November 23rd, 20014- On a typical dark and rainy day in late november at 1:15 pm today the Seattle Seahawks will try keep their dreams of repeating as super bowl champs alive as they face the 9-1 Arizona Cardinals. The Seahawks are 3 games behind the Cardinals and cannot afford to fall to 4 games after today. After a less than stellar performances in the last two games, the only bright spot has been the running game led by Marshawn Lynch but even that has been overshadowed by rumors and speculation that the relationship between Beast Mode and Pete Carroll is on the rocks and that Lynch wants out of Seattle. Those speculations hasn’t stopped Lynch from performing at an All-Pro level having been Seattle’s most consistent offense against the New York Giants two weeks ago in a loss and last week against the Kansas City Chiefs in a loss. The Seahawks will need to continue their league leading rushing attack against the Cardinals today. It may be a great challenge as Lynch has only rushed for 100 yards once in his career against the Cardinals. If there was ever a “must win” game for Seattle this is it. It may be the biggest game at Century Link Field since the 49er game last year for the NFC Championship. All the 12’s will be out in full force as they as well as the team knows how big this game is and could determine their season. This is the first of a brutal 6 game stretch to end the seasons, 5 of which against the rest of the NFC. If the Seahawks loose today they would more than likely have to go 4-1 to even get into the playoffs. I don’t think 10-6 record which was the Cardinals record in 2013 and was on the outside looking in. Arizona has definitely been of the surprises of this NFL season, not that their good but how good they are this year. This is a game the Seahawks must have.
KEYS TO THE GAME: 1) Get pressure on Drew Stanton. The Seahawks cannot let Stanton sit in the pocket and give him time to throw. Not known to be as mobile qb, Seahawks doesn’t necessarily need to sack him but they do need him to hurry his passes. Stanton’s biggest success has been him standing in the pocket for his completions for big plays. 2) Defense must continue to create turnovers. Seattle has gotten back to its old habits causing havoc and turnovers the last few weeks. With the risk of the offense being stagnant defense needs to setup the offense to get some easy points. Ultimate goal is score touchdowns but 3 points are better than none. 3) Need to stop the run by committee. With Brandon Mebane out for the rest of the year, Seattle must limit Andre Ellington’s effectiveness and cannot give up big run plays. If Ellington gets going it will make passing game for the Cardinals that much better. 4) Russell Wilson must have a breakout game. In that not necessarily a huge passing game but just a well balanced game him being a runner and a passer. The Seahawks must keep the Cardinal defense on its toes. They have been a pleasant surprise with the loss of Darnell Dockett for the year. If Arizona can stop Lynch and Wilson cannot find his passing game it will a long day for the Seahawks. 5) Must stay healthy. Seattle has been hurt with the injury bug all year but they cannot afford to have another injury at any position.
INJURY UPATE: Bobby Wagner (Middle Linebacker) is coming back from a turf toe injury will play his first game October 12th against the Dallas Cowboys. Kevin-Pierre Louis (Rookie Outside Linebacker) is out with a shoulder injury and Marcus Burley (Nickle Cornerback) is out with a hamstring. Max Unger (Center) is out for 2 to 4 weeks with a knee and ankle injury. James Carpenter (Left Guard) is listed as questionable but is more than likely he will play but if he can’t Alvin Bailey will be available.
ROSTER MOVES: There was only one move made by the Seahawks and it was the resigning of Center Lemuel Jeanpierre with the injury to Max Unger.
PREDICTION: Seahawks 24 Cardinals 13 to keep their NFC crown alive.