PHOENIX - The Seattle Seahawks haven't lost a home game since December 24, 2011, a win streak that's unmatched in the NFL, so the Arizona Cardinals are going to have to dig deep if they hope to get to10 wins on the season and keep their playoff hopes alive.
In fact, the last time the Cardinals were in Seattle, they lost to the Seahawks 58-0 and came home bruised and beat up.
In addition to an outstanding home record, the Seahawks are just one win away from clinching the NFC West title and the number one seed in the NFC playoffs, giving them a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. So if you were hoping that Seattle might let off the gas a little against the Cardinals, think again. Both teams have plenty to play for in this week 16 match-up.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals have surpassed almost everyone's expectations this season (everyone outside the locker room and team offices) becoming one of the better teams in the NFL. They currently have a better record than two other teams that are currently leading their divisions (the Eagles in the East and the Bears in the North) and can still make the playoffs if they can win out.
Under Bruce Arians, the Cardinals have the best defense in the league against the run and are moving the football on offense better than they have since Kurt Warner retired.
After losing to Seattle at home (34-22) on October 17, the Cardinals have won six of their past seven games and are sitting on the doorstep of the play-offs for the first time since 2009.
Like the team, Carson Palmer has also improved in the last seven games, after throwing more interceptions than touchdowns in the first part of the season Palmer has thrown 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions in the last seven games.
But like the Cardinals defense, the Seattle defense is equal to the task. The Seahawks have the league's best pass defense and are now in the top ten in run defense. Seattle has a league-best 22 interceptions on the season.
In regard to injuries, Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald is coming off a concussion last Sunday and Palmer is struggling with a high ankle sprain. Fitzgerald will get one final concussion test late Friday before possibly being cleared to play Sunday, while Palmer will hope he's mobile enough to escape the Seattle rush.
Seattle will play without WR Percy Harvin (hip), guard J.R. Sweezy (concussion) and linebacker K.J. Wright (foot).
Kickoff is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. Mountain time Sunday at CenturyLink Field. The game will be televised on Fox.