The Arizona Cardinals return home to face the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday. The Cardinals are coming off a 41-21 beating of the Chicago Bears, on the road. The Seahawks are coming off a less-then-impressive win over the helpless Lions at home, 32-20. Both teams collide hoping to establish themselves as contenders in the NFC West. The Cardinals would like to push their record to 6-3 and establish a stranglehold over the rest of the West. Should the Seahawks win, they'd stand at 4-5 and wouldn't be far out of the division. The most important part of the game is for the Cardinals to WIN at home, something they've only done once out of the last four games. Here's the keys to the game:
Keep the offense rolling: The show that the Cardinals offense put on last week against the Bears was very impressive and I'm asking for an encore. The Seahawks had trouble containing the Cardinals offense the last time these two teams met. Kurt Warner threw two touchdowns and Larry Fitzgerald had a career high, 13 receptions. The rushing game didn't exactly dominate last game, which is something they've improved since then. If the offense can score early and many, then the Seahawks will be forced to play catch-up, something they can't do.
Stop the run: Want to know how bad the Seahawks are at running the ball? They're right ahead of the Cardinals at 30th in the league averaging 84.5 yards per game. Why is it important to stop the run? The last time the Cardinals were at home they allowed 270 total rushing yards. If the Seahawks couldn't pass the ball on the Cardinals defense last game, they may just take a different approach on Sunday. The last thing I want to see is Julius Jones streaking 75 yards down the sideline into the end zone. So therefore, the Cardinals need to take away the rushing game from the Seahawks play calling on Sunday.
Get all receivers involved: The Cardinals look like they'll be with Anquan Boldin in this game and if Ken Whisenhunt is smart, he'll be man enough to let him know. In all seriousness, this offense is unstoppable when it's firing on all cylinders. The offense starts and stops with the wide receivers and if they are involved in this game, the Seahawks will have a lot to worry about. With Q in the slot, Steve and Larry out wide, and Kurt throwing to each of them, it keeps the Seahawks defenders on their heels and also opens up the running game. And if Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower get going, you can kiss this one goodbye.
Play smart: I can't tell you how many times this has been a key for the Cardinals but given that they can't win when turning the ball over more then their opponent, it's very serious. In their last home game, Kurt Warner turned the ball over six times and essentially kept the offense from making an attempt to try and catch up. Levi Brown will also have to be on his best behaviour with Patrick Kerney, who had two sacks in their last meeting. One led to a fumble that luckily had no effect on the game. On a final note, the Cardinals have been very impressive with not committing penalties, something they also did late last season. The Cardinals must keep up the smart play to get the win
Any division game is pivotal on the outcome of the season, and the Cardinals can push their division record to 2-1, with two games against the Rams still to come. The Cardinals need to get out of their funk at home, and who better to start that against then the Seahawks? What are your keys to the game?