The NFC-best Arizona Cardinals have been tested through the first 10 games but if they want to finish their season at home in early February, they’ll have to get it done on the road over the last six games.
Somehow, someway Bruce Arian’s team has overcome key injuries in several areas and positioned themselves for a deep playoff run if they can continue to build on their six-game winning streak. They’ll have do it the next two weeks traveling close to 6,000 miles for tests in Seattle and Atlanta.
For the struggling 6-4 defending Super Bowl Champion Seahawks this weekend is more like a final exam.
In many ways it’s all-or-nothing Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
“This is a playoff game for the Seattle Seahawks,” SI.com Senior NFL Writer Peter King told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat during his weekly interview Tuesday. “Of all the teams sort of knocking on the door at the edge of the playoffs I think Seattle’s in the most trouble. They’re not really playing that particularly well.”
Not only will the Cards face a desperate team, they’ll find one looking for payback after the Cards silenced “The 12th Man,” winning 17-10 in “The Emerald City” last December.
In the NFC West, Seattle’s body of work is mostly incomplete having only a road loss in St. Louis and their final stretch features many traps. A win Sunday is essential to start trending upward in what is expected to be a tight playoff race.
“I think it’s possible that you’re going to have to be 11-5 this year to be a wild card in the [NFC],” King explained. “Let’s look at it realistically. San Francisco and Seattle right now are one game out of the final wild card spot. When you look at that and their schedule down the stretch–this is a playoff game for the Seattle Seahawks.”
Seattle has been hit harder than any team in the NFL with key injuries and have had issues protecting quarterback Russell Wilson. Depth is becoming a concern for Pete Carroll’s team which doesn’t bode well for a team desperately hoping for the opportunity to defend their championship.
Be sure Arians and his staff are aware as they attempt to finish what they started way back in Week One against San Diego.
Plane trips and parity: two things the Cards will need to balance the final six games.