If the Arizona Cardinals want to win the NFC West, the NFL's worst division by far, Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks is a must win. The Cardinals' schedule gets easy from here on in, but that won't matter if they can't manage a home win over a Seahawks defense that has given up over 1,000 yards to their opponent's offense over their last two games.
The Cardinals, who last won a game on October 10 against the New Orleans Saints, will need to build on some of the positive things to come from last week's come-from-ahead loss to the Vikings. Arizona reversed a season-long trend of shooting themselves in the foot with interceptions and critical fumbles and managed to build a 14-point lead with under five minutes to go in the game. Whether it was just Brett Favre drinking from the fountain of youth or a complete collapse by the Cardinals defense that lost the game, there's little question that such a lead would be much safer against Matt Hasselbeck's Seahawks offense.
The huge part of the Cardinals limited success this season has been points and field position generated by LaRod Stephens-Howling off the kick return game. LSH had a 96-yard return for a touchdown last week against the Vikings and he leads the league with 1060 yards returning kicks. The other bright spot is the Cardinals defense's ability to generate points. They have an NFL-best five touchdowns.
While the specials teams and defensive scoring have kept the Cardinals' hopes of winning the division alive, star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald knows that the offense is going to need to step up and do its part, as well.
"We've got to able to put some more points on the board. We've got to be able to put some balls in the end zone and give our defense some help. Those guys played well pretty much all day and we put them in some bad positions," Fitzgerald said this week.
Seattle is just 1-3 on the this season and has lost 11 of its last 13 on the road dating back to 2008. The Seahawks have been outscored 125-27 in their four losses this season.