Keys to the Game: Seahawks at AZ Cardinals

At this stage of the game, the Seattle Seahawks aren't an imminent threat to dethrone the Arizona Cardinals from their second straight division title. But the Seahawks, who look to return to their former glory, shouldn't be taken lightly. Here are keys to the game that will send the Seahawks further down the NFC West race.

DEFENDING HOME TURF

The Arizona Cardinals enter Sunday's contest 1-3 at University of Phoenix Stadium where they were 14-4 during Ken Whisenhunt's first two years at the helm. The Cardinals need to be a better team at home. Home games are the matchups that teams are suppose to win. Showing well on the road is a big-time plus for this ball club, but the Cardinals can't afford to disappoint another home crowd.

EXPRESS LANES

The Cardinals 10 yards or less run game could be an issue of the past if the Cardinals offensive line opens the lanes it's capable of. Against the Bears, the Cardinals offensive line helped generate both Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells' game. The Seahawks run defense isn't too shabby, but the Cardinals can exploit its holes the way Frank Gore did in the beginning of the season, when he ran for more than 200 yards.

HOLDING BACK HASSELBECK

The Cardinals effectively shutdown QB Matt Hasselbeck the last time the two teams met. Hasselbeck was pressured and hurried, which prevented him from producing big plays. He threw for just 112 yards. To add insult to injury, the Cardinals defense combined for five sacks. They'll need to bring the same urgency to Week 10.

The Cardinals defense tends to let-up at home and in games they are confident in. The Cardinals can't get too full of themselves from their performance against the Bears. The Cardinals need to spare viewers from another Panthers performance after the Cardinals defeated the Giants the week prior.

PLAYING PLAYGROUND PIGSKIN

The Cardinals boast, arguably, the best receiver tandem in the league, but the Cardinals don't fall in the top-10 for receiving yards. Zero of the Cardinals receivers rank in the top-50 for average yards per game, which speaks volumes of the Cardinals inability to involve its receivers down the stretch. The Cardinals have to find a way to make big plays. Sunday is a good time to start.


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