Game Preview - Seahawks at Cardinals

Sunday will be the 20th time the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals have met, with the Cardinals holding a 10-9 edge in the all-time series. Arizona has won three of the last four meetings, including a 26-20 win over the Seahawks last month in Seattle.

Injury Report

Seattle Seahawks

Out: DE Brandon Miller (wrist)
Doubtful: LB Leroy Hill (neck), LB D.D. Lewis (shin)
Questionable: K Brandon Coutu (groin), QB Matt Hasselbeck (back), WR Koren Robinson (knee)
Probable: CB Jordan Babineaux (concussion)

Arizona Cardinals

Doubtful: DE Travis LaBoy (ankle), S Matt Ware (calf)
Questionable: RB J.J. Arrington (knee), WR Anquan Boldin (shoulder), S Aaron Francisco (ribs), DE Kenny Iwebema (concussion), TE Stephen Spach (ankle), DT Gabe Watson (team decision), S Adrian Wilson (toe)
Probable: CB Ralph Brown (ribs), CB Roderick Hood (knee), G Deuce Lutui (knee), WR Sean Morey (shoulder)

Stats & Rankings

Seattle Seahawks

Offense

Total: 28th (270.3 yards per game)
Passing: 29th (158.3 yards per game)
Rushing: t-16th (112.1 yards per game)
Scoring: 26th (18.2 points per game)

Defense

Total: 30th (372.7 yards per game)
Passing: 32nd (253.5 yards per game)
Rushing: 20th (119.2 yards per game)
Scoring: t-22nd (23.8 points per game)
Turnover Ratio: 25th (-6)

Arizona Cardinals

Offense

Total: 5th (359.7 yards per game)
Passing: 2nd (288.5 yards per game)
Rushing: 32nd (71.1 yards per game)
Scoring: 4th (26.2 points per game)

Defense

Total: 19th (331.6 yards per game)
Passing: 20th (219.8 yards per game)
Rushing: 17th (111.8 yards per game)
Scoring: 29th (27.0 points per game)
Turnover Ratio: t-19th (-1)

Five to Watch

Here are five items to watch when the Seahawks face the Arizona Cardinals in their 2008 season finale:

The End of the Mike Holmgren Era – Last week was his final home game as the Seahawks head coach, and there are still year-end meetings and goodbyes to take place at the VMAC, but for the general public, Mike Holmgren's ten years as head coach comes to an end this Sunday. During Holmgren's 10 years in Seattle, the Seahawks have gone 90-79 (including playoffs), made six playoff appearances, won five division titles and made the franchise's only Super Bowl appearance. More importantly, under Holmgren's leadership, the Seahawks have turned into a franchise that expects to win every year.

Other (Potential) Seattle Swan Songs – In addition to Sunday being Mike Holmgren's last game with the Seahawks, it may be the final time Rocky Bernard, Maurice Morris, Bobby Engram and Floyd Womack wear a Seahawks uniform. Each will be free agents after the season and Bernard (7 years), Morris (6 years) and Womack (7 years) have spent their entire careers with the Seahawks. Engram signed with the ‘Hawks as a free agent in 2001.

Arizona's Approach – With his team having already clinched the NFC West clinched and locked into the #4 seed in the NFC Playoffs, Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt has a decision to make: Rest his key players so that they're healthy for the 1st home playoff game in Arizona Cardinal history, or attempt to gain some momentum as the Cardinals head into the playoffs. The Cardinals have lost four of their last five games, including two straight.

John Carlson – Already in possession of the team's single-season tight end receptions and receiving yardage records, the rookie from Notre Dame is one touchdown catch away on Sunday to set the single-season tight end mark in that category, too.

Seattle's Offensive Line – This collection of backups and practice squad players is coming off a game where they didn't allow a sack and ran for 120 yards against the NFL's 6th-ranked run defense. The question now is whether or not they can repeat that performance on the road, in dry and ideal conditions.

Programming Notes

FOX will carry the game, with Thom Brennaman calling the play-by-play and Brian Billick handling the color commentary. No sideline reporter is scheduled to be a part of their broadcast.

Prediction

Over the last few weeks, the Seahawks players have shown how they feel about Mike Holmgren. He became the first non-player to win the Steve Largent Award, given to the player that best exemplifies the spirit, dedication and integrity of the Seahawks. In his final game at Qwest Field, the Seahawks beat the heavily-favored New York Jets. This week, the Seahawks players presented Holmgren with a $40,000 Harley Davidson Screamin' Eagle motorcycle. And I think they add to it (with an assist from Whisenhunt opting to rest some key players) by sending Holmgren into his sabbatical on a three-game winning streak.

Mac's Pick: Seahawks 27, Cardinals 20

Brian McIntyre lives in the Boston area. In addition to writing for Seahawks.Net, Brian maintains his own blog (www.macsfootballblog.com) and charts games for Football Outsiders. If you'd like to e-mail Brian, you may do so here.


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