The Seattle Seahawks have already secured a playoff berth and can lock up the No. 5 seed within the NFC on their residence subject by beating the league’s worst workforce on Sunday.
A 38-31 win over visiting Kansas City — the highest workforce within the AFC — has the Seahawks in line to say the highest wild card and a first-round playoff matchup at Dallas by beating the reeling Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
However, a loss to the Cardinals (3-12) coupled with a win by Minnesota over Chicago may drop Seattle to the No. 6 seed and ship the workforce to a frigid opening-round matchup within the Windy City. The Seahawks additionally may wind up with a first-round highway recreation on the Los Angeles Rams, which is why head coach Pete Carroll needs his membership to handle enterprise versus Arizona.
“We certainly want to finish this thing right,” Carroll stated on Wednesday. “We’d love to finish up this December and do a good job putting together some more good games here and this is an important one, leading into everything that comes up. It’s a huge opportunity for us to play good and to work well and continue to force the fundamentals to get better.”
On paper, the three-win Cardinals wouldn’t seem to current a lot of an impediment for Seattle. However, the Seahawks wanted a last-second subject purpose to eke out a 20-17 win at Arizona in Week 4 and their monitor file in opposition to their NFC West rivals has been spotty — notably at CenturyLink Field.
The Seahawks have dropped 4 of the final 5 matchups at residence to Arizona, together with a 26-24 loss within the 2017 regular-season finale. Seattle hasn’t overwhelmed Arizona at residence since 2014, when the Seahawks gained a defensive slugfest, 19-3.
“We have not been very successful against the Cardinals here and it’s important to us to make sure that we are,” stated Carroll. “We’ve got to put together a nice game and it really goes back to the prep to get that done.”
Two of Arizona’s three victories have come on the expense of lowly San Francisco, however the Cardinals did win at Green Bay 20-17 in Week 13, resulting in the firing of Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. Arizona has misplaced three straight since, together with a 31-9 drubbing by the Rams final week to complete 1-7 at State Farm Stadium — its worst residence file since shifting to the desert in 1988.
“It’s been really difficult and really frustrating,” Cardinals large receiver Larry Fitzgerald stated. “This is a place that we’ve always played well in historically and to not play well here all season, it’s been disturbing.”
The Seahawks had extra yards dashing (171) than passing (160) within the first matchup in opposition to Arizona, getting 101 yards from backup Mike Davis. Seattle will probably comply with an analogous blueprint Sunday, trying to exploit Arizona’s league-worst run protection (153.1 yards per recreation) with the NFL’s No. 1-ranked dashing assault (158.5 common).
Chris Carson ran for 116 yards and two touchdowns because the Seahawks amassed 210 yards on the bottom and held the ball for greater than 35 minutes in final week’s win over high-powered Kansas City. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have been gouged for 269 yards by the Rams, together with 167 by Todd Gurley II fill-in C.J. Anderson, signed simply days earlier.
“It’s embarrassing,” Arizona defensive deal with Corey Peters stated. “It’s just a complete failure from a defensive standpoint. I mean, they rushed for way too many yards to think we were going to win the game. We’ve just got to get this (stuff) fixed.”
It marked the 12th time the Cardinals have allowed 100 or extra dashing yards to an opponent and it was the eighth time they have been gashed for not less than 147, one thing that continues to get below the pores and skin of embattled first-year head coach Steve Wilks.
“Under the skin?” Wilks requested. “It’s like a virus right now.”
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is at all times a risk to run, selecting up 57 yards on eight carries final week. However, Wilson additionally has matched his profession excessive with 34 landing passes in opposition to solely six interceptions and owns a career-best 112.7 passer ranking.
Arizona rookie Josh Rosen made his first NFL begin in opposition to Seattle, ending 15 of 27 for 180 yards and a landing. Since then, the No. 10 total decide on this 12 months’s draft has struggled statistically, throwing 14 interceptions and finishing solely 55 % of his cross makes an attempt behind a porous offensive line.
“You learn a lot and you grow a lot throughout the season and I just see a lot of growth,” Seahawks defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. stated of Rosen. “He understands the ways that teams are attacking him and playing him and he’s getting a whole lot better.”