The end has come. The Arizona Cardinals host the Seattle Seahawks in a game that for most would be a meaningless game, but really means a lot for both teams involved. The winner will finish the season 8-8 and will lock up second place in the NFC West.
The two teams have been oddly familiar. In fact, the two have identical records.
Before the season, they both had uncertainty at the quarterback position and brought in new players. Arizona started out 1-6, Seattle 2-6. The starting running back on both teams bounced back from seasons of disappointment. Both teams have come on strong in the second half of the season and both were eliminated from playoff contentions with losses last week.
Both teams stand at 7-8, with a division record of 3-2 and a conference record of 6-5.
Where the two teams have differed is how they got to this point. Seattle has had one of the better defense in the league since Week 1. They have the ninth best defense in the league. Arizona is 19th, but that is skewed by the terrible start they had. IN their 1-6 start, the defense allowed 20 TDs. Since then, they have given up 10.
Offensively, they both have had struggles. Arizona has the 23rd ranked offense and Seattle is ranked 28th. The oddity is that Seattle has scored 301 points to Arizona's 289.
Turnovers are another difference. Arizona is -12, while the Seahawks are +7. The Cards have been intercepted 22 times, more than every team in the league except two.
The two teams, despite having been in the same division for many years now, have not faced each other a ton historically. It is only the 26th time the face off. Arizona has a 13-12 advantage.
If you are expecting a close game, then you would be going with the trend the Cardinals have. 12 of their 15 games have been decided by a touchdown or less. In each of the Cardinals' seven wins, they have trailed at halftime. Three of their wins have been in overtime (each time at home).
If Arizona can win, it would make it so that four of the five years that Ken Whisenhunt has coached the team have been seasons of .500 or better. Also, it will have marked a notable accomplishment. The Cardinals lost six straight games after their Week 1 win. Finishing with eight wins would be the second most wins in a season in which a team had a six-game losing streak. The Giants won nine in 1994.
What will be the keys to a Cardinals victory? Stopping Marshawn Lynch will be one, as will not falling too far behind.
Who will finish 8-8? Stay tuned and watch the game on FOX locally or tune in to Arizona Sports AM 620. Join in our game thread later on.
We will have all the coverage you will need.
Seahawks vs Cardinals coverage