ARIZONA CARDINALS (5-8-1)
1:25 p.m. Saturday, CenturyLink Field
Against the Seahawks: The all-time series between the NFC West division rivals is all tied up at 17-17-1 ... and speaking of ties, the Seahawks and Cardinals did just that — 6-6 in Arizona in overtime — back on Oct. 23. That game, if you’ve forgotten, was one of the worst offensive performances by Seattle this season. The team did not cross midfield until 4:33 was left to play in the fourth quarter, finished with 257 total yards and 11 first downs and featured a missed 27-yard field goal by Stephen Hauschka in OT that would have won the game.
What to know: Thanks to the Cardinals’ collapse, this is not the matchup NFL schedule makers had in mind. The Cardinals are out of playoff contention and the Seahawks have already clinched the division title. However, the Seahawks need to keep winning in order to solidify their playoff position (currently No. 2 in the conference). The motivation for last year’s NFC West champs is harder to define. Arizona has lost two straight games and four of its last five. With a 48-41 loss at home to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, the Cardinals have already clinched a losing record this season, the first in coach Bruce Arians’ four years with the team. ... On Sunday, Saints quarterback Drew Brees burned their defense for 389 yards and four touchdowns. In the seven games since playing Seattle, the Cardinals have surrendered 30 or more points four times. Arizona ranks fourth in defensive yards allowed (312.1 yards per game) but just 19th in points allowed (23.2). ... A strength of the unit is pressuring the quarterback. They rank sixth in the NFL with 35 sacks. In the previous Seahawks game, they sacked Russell Wilson four times. ... Defensive end Calais Campbell is coming off a big game. Against the Saints, he had two sacks and returned a fumble 53 yards for a TD... Offensively, this is a team that still has its core but it has not been as dynamic as last year when the team went 13-3 and averaged more than 30 points per game. This season, Arizona averages 24.3 points (12th) and 368.1 yards per game (ninth). ... QB Carson Palmer threw for 318 yards and two TDs against the Saints behind a makeshift offensive line. He was not intercepted and was sacked just once. For the season, he ranks fifth in yards per game (284), but it’s not been his best. He ranks 24th in QB rating (85.8), 12th in TD passes (22) and 21st in completion percentage (61.5). ... Receiver Larry Fitzgerald (98 catches, 949 yards, 5 TDs) remains Palmer’s top target. Former first-round pick WR Michael Floyd was waived after being charged with DUI and was claimed by the New England Patriots. ... RB David Johnson has been a breakout star. He has rushed for 1,138 yards (fourth-best in NFL) and 13 TDs and caught 73 passes for 800 yards and 4 TDs. Last week, Johnson set an NFL record by topping 100 yards from scrimmage in each of the first 14 games of a season. ... Arizona has won in Seattle two out of three times under Arians, including last season’s 39-32 victory. In 2016, the road has not been kind to the Cardinals. Arizona is 1-5 away from home this season, with its lone road victory over San Francisco (1-13).
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Quotable: “Every time you play (the Seahawks), you better have your big-boy pants on.” — Arians.
Darrin Beene, staff writer