The Seattle Seahawks(2-3) will take on the defending NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals(2-2)at Qwest Field on Sunday in a battle of two teams trying to stay afloat in the NFC West.
INJURIES:The usual suspects will be suiting up as eyewitnesses for the Seahawks on Sunday. Left guard Rob Sims(ankle) and tackles Walter Jones(knee) and Sean Locklear(ankle) are out this week. All are expected to be back in the lineup after next week's bye with the exception of Jones, whose return is still iffy. Also out this week and looking to return against Dallas after the bye is linebacker Leroy Hill, who continues to be hobbled by a groin injury. Safety C.J. Wallace will also sit out Sunday.
As for the Cardinals, they should be at full strength with the exception of tight end Stephen Spach. He's listed as questionable with an ankle injury. Wide receiver Steve Breaston and cornerback Bryant McFadden were limited in practice, but still remain probable to suit up Sunday.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett. Dockett has made it no secret over the last few months that he'd like either a new contract or a trade from Arizona. With Dockett lining up against an offensive line that is missing three starters including the entire left side. The Cardinals give up the most passing yards per game in the NFL and to bring that trend to a halt, they will need Dockett to get steady pressure on Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck has 7 TDs in his two starts(oddly enough, both shutout wins) and is facing a Cardinals defense that has only 8 sacks in 4 games. If Dockett is looking for a new contract or a new home, he is going to have to put his stamp on this key divisional match-up.
Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin also shares Dockett's need for a raise or a trade, but I believe it goes without saying that he's someone to keep an eye on.
FUN WITH NUMBERS: Seahawks RB Edgerrin James needs 18 yards to pass Marcus Allen for 10th all-time on the NFL's rushing leaders list. He'll have some difficulty doing that against the NFL's #2 run D. Another somewhat weird stat is this: The Seahawks are 16-0 at home when Matt Hasselbeck's mom, Betsy, is in attendance, which she will be this Sunday.
OUTLOOK:This game has shootout written all over it. The Seahawks won't be able to run the ball on Arizona's stout D and Arizona won't be able to run the ball because, well, a. they don't trust their backs to not fumble and b. they're a pass first, second and third team. That means this game will come down to whoever can make a stop. The Cardinals lack of ability to get to the passer, coupled with Seattle's new-found confidence now that it has Hasselbeck behind center would lead me to believe that the odds tilt in their favor. This Cardinals passing game doesn't look nearly as explosive as it did during its Super Bowl run last year and Seattle's defense is better than you think.
SCORE: Seahawks 27, Cardinals 17.
About the Author
Written by Dave Leonardis
Born and raised in New Jersey, I've been writing since I was 10 and blogging since I was 18. I'm a huge sports nerd, following football, baseball and basketball in particular in close detail. My style is very upfront. I don't pull punches and I'm not shy about criticizing anything I feel deserves a proper tongue-lashing. If you're looking for someone who says what he wants, when he wants, then look no further than this guy right here.