Originally posted on SeaTown Sports  |  Last updated 1/1/12



Seattle Seahawks (7-8) vs. Arizona Cardinals (7-8)
When: 1:15 pm PT
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, AZ
TV: FOX Channel 13 (Announcers: Sam Rosen, Chad Pennington and Jody Jackson)
Radio: 710 ESPN AM and 97.3 KIRO FM (Announcers: Steve Raible and Warren Moon)

After a tough, gut-wrenching loss to the 49ers last Saturday at home, the Seahawks prepare to wrap up their season Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Both teams are eliminated from playoff contention, yet Seattle still wants to gain momentum into the offseason with a victory. Pete Carroll said he will play it just like any other game and he expects the starters to play as much as they normally would. A win would drop the Seahawks further down the board in the draft, but it also would give them a one game improvement over last season with a 8-8 record.

It seemed like Seattle was in control for much of the game against San Francisco, but a couple of miscues in the fourth quarter allowed the 49ers to pick up the two point victory. Afterwards, players were disappointed that their playoff hopes were dashed, but this week during practice, the demeanor around the VMAC was positive, and Pete Carroll expects his players to come out and beat the Cardinals on the road. This is the last chance for Tarvaris Jackson to build some momentum before more quarterback questions surface during the offseason. Plus, it is also an opportunity for Marshawn Lynch to prove his worth one more time before John Schneider and company try and re-sign him in the offseason.

Looking at these two teams, it appears that the Seahawks want to win this game more. This can be good or bad, depending on the fans' perspective. A win would put the Seahawks at .500 for the season, and it would indicate that these players are really starting to gel and could put everything together to try and challenge for the division title next season. A loss would give the Seahawks the same record as last year, 7-9, and that would be disappointing in a way because this team seems to be further along in their development compared to last year. Yet at the same time, this scenario would give Seattle better draft position.

As it stands, according to the Seattle Times' Danny O'Neil, Seattle cannot draft any higher than 10th or any lower than 18th. This doesn't seem like a huge disparity, but it is. Maybe it's the difference between having the opportunity to trade up and draft a Robert Griffin III, or being left with choosing a pass rusher. Some fans believe that the Seahawks should lose as a result, but that is not the mindset Seattle should have, or will have. This young core of players still want to prove themselves to the coaches and the rest of the league, and that means coming out on Sunday and earning a victory. The difference between 8-8 and 7-9 to a young teams is huge, and that is reason alone to expect Seattle to put forth a good effort.

Arizona on the other hand is playing it safe this weekend. They will start John Skelton at quarterback once again, as Kevin Kolb still is having lingering issues with a concussion he suffered earlier this month. Skelton will never be the answer at quarterback for the Cardinals, so it will be interesting to see how Arizona comes out at home. One would expect them to play with the same intensity they have shown in the second half of the season. But with Skelton at QB, will they play a full 60 minutes, especially if Seattle takes an early lead? That remains to be seen, but right now, Seattle seems to want this game more, for better or worse.

This game has no bearing on this season, but it does have ramifications for the offseason and preparations for the following season. From the Seahawks perspective, they certainly do not want to get blown out and lose any momentum they have built in the past two months. For Arizona, it seems they don't have as much to lose, as they're already conceding to start their backup QB. For that reason, expect Seattle to come out and take control of this game early, and do enough in the second half to come out of Arizona with a victory to finish at 8-8. 

Seahawks 24-16 

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