Scouting report: Seahawks at Arizona
Three keys to Seahawks victory 1 Into the great wide open. Seattle, which had just two pass completions of more than 30 yards in its past...
Three keys to
1 Into the great wide open. Seattle, which had just two pass completions of more than 30 yards in its past four games, is going to have to make opponents defend the whole field to open up the middle. That puts the onus on the Seahawks' receivers to take advantage of opportunities outside, winning one-on-one matchups. That's something the receivers have not done the past two games.
2 Look behind you. The Cardinals didn't have a single play gain 30 or more yards when these teams played Oct. 24, but two things have changed in the past three weeks. First, Arizona is starting QB Derek Anderson, and while he has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in his NFL career, he has an NFL-caliber arm, which was not true of Max Hall, who started the first game against Seattle. Second, Seattle's defense — which gave up five plays of 40 or more yards in the first six games combined — has allowed five plays of 40 or more in the past two losses.
3 Walk, don't run. Seattle allowed 465 yards rushing the first six games and had the No. 3-ranked rush defense in the league. It now ranks No. 19 after giving up 436 the past two games, but the return of defensive tackle Brandon Mebane should provide a much-needed boost.
Three keys to
1 Hold onto the ball. Arizona has committed 10 turnovers in its current three-game losing streak and 24 total this season, more than every NFL team other than Carolina. The Cardinals have thrown almost as many touchdown passes to opponents, with three interceptions returned for touchdowns, as they have to themselves. Arizona has six touchdown passes this season, tied for fewest in the league.
2 Make sure Larry Fitzgerald gets the ball. He caught three passes for 30 yards in Seattle three weeks ago, his lowest game total against the Seahawks. This from a receiver who had more than 100 yards receiving in three of his four games against Seattle the past two seasons. The Cardinals absolutely must find a way to get the ball in the hands of the best offensive player in this division.
3 Keep after the quarterback. The Cardinals have 10 sacks their past three games, including five against Seattle three weeks ago. Darnell Dockett is among the most versatile defensive linemen in the league, consistently switching between three different positions. And in the locker room after the Cardinals' loss in Seattle last month, he said that this game would be personal. But he is questionable for this game, limited in practice by a shoulder injury.
WR Mike Williams vs. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The Cardinals have one of the bigger secondaries in the league, and Rodgers-Cromartie is one of the toughest players to game-plan for. Yet Williams was big enough to not only stand up amid Arizona's defense, but stand out three weeks ago. He caught 11 passes against the Cardinals, which was the high point of his year. He's caught three in the past two games while playing through a leg bruise. Seattle needs him to once again be a difference-maker on the outside.
The Seahawks' 22-10 victory two weeks ago snapped a four-game losing streak to the Cardinals. Now they play at Arizona, where they have not won since the Cardinals moved into their new stadium in Glendale in 2006. The Cardinals have scored more than 30 points in each of their past two home victories against the Seahawks.