TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Arizona Cardinals At Seattle Seahawks

Arizona Cardinals
Seattle Seahawks
(credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
(credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Quarterback
While the Cardinals have had a surprisingly good season and have an impressive 9-5 record, their playoff chances are poor since they close the season with games against the Seahawks and 49ers. Still, Carson Palmer has had a terrific year as he has completed 64.5 percent of his passes and he has thrown just two interceptions in the last five games.
Winner Russell Wilson is probably not going to get serious MVP consideration because Peyton Manning has had such an overwhelming statistical year. However, Wilson is the best player on the best team in football. He is a physically gifted player who is smart and resourceful. Wilson has completed 64.7 percent of his passes and has a 24-8 TD-interception ratio. He has also rushed for 508 yards.
Offense
The Cardinals have been largely one-dimensional on offense because they have not gotten much from Rashard Mendenhall (3.1 yards per carry) in the running game. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald suffered a concussion against the Titans and may not be at his best in this game. Michael Floyd has been solid and he has a team-high 15 plays of 20 yards or more.
Winner The Seahawks have a powerful running game that tends to drain opposing defenses. Marshawn Lynch is a tough, pounding running back who sets the tone for the offense and takes much of the pressure off of Wilson. Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin are solid receivers who can make tough catches. If Percy Harvin (hip labrum) can come back, the Seahawks become more dynamic on offense.
Defense
The Cardinals were able to steal a tough road win against the Titans when cornerback Antoine Cason made a key interception in overtime to set the offense up for the game-winning drive. The Cardinals are quite competitive on the defensive side of the ball, as they rank seventh overall and first against the run. Middle linebacker Karlos Dansby leads the team with 111 tackles.
Winner The Seahawks play with a swagger and that strut comes from the performance of their defense. The Seahawks rank first overall and first against the pass. Cornerback Richard Sherman is one of the best cover men in the league and he has 19 passes defensed and six interceptions. Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner is a stud and he leads the team with 99 tackles.
Special Teams
The Cardinals do a solid job of covering kickoffs and punts, but they have not gotten the kind of production from Patrick Peterson and Javier Arenas they thought they would get this season. Placekicker Jay Feely kicked the game-winning field goal vs. Tennessee in Week 15 and he is dependable.
Winner The Seahawks have overpowering special teams coverage. Opponents are averaging 1.4 yards per punt return with a long of 10 yards this season. PK Steven Hauschka has made 30-of-31 FG attempts and punter Jon Ryan gets exceptional height on his punts.

The Winner Is

(credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Winner Seattle Seahawks
4 out of 4

The Seahawks can clinch the NFC West title and the top seed in the conference playoffs with a win in this game. They will come out hard and try to put a stranglehold on this game early.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 16: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on before playing agains the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 16, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 05: A croupier spins a roulette wheel at the new luxury casino, which opens tomorrow, on February 5, 2008 in Glasgow, Scotland. This 25m GPB venue, named Alea, opens on the Clyde at Springfield Quay near the city centre and is Scotland's first luxury casino, dining and live music venue.
    Bigger Gamble, Guessing Pats’ Running Back Or Hitting Roulette Number?

    Guessing Bill Belichick’s running back is near impossible, but how does the gamble compare to Roulette, another game of chance?

  2. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Baltimore Ravens At New Orleans Saints

    The Ravens are dependent on Joe Flacco to play his best football down the stretch if they are going to make a run at the AFC North title. Flacco is certainly capable of getting hot and putting big numbers up on the scoreboard.

  3. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images) (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys At New York Giants

    The Cowboys have been one of the bigger surprises in the league this year, but their sharp start could go to waste if they can’t come through in games like this.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,176 other followers