with 5. Brock is 3rd with 3.0

 Linebacker


57 Hawthorne, David OLB1 6-0 246 25 3 Texas Christian
54 Herring, Will LB 6-3 241 27 4 Auburn
51 Tatupu, Lofa MLB 6-0 250 27 6 USC
59 Curry, Aaron OLB2 6-2 255 24 2 Wake Forest
52 McCoy, Matt OLB 6-0 232 27 6 San Diego State

Their front-line LB's (Hawthorne, Taputo and Curry) are world class but - with just 5 guys on this unit, they're just one or two injuries away from disaster. Tatupo is always close to the top of the team in tackles. Curry is an emerging superstar.

 Secondary
23 Trufant, Marcus LCB 5-11 197 29 8 Washington State
28 Thurmond, Walter DB 5-11 190 23 R Oregon
39 Cox, Kennard DB 6-0 191 25 1 Pittsburgh
21 Jennings, Kelly CB 5-11 180 27 5 Miami
34 Lewis, Roy CB 5-10 190 25 3 Washington
36 Milloy, Lawyer SS 6-0 211 36 15 Washington
31 Chancellor, Kam DB 6-3 232 22 R Virginia Tech
29 Thomas, Earl FS 5-10 202 21 R Texas
27 Babineaux, Jordan FS 6-0 210 28 7 Southern Arkansas

Seattle is solid at the corners (with Trufant and Jennings), have a 15-year veteran (Milloy) paired with a playmaking rookie (Thomas) -  who leads the team in interceptions with 4 - at the safeties. Rookie phenom Thomas leads the team in picks.  Lewis and Babineaux provide solid depth. Rookie, Chancellor has LB size. Milloy is tied for 2nd on the team with 3 sacks.Trufant is tied with Tatupo for most total   tackles with 44 (followed by Malloy and (42) and Thomas and another LB (Hawthorne) follow with 39.

 Special Teams
10 Mare, Olindo K 5-11 192 37 15 Syracuse
49 Gresham, Clint LS 6-3 240 24 R Texas Christian
09 Ryan, Jon P 6-0 217 28 5 Regina

33 Washington, Leon KR/PR/RB 5-8 203 28 5 Florida State

Mare is a dependible veteran who's only missed 2 FG's (one outside the 50 and one for two outside the 40).. We're not sure how Ryan stacks up against other punters in the league, but it could be argued that his position-punting is as good as it gets. Washington is the most dangerous kick returner in pro football. Although Washington is listed on the depth chart as both PR and KR, Golden Tate leads the team with 14 returns (but Washington's 19.5 ypr average compare's favorably to Tate's 11.5)   Seahawk coverage teams are as iffy as their return teams are good.

 Coaching Staff
 
Pete Carroll  Head Coach
Jeremy Bates  Offensive Coordinator
Casey Bradley  Defensive Coordinator
Brian Schneider Special Teams Coordinator
Carroll is the darling of the media, as he runs up and down the sideline, patting players on the tush and shouting words of encouragement. He certainly has USC creds to go with an earlier stretch of coaching in the pros. The MO Carroll  exhibited in the Chicago game seems to highly respect (a) field position, (b) special teams and (c) take-aways. We're impressed with the production he's been able to get out of Mike Williams (i.e. great at USC under Carroll; awful in his early years as a pro; lighting things up once reunited with his old college coach)

Cardinal Roster

QB - 03 Anderson,06 Hall,   19 Skelton,
Assuming he doesn't regress, Anderson seems to have reached the point where he's making conscious decisions not to risk a bunch of turnovers, and when he remains under control, the team can win more than its share of victories. Unfortunately, he has not yet demonstrated that he has progressed to a point where he can perform in clutch situations - to come from behind or preserve a lead. When under pressure, he has no sense of "where daylight is" and too often will step on or back into a blocker and take unecessary sacks. It's pretty evident now that Hall (despite his poise and smarts) isn't yet ready for prime time and may lack enough size and arm strength to ever be more than a marginal backup.

RB - 34 Hightower, 31 Wright, 36 Stephens-Howling  (KR/PR), 26, Wells
Hightower's ratio of big plays to miscues isn't as good as it  needs to be. He'll still make bad cutting-decisions in the hole and his drop of a quick pass in the flat prevented us from picking up a critical first down that would have moved us out of the shadow of our end zone and probably preserved a win over the Vikings. He is, however, considered a better pass blocker than Beanie Wells. Beanie has been nicked up of late and, although he could have handled more action last week, was held out by Wiz due to "game conditions." The big surprise of this group has been Stephens-Howling, but mostly in the return game. Still, he appears to have earned more touches from scrimmage as the season has progressed.

FB - 45 Mau'ia
Seems to be doing OK as a lead blocker, but given our anemic yardage in the run game and use of of one-back sets, it's hard to get much of a line on Mau'ia..

WR - 15 Breaston, 12 Roberts,  80 Doucet,  
WR -11 Fitzgerald, 18 Komar, 14 S Williams,
Fitz and Anderson are finally looking more comfortable with one another. Breaston's return has helped our passing attack for two reasons: (1) the added presence of Breaston as a weapon and (2) less doubling of Fitz. Doucet is back, but is usually only good for one or two catches. Roberts had his first TD last week off a nifty 30-yard broken field catch & run. Williams and Komar have kind of faded into the sunset.

TE - 89 Patrick, 83 Spach,  81 Dray
Patrick's penalty on the first play of the opening drive in Minnesota was not exactly what you'd call a momentum-builder. Spach and Dray each had nice clutch grabs in Minnesota game.

LT- 75 L Brown,
73 Bridges
LG-
66 Faneca,  70 Hadnot
OC-
63Sendlein,  (70 Hadnot), 62 Claxton,
RG- 76 Lutui
RT 
72 Keith
We don't set very high standards for this unit -When they're able to keep pass rushers off our QB's, we're ecstatic. But they don't run block very well, and even though our QB's generally remain upright, they usually face sufficient pressure to force them to make decisions and pull the trigger earlier than the play calls for. One other unnerving observation - too often we see Keith standing around at the second  level near the end of a play instead of finishing his blocksd or seeking out someone else to hit.

DE - 93 Campbell
NT - 97 B Robinson,  92 D Williams, 98 Watson,
DT - 90 Dockett, 78 Branch
Better than decent on paper, but they have occasionally been pushed around more than they should be. There's too much inconsistency anchoring the edge and containing QB's who roll out (either right or left). Dockett played his guts out last Sunday (it seemed to be his ribs) and was down on the field at least two or three times; yet he always came back. Iwebema may be done for the season. Either Campbell is fighting nagging injuries or other teams have figured him out (He may have to adjust to their adjustments). Branch has been the most pleasant surprise of the Front Seven, but we'd like to see the occasional big play turn into something big on every down.

OLB1 - 55 Porter
ILB  51 Lenon, 52 Obiozor
ILB- 58 D Washington,
56 Walker,
OLB2  59 W Davis, 50 Schofield, - 53 Haggans,
Porter had his best day as a Cardinal pass rusher last week. Lenon (who was also injured) got picked on in coverage by Favre. Haggans (injury) didn't play last week. Schofield saw significant action for the first time since coming off a major injury in his rookie year. He immediately made his presence felt by stripping the ball on special teams to set up Adams' TD. Washington's play has ranged from steady to spectacular from game to game, but we're hoping to see more spectacular and less steady as we move along in the season.

RCB - 28 Toler, MacDonald,  37 McBride,
LCB-
29 Rodgers-Cromartie, 27 Adams   
SS-
  24 Wilson,
 22 Ware, 41 Abdullah,
40 Tillman
FS- 25 Rhodes,  
49 Rash Johnson
OurFavre picked this unit apart - especially during the 4Q and Overtime last Sunday. It's hard to know if this was due to individual players or coverage schemes. (Or, perhaps, it might have been due to the lights-out play of Favre who was plain and simple "on-fire"). We would have liked to see a little bit more production from DRC and Toler. Michael Adams is playing at an extremely high level within the context of filling the specialized roles he's asked to fill. (i.e. he'd be likely overmatched as a starting corner, but confined to a nickel or dime role, he's playing at a Pro Bowl level).

K-04 Feely
P- 05 B Graham,

H - 05  B Graham
LS-
82 Leach
KR -
37Stephens-Howling

PR
- 12 Roberts, 18 Komar, 15 Breaston, 37Stephens-Howling
Feely is reliable.  Graham had an uncharacteristically bad game last Sunday. (Til that point, he had become close-to-legendary for dropping punts inside the 10 - 15). LSH continues to solidify his reputation for being the real deal when it comes to long KR returns. Roberts continues to look more and more solid as a punt returner.

    Cardinals vs. Seattle Matchups

Injuries:
Cardinals:  DNP:
TBA  LP: TBA  Probable: TBA  

Seattle: DNP: TBA  . LP: TBA  . Probable: TBA .

Seattle  Passing Attack vs. Cardinal Pass Defense
It's unclear whether Hasselbeck (concussion) will be ready to come back or whether we'll face Whitehurst (who seemed to be suffering from the same rust/lack of action problems that we've seen from Hall and Anderson). Hasselbeck, when healthy is efficient in the short game. While no speedster, he's nimble-footed and killed us last game with naked boots/waggles. (At the very least, it buys him extra time to locate open receivers). He likes to spread the ball around, and Seattle has a multiplicity of targets - including Mike Williams, Golden Tate and Stokely at WR, Carlson (second most catches) at TE and both Lynch and Forsett coming out of the backfield. This sort of multi-pronged passing attack had given the Cardinal defense the most trouble (though they did solve it briefly vs. NO).  In the past, Cards have discovered that, if Hasselbeck has to face constant pressure back there, he can be contained, but they were unable to do so in their first game.

Toler struggled against Berrian last week and will have his hands full again vs. the big and physical Williams. It will be up to Adrian Wilson, Kerry Rhodes and Cardinal LB's to keep Carlson and Lynch (or Forsett) in check. Wilson has been successfully challenge one-on-one at times this year. Someone on either edge must be responsible for making certain they're in Hasselbeck's face when he runs boots or escapes the pocket. (This did not happen in Game #1 and we paid).

Seattle Running Attack vs. Cardinal Run Defense
Cards could not stop the physical running of Lynch in the first game. They'd better man-up and challenge him square-up or Sunday will be a long day. Facing Hasselbeck, there will be a natural tension created between containing the run and covering Hasselbeck and Seahawk receivers.

Cardinal Passing Attack vs. Seattle Pass Defense
Anderson showed vs. Minnesotathe ability to learn - he was more inclined to throw the ball away than to risk interceptions by forcing the ball through overly tight windows. He's far from being a compleat QB (he'll occasionally throw directly at a defender - like the near pick at the beginning of the Viking game - get clumsy-footed when pressured and too often throws 2 or 3 yards short of the first-down marker on third downs) but he and Fitzgerald did look somewhat more compatable and Breaston's return has made a huge difference as well.

Anderson and his receivers will be going up against a top-notch Seattle secondary that knows how disrupt routes and harass receivers thru tight coverage. Trufant and Jenkins are top-notch corners. Milloy is both cagey and hard-hitting. Thomas (with 4 interceptions and a leading tackler) is definitely a candidate for Rookie of the Year.While not known for being sack-masters, the Seattle pass rushers (21 sacks) can still get after it .

Cardinal Running Attack vs. Seattle Run Defense
Seattle's run defense has given up  901 yards so far (4.0 ypc average). Yet they did hold Chicago to 61 yards rushing (31 of which came from Chester Taylor). Given the Seahawk strength covering passes, this might be the right time for the Cardinals to finally  unleash some semblance of a running attack.

The Cardinal run-game has been spotty - not only game to game but play to play. Sometimes, Hightower, Wells or LSH will spring for sizable gains. But more often they'll run into non-existant holes or get caught in the backfield by backside tacklers.

We've been consistent in advocating enough Cardinal running plays - whether successful or not - to keep enemy pass rushers honest. But in this game, our guys may have to frequently and consistently pick up significant yardage in order to beat the Seahawks.

Special Teams
Both teams excel in the return game ( L Washington vs. LSH). Both have excellent position punters in Graham and Ryan. Both have reliable kickers in Feely and Mare. We might have a slight edge in punt coverage.

Final Word
Welcome to a cat fight for NFC West supremacy. Seattle and the Rams are 4 & 4. The Cardinals are 3 & 5. (SF is 2 & 6). So far, none of the four teams has separated itself from the rest of the pack - all have demonstrated the ability to play well enough to win and also to totally suck. It figures to be that way for the rest of the season. I truly believe that the Cardinals - even with Anderson (with all his flaws) at QB - has the most talent and depth of any of the four teams; yet each game (and the entire season) figures to all boil down to "mind set." Which of the four teams will play the most mistake-free football? Which will display the most poise. Which will be the most resiliant at overcoming adversity? Which will never give up? Which will keep playing hard through the last whistle?

Who wants it most?

 
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Copyright 1996 Gollin & Associates. Last modified: 11/14/2010