The Arizona Cardinals are not going to the playoffs -- but on Sunday, they can ensure the Seattle Seahawks will be staying home for the postseason, as well.
The 7-8 Cards head to Seattle to take on the 9-6 Seahawks in a game that will begin Sunday at 2:25 p.m. AZ time. The Seahawks beat the Cards 22-16 in Glendale on Nov. 9, but Arizona has won three of the last four meetings in Seattle, including last year's 34-31 victory on Christmas Eve.
The Seahawks need a win over the Cardinals plus a Falcons loss on Sunday to advance to the playoffs. Can the Cards spoil Seattle's plans? Here are three questions and a prediction for the game.
1. Can the Cards contain Wilson?
After one ridiculous performance after another, Russell Wilson has looked human in the Seahawks' last two games, and the Cardinals' defense has been one of the best units in the league in the last several weeks.
But Wilson likes playing against the Cardinals: He has a career 19 touchdown passes with just four interceptions in 11 career games, including 350 yards and four touchdowns vs. Arizona in last year's game in Seattle. Will the Cards do a better job of slowing Wilson this time?
2. Can Drew do better than last time?
The Cardinals' only loss to the Seahawks in their last four trips to Seattle came in 2014 when Drew Stanton filled in for injured QB Carson Palmer. The Cardinals lost that game 19-3, as Stanton completed just 14 of 26 passes with 149 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.
Stanton has a chance for redemption Sunday when he heads back to Seattle to once again lead the Cards at QB. He played well against the Seahawks in Arizona earlier this season but didn't get help from his receivers, who dropped several crucial passes. Will Sunday's result in Seattle be more to Stanton's liking?
3. Larry's farewell?
For what seems like the third or fourth straight year, rumors have swirled around star receiver Larry Fitzgerald and his possible retirement at the end of the season. Fitz is still playing at an incredibly high level, and he even completed his first NFL pass in last week's win over the Giants.
Larry had a big game in the Cards' first meeting with Seattle this season, catching 10 passes for 113 yards. Can he have a repeat performance Sunday -- and more importantly, will it be his final game in a Cards uniform?
Along with Fitzgerald, multiple reports say Cards coach Bruce Arians will call it quits after Sunday's game. If that's true, emotions will be high, and the team will go all out to send him out on a high note.
But even with all that emotion, the Seahawks are at home and competing for a playoff spot. Wilson & Co. will do what they have to do to overcome the Cards Sunday afternoon.
Seahawks 23, Cardinals 14