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Arizona Cardinals vs Seattle Seahawks: Previewing the Cardinals Thursday Night

A look at the Cardinals and Seahawks on Thursday Night.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously, the Cardinals are going to have an enormous challenge on offense up front versus Seattle's prolific front 7. It will be much harder this week to open holes and to prevent their speedy trio of LBs from shooting the gaps straight to the upright Peterson. DT Michael Bennett and MLB Bobby Wagner could dominate this game.

BA has to find a way to keep Wagner off-balance, through play action passes. This is a game where having a FB to iso on Wagner would be huge...if only...

Plus, as we know, Seattle's pass rush is formidable. It would be helpful for BA to move Stanton around a few times as he did on a few occasions---and wow---great call from BA to run Stanton off the read option!

The one little throwback screen Stanton threw to Peterson looked well timed---this is another way to slow Seattle's pass rush down---that and the sprint draw that Ellington burned them with a couple of years ago.

On the other side of the ball, it was crystal clear once again yesterday that Tyrann Mathieu is at his best when he is up in the box. In space at FS he is too slow and tentative. Seattle has two burners at WR in Baldwin and Paul Richardson, plus two very good pass catching TEs in Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson. They will be looking to attack the Cardinals over the middle---intermediate and deep.

The Cardinals did do a better job this week of keeping contain, but one has to wonder whether OLB Kareem Martin is athletic and quick enough to contain and chase Russell Wilson. it would be huge this week if Haason Reddick could step up on the edge and make plays on Wilson. The Redskins did a good job of not overcommitting on their rushes and keeping Wilson hemmed in the pocket. Inside defenders have to be able to shed their blocks quickly to make plays on Wilson. Plus, James Bettcher would be wise to put a spy on Wilson the way the Redskins did with ILB Zach Brown. The Cardinals cannot play zones versus Wilson. he will pick those zones apart. Pressure man coverage on contained rushes with a middle spy is the key.

The Cardinals need big games from Deone Bucannon who almost had his 3rd double-digit tackles game in a row (9 tackles vs. SF) and Karlos Dansby, who looked much more like his old self (or younger self) vs. SF.

On STs the Seahawks are suddenly also having kicking issues as Blair Walsh missed 3 FGs versus the Redskins. Punt returner Tyler Lockett is not quite as explosive after his ankle injury, but he's still very good. With a short week it would be tough for either the Seahawks or the Cardinals to change kickers....and we all know how poor kicking affected last year's 6-6 OT tie in Arizona.