Ken Whisenhunt's tenure in Arizona hasn't been just about turning around a franchise that's spent the past two and half decades lounging in mediocrity, or worse, it's also about slaying the ghosts of Cardinals-past ('Ghost-busting' if you will). One of the biggest ghosts under the bed has been winning on the road and Qwest Field is certainly no exception. The Cardinals are striving not only for their first non-losing season since 2001 but also for their first winning season since 1976. A win on Sunday would give them three road wins this season with two trips left (@PHI and @NE) but can they play "ghost busters" at Qwest Field against a team that's made a habit of slapping them around?
The Cardinals have had a tough enough time trying to beat the Seahawks over the
past six years (4-8) but winning in Seattle has proved nearly impossible. The last time the Cardinals beat the Hawks in their own building, they were led by Jake Plummer, Thomas Jones and David Boston. That game on September 15, 2002 was a 24-13 victory over a Hawks team led by Trent Dilfer, who passed for 352 yards, and Darrell Jackson (10 receptions for 174 yards). The only two current members of the Cardinals who were on the team back then Adrian Wilson, who was making the first start of his career, and Nathan Hodel (long snapper). In September of 2002, Kurt Warner was coming off of Super Bowl loss to the Patriots as a member of the Rams, Larry Fitzgerald was having a breakout season in his first year with the Pittsburgh Panthers and Anquan Boldin was having a nice season at Florida State. Since that fruitful day six years ago the Cardinals have lost five straight at Qwest by an average score of 30-16. The 24 points scored by the Cardinals in 2002 remain the most points scored since while the Seahawks have topped 28 on three separate occasions.
Most of the Seahawks dominance is attributable to simply having better teams but the infamous '12th Man' has certainly helped create a measurable home field advantage. Any list of 'loudest NFL stadiums' is bound to include Qwest Field and a 2-7 record won't keep the fans quiet this Sunday. The bottom line is that the Cardinals can't simply show up to this game and win. They're on the road in one of the toughest places to play against a familiar opponent who's very used to kicking them in the teeth. The Cardinals will have to conquer the Seahawks and their fans before they slay this ghost. What do they have to do to walk out of Qwest with a victory? What typical mistakes must they avoid?