Due in part to backup QB Drew Stanton going down with an injury, the Cardinals are suddenly facing a plethora of questions, both regarding the upcoming game, and the upcoming Playoff stretch. The ROTB Writing Staff tackled three of these in this week's Roundtable edition.
Don't forget to answer the questions yourself in the comments below!
1) With Lindley set to start against the Seahawks, what should the offense's game plan be?
Jesse Reynolds: Run and win the field position battle. Seattle is going to do what they did against Stanton and I know it's going to be effective. They are going to stack the box and keep their safeties high, forcing Lindley to complete intermediate passes which only Palmer has been able to do successfully. After the surprise run game in KC and then the continued success in St. Louis I am optimistic about the run game. St. Louis has a good front and is good against the run, but Seattle has a better run defense and will pose a bigger challenge. I believe that if the run game can win the field position battle and keep the defense rested we will have a chance at home. A slim chance as I expect Lindley will hurt us with an turnover or two; it's hard for me to imagine him playing a clean game.
BigRedBilly: Run, run, run, and then run some more. And if BA can coach-up Lindley to just have an adequate passing performance, it would be enough if we can move the sticks on the ground and control the clock.
Alex Mann: Run it, and make Lindley's job easier. I believe the guy can go out there and win it. I was hoping he would have stayed on the roster, but it was he or Thomas and keeping the guy who can develop was the better move. We put too much on Lindley's rookie season where he was thrust into a poor situation. Let's give the guy an actual game where the players are into the season, and with a coach who isn't throwing someone out there just to throw them out there.
Jess Root: Score points. But seriously, with the way the Cardinals have been running the ball, that has to be the priority. Make it easier for Lindley to find open guys and to make higher percentage throws. They don't need Lindley to be Carson Palmer to win. They need him to complete over 50 percent of his passes and to have more touchdowns than interceptions.
2) What are the keys to success against the Seahawks?
Jesse Reynolds: The defense has to be perfect. No big let ups, no missed tackles on TE's who go on to score a back breaking TD, no missed tackles on Russell Wilson and most importantly continuing to shut down Marshawn Lynch. With Shaugnessy back and the way Rucker has been playing lately, I expect the defense will have a good game. Especially if Seattle's left tackle is out for sure. Russell Okung is their best lineman and with him out the Cardinals should be able to control the line of scrimmage.
BigRedBilly: Our stingy defense, turnovers, special teams, our new-found running game and just enough passing to keep the defense honest.
Alex Mann: Limit mistakes, control the clock, and force Wilson to throw. When the 49ers were playing well against Seattle they could run the ball, they were limiting Lynch, and forcing Wilson to throw. Wilson is a good quarterback, but Carrol has surrounded him with a receiving corps that does not match up well with this secondary on paper. If we can manage another seven sacks, while keeping the defense off the field, this game should wind up differently.
Jess Root: One is continue to play defense the way they have. Then they have to run the ball like they did last year in Seattle. They have to win the turnover battle. They can't let Russell Wilson beat them on busted plays.
3) What role (if any) should Logan Thomas play in the offense on Sunday?
Jesse Reynolds: While I understand why Arian's went with Lindley over Thomas, I would actually prefer to see Thomas because of his ability to run. He can't read a defense and doesn't have great pocket awareness but I think this game is going to be a tight match and a big run from him could change it. With that said I don't think we will see Thomas unless Lindley is just really getting eaten up and I really hope that doesn't happen.
BigRedBilly: I'm trying to decide if BA would actually consider a little run-option with Thomas. Or maybe roll-out options to take advantage of his athleticism. But who knows, our coach may just be blowing smoke about using Thomas to give the Seahawks something else to think about during the week.
Alex Mann: There's two scenarios here. Scenario one is that he comes in to help keep the Seahawks off balance. Scenario two is that he comes in to replace a struggling Lindley. Personally my hopes are on scenario one. He should have a role, just a role in which he's keeping Seattle on their heels.
Jess Root: Hold the clipboard? We haven't really seen what a package for him would look like. Would they run read option for a few plays? To me, Bruce Arians is mostly blowing smoke when he says that both could play, but it could happen.