Exploiting Mismatches; Seahawks at Cardinals

After a win in Week 9, Arizona comes home to face a divisional opponent it embarrassed just four weeks ago. To tally another victory, Arizona has to use its weapons at wide receiver on offense. On the other side of the ball, the Cardinals can stop Seattle's weak running attack and force it to become one-dimensional. Seattle, meanwhile, will be best served if it can harass QB Kurt Warner.

Getting to quarterback Kurt Warner will give the Seahawks the best chance at halting Arizona's offense on Sunday. In the Cardinals' losses this year, Warner has been sacked an averaged of three times per game, but in wins just 1.2 times. Pressure on the quarterback not only results in sacks, but also bad throws. Correlating with the sack numbers, Warner has thrown nine interceptions in the team's three losses, and just two in its five wins.

Expect Seattle to dial up all sorts of blitzes in an attempt to offset Warner's timing. Although Arizona's offensive line ranks t-8th in sacks allowed, it can be vulnerable at times—particularly at home, where all three losses have occurred.

Even though Seattle is sure to bring the blitz, it may find that rushing just four will do the trick. Ends Lawrence Jackson and Patrick Kerney have four sacks each this season. They will be matched up with Levi Brown and Mike Gandy, respectively, both of whom have struggled at times during the first half of the season.

If the O-line is able to manage Seattle's pass rush, Warner should be able to take advantage of the Seahawks' 17th ranked pass defense. Although Seattle is much healthier this time around against the Cardinals, Warner can pick apart just about any defense if given time.

Larry Fitzgerald is enjoying another Pro-Bowl season, and Anquan Boldin says he is completely healthy. Seattle does possess a solid secondary with the likes of Marcus Trufant, Josh Wilson, and Deion Grant. Nevertheless, the trio of Boldin, Fitzgerald, and Steve Breaston has the upper hand no matter who's defending them.

On defensive side for Arizona, their best matchup is against Seattle's offensive line. During the last meeting, the Cardinals held Seattle to 14 yards on the ground. That was against a Seahawks' offensive line that was in the middle of a transition. Now they have a more improved and solidified line. However, the Cardinals boast the fourth ranked rush defense.

Seattle doesn't have a truly explosive running back, so Arizona should still be able to limit Julius Jones and company. If the Cardinals can force the Seahawks to become one-dimensional by stopping the run, Matt Hasselbeck will have a much tougher task on Sunday.


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