Learn Lindley, but don't forget Fitzpatrick

At first glance, all of the momentum seems to be on the Seahawks' side. Not only is Seattle playing quite well but the Cardinals are now down to their third-string quarterback. But just who is Ryan Lindley and what will Arizona head coach Bruce Arians do to make the San Diego State product more comfortable against the Legion of Boom? The answers may surprise (or alarm) you.

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians expressed great confidence in third string quarterback Ryan Lindley when speaking to the Seattle media Wednesday.

"We're not going to change what we do," Arians said. "I really like Ryan [Lindley], how he prepares, he played in a game last week that was very efficient for us in a situation where he didn't get any snaps in practice, but he obviously prepared himself extremely well and knew the game plan. We had a bonus day Monday and he looked good and I'm very comfortable with him." Given Arians' persona and the Cardinals' NFC-best 11-3 record, Arians' confidence isn't surprising. It is hardly bluster, though, as Lindley is legitimately talented.

Pete Carroll acknowledged Lindley's potential and fit in Arian's vertical passing offense.

"He's a big, strong-armed guy and he's been around enough so I'm sure they're going to stay very much like they've been," Carroll said Wednesday. "Very much on the attack in the throwing game and when he came in they didn't change that so we expect to see the same."

Just as the Cardinals did with Drew Stanton in Seattle (and previously with Carson Palmer), Lindley will be asked to get the ball into the hands of his playmaking receivers, including playmaking rookie John Brown, who leads the club with five touchdown receptions and recorded a team-high 61 receiving yards the when the divisional foes met up November 23.

Of course, Brown was Arizona's featured target in that contest in part because they didn't have Pro Bowl receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who was nursing a knee sprain. They will this week and that could mean trouble for the Legion of Boom, regardless of who is playing quarterback.

Carroll raved about Arizona's 6-3, 219-pound Fitzgerald, who is coming off a seven-catch performance against St. Louis last week, tying for his season-high. Fitzgerald "is one of the best that's ever played so that changes everybody," Carroll explained. "It affects them in what they can do and what they hope to do and it also affects us too. We have tremendous respect for him and his play and he's an all-around football player. He does everything. He blocks well, and catches well, runs well, can make big plays and all of that so he's a great asset to any team."

Perhaps most important, the fierce Arizona pass rush -- which sacked Russell Wilson seven times in Seattle a month ago -- will be playing in front of a passionate crowd desperate to help the Cardinals clinch the division title. To combat Arizona's aggressive blitzing, the Seahawks are hopeful to have their Pro Bowl offensive linemen - left tackle Russell Okung and center Max Unger - back this week. Neither practiced Wednesday. In their place was Alvin Bailey and Lemuel Jeanpierre, respectively.

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