We've had lots of comments but not as many questions recently. Hence, the "Answer to your question" headloine. So, what did I sense from being around the team this week? Are the players ready? Are they taking this one seriously? Can such things be known before a game?
Mike Holmgren is the first to say even he doesn't know for sure from week to week.
How will the Cardinals respond, for that matter? They have nothing tangible for which to play. The Seahawks, having basically wrapped up the division, cannot manufacture the urgency that would come with different circumstances. This is not a home game against the Bears for a shot at home-field advantage in the playoffs. This is a road game against a 3-9 team, and the Hawks already have a three-game lead in the division. Holmgren senses the opportunity for an indifferent performance. He has been stressing to players the importance of this game. What does it mean for Sunday? We cannot know.
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This is where teams find out how professional they are top to bottom. If the Seahawks play without an edge, it tells us something about them. It won't mean they are bad guys or a bad team, but it will mean they do not bring a similar level of intensity/focus/whatever-it-is to every game, regardless of the opponent.
The 2005 team learned to do that. This team has not shown that type of consistency. That is what happened, to a degree, in the loss to San Francisco. You might put that one in the "learned-their-lesson" category, but only for now. While there were other factors that differentiated that game (Matt Hasselbeck out, Shaun Alexander returning), a repeat performance would be revealing.
A couple years ago I might have taken the Cardinals to win this type of game. But after the Hawks struggled offensively while implementing a conservative plan last week, something tells me there will be some urgency on offense to get pick up the pace. I expect a more aggressive plan. We'll see if that turns into the 31-17 victory I predicted. Hasselbeck will need to be sharp because the Cardinals take chances defensively. If Hasselbeck is on his game, I think he takes advantage of those opportunities. If not, the Cardinals might force some turnovers. That's what they did in St. Louis last week.