Game Preview: Seahawks-Cardinals

The Seattle Seahawks host division rival Arizona on Sunday as they attempt to get back to .500 before their bye week.

Arizona Cardinals (2-2) at Seattle Seahawks (2-3)

Time & Place:
Sunday, October 18, 2009
1:05pm PT
Qwest Field
Seattle, WA

Regular season series: Sunday will be the 21st time the Seahawks and Cardinals have faced one another, with Arizona holding an 11-9 edge in the series. The Cardinals have won 4 of the last 5 contests, including sweeping last year's season series for the first time since 2002.

Notable Newcomers

Arizona
Anthony Becht, TE (UFA, St. Louis)
Dan Kreider, FB (UFA, St. Louis)
Mike Leach, LS (UFA, Denver)
Bryant McFadden, CB (UFA, Pittsburgh)
Jason Wright, RB (UFA, Cleveland)

Seattle
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR (UFA, Cincinnati)
Colin Cole, DT (UFA, Green Bay)
John Owens, TE (UFA, Detroit)
Ken Lucas, CB (UFA, Carolina)
Lawyer Milloy, S (UFA, Atlanta)
Brandon Frye, T (UFA, Miami)

2009 Draft Class

Arizona
Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State (1st round, 31st overall)
*Cody Brown, LB, UCONN (2nd round, 63rd overall)
Rashad Johnson, S, Alabama (3rd round, 95th overall)
Greg Toler, CB, St. Paul's (4th round, 131st overall)
Herman Johnson, OL, LSU (5th round, 167th overall)
Will Davis, LB, Illinois (6th round, 204th overall)
LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB, Pittsburgh (7th round, 240th overall)
**Trevor Canfield, G, Cincinnati (7th round, 254th overall)

Seattle
Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest (1st round, 4th overall)
Max Unger, C/G, Oregon (2nd round, 49th overall)
Deon Butler, WR, Penn State (3rd round, 91st overall)
Mike Teel, QB, Rutgers (6th round, 178th overall)
***Courtney Greene, S, Rutgers (7th round, 245th overall)
Nick Reed, DE, Oregon (7th round, 247th overall)
Cameron Morrah, TE, California (7th round, 248th overall)
*-Injured Reserve
**-Practice squad
***-Waived

Stats & Rankings

Arizona

Offense
Total: 16th (336.3 yards per game)
Passing: 3rd (279.8 yards per game)
Rushing: 31st (56.5 yards per game)
Scoring: 17th (21.3 points per game)

Defense
Total: 27th (374.0 yards per game)
Passing: 32nd (303.0 yards per game)
Rushing: 1st (71.0 yards per game)
Scoring: 19th (22.3 points per game)

Turnover Ratio: t-18th (-2)

Seattle 

Offense
Total: 12th (346.6 yards per game)
Passing: t-12th (241.0 yards per game)
Rushing: 18th (105.6 yards per game)
Scoring: t-12th (23.0 points per game)

Defense
Total: t-11th (314.8 yards per game)
Passing: 9h (208.0 yards per game)
Rushing: 17th (106.8 yards per game)
Scoring: t-5th (16.4 points per game)

Turnover Ratio: t-18th (-2)

Injury Report

Arizona

OUT: TE Stephen Spach (ankle)
Questionable: WR Steve Breaston (knee), LB Ali Highsmith (thigh), DE Kenny Iwebema (ankle), CB Bryant McFadden (ankle), RB Jason Wright (back)
Probable: DT Darnell Dockett (ankle), CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (finger), G Reggie Wells (thumb)

Seattle

OUT: LB Leroy Hill (groin), T Sean Locklear (ankle), T Walter Jones (knee), G Rob Sims (ankle), S C.J. Wallace (hamstring)
Probable: WR Nate Burleson (back), QB Matt Hasselbeck (rib), DE Lawrence Jackson (rib), DE Cory Redding (shoulder), G Mansfield Wrotto (ankle), CB Travis Fisher (pelvis), DE Patrick Kerney (groin)

TV/Radio

FOX sends Chris Myers and Brian Billick to call Sunday's game. As always, 710 ESPN Seattle and KIRO 97.3FM have the radio call, with Steve Raible and Warren Moon in the booth and Jen Mueller reporting from the sidelines.

Vegas Line: Seattle -2 ½ (O/U: 47)

Keys to the Game

Front Four Must Get Pressure on Warner – The Seahawks have seen what a little pressure can do to the two-time NFL MVP in Qwest Field. In 2007, Seattle sacked Warner five times and the pressure also forced five interceptions in Seattle's 42-21 win. Last season, Warner had plenty of time to pick apart the ‘Hawks secondary, and he completed 73% of his passes for nearly 400 yards in a Cardinals win. Warner can beat the blitz, so it'll be up to the front four to put pressure on Warner. If they do, the Seahawks will be in good shape.

Up Tempo and Air It Out – The Cardinals' defense have been the NFL's stingiest against the run, so Seattle might be better off putting Hasselbeck in the shotgun and letting him to distribute the ball—quickly—among his talented receiving corps. To slow down the Cardinals' pass rush, and help Kyle Williams and Steve Vallos protect Hasselbeck's blindside, expect the ‘Hawks to show more of the no-huddle offense and throwing a lot of quick hitches, slants and wide receiver screens.

The 12th Man – If there ever was a week where the 12th Man should be drinking copious amounts of tea with honey, this would be it. The 12th Man can impact this game in a very tangible manner. The Seahawks will need them to be at their best to help Jim Mora reach the team's in-season goal of getting to .500 at the bye week.

NorthwestFootball.net Prediction

Winning last week was big, but it won't mean a thing if the Seahawks can't complete the back-end of the two-week, must-win homestand at Qwest Field before the bye week. Seattle needs another strong outing from Matt Hasselbeck and the defense, and I think they'll get it. Pick: Seahawks 27, Cardinals 16


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