The Arizona Cardinals are on the road for the second consecutive week, this time to play their first divisional game of the season. At 1-1 on the season so far, they will face the 0-2 Seattle Seahawks at C-Link Field in Seattle Washington at 1:15 PM Arizona time.
Both teams start quarterbacks that a year ago were no on their current team. For Seattle it will be Tarvaris Jackson and for the Cardinals it will be Kevin Kolb.
Offensively, the two teams are headed in the wrong direction. After the Arizona had one of the league's worst offenses in 2010, they are currently ranked 16th this season in yards per game.They gain 359 yards per game so far.
On the flip side, Seattle has the worst offense in the league, ranking 32nd out of 32 teams in offensive yards per game. They average under 200 yards of offense.
Defensively, the story is flipped around. Arizona is 29th in yards allowed while Seattle is 10th. The defense against the rush is where Seattle's strength lies.
With Beanie Wells, Arizona has been able to run the ball effectively. However, a hamstring injury to Wells may keep him out of the game, in which case Chester Taylor, LaRod Stephens-Howling (if he plays) and Alfonso Smith will be responsible for the Cardinals' rushing attack.
The passing game will likely be relied upon by both teams. Seattle does not run the ball well. Arizona struggles defensively against the pass. Kevin Kolb has put up great numbers so far this season. At 110.3, Kolb has the 5th highest QB rating in the NFL. In two games, he has thrown for 560 yards, four TDs and one INT. Tarvaris Jackson averages just over 100 yards less per game passing. His QB rating of 80.1 is 25th.
However, the last time the Cardinals faced Jackson, it was when he played for the Minnesota Vikings and he threw for four TDs against the team. The veterans on defense like Adrian Wilson and Darnell Dockett will remember that day and will want to avenge it, no doubt.
In a weak NFC West, these two teams represent many years of success in the division. They are the only two teams to have won the division since 2004. Seattle, despite their slow start, are still the reigning division champions.
Arizona seeks to turn around its division fortunes from a year ago. Seattle swept Arizona in 2010.
Special teams could play a factor. Seattle gave up a punt return and a kickoff return for touchdowns in Week 1 against the San Francisco 49ers. The Cardinals have a punt return touchdown by Patrick Peterson so far and are dangerous in the return game.
How will this game turn out? We will find out soon enough. Make sure you join us in the live game thread we will have posted about an hour before kickoff.