After seeing the team’s recent hot streak come to an end, the Seattle Seahawks will look to start a new one. The Hawks travel to the desert to face the Arizona Cardinals in a game that could be a preview of what’s to come in the playoffs.
The Hawks couldn’t find offensive consistency in a Week 16 loss to the St. Louis Rams. Russell Wilson and company only managed 17 points and 312 yards of total offense. Pete Carroll and the rest of the coaching staff will be hoping for better offensive numbers in Week 17 against a Cardinals team that the Hawks scored 32 points against in a Week 10 loss.
While Seattle put up 32 against Arizona earlier in the season, the Cardinals have been especially stingy on defense as of late. The current NFC West champions have held the team’s last two opponents to a combined 25 points.
In addition to holding teams to low point totals, Arizona has been extremely efficient in limiting teams on the ground.
This stiff run defense could provide a problem for Seattle. The Hawks’ running backs struggled against the Rams, managing 59 total rushing yards. Most of those yards belonged to Wilson, who rushed for 38 yards. Bryce Brown and Christine Michael, who split the bulk of the carries, combined to run the ball 13 times for 15 yards.
However, the last two times the teams met, Marshawn Lynch was the starter. Lynch ran for 42 yards and a touchdown. The Seahawks will likely be hoping Brown and Michael fare better.
While Seattle has clinched a playoff spot, the team’s opponent in the next round is hardly set in stone. If the Seahawks beat the Cardinals and the Minnesota Vikings prevail over the Packers, Seattle will play the Vikings on the road in the first round of the playoffs as the sixth seed.
If Seattle wins and Minnesota loses, the Hawks will enter the playoffs as the fifth seed and play the Washington Redskins on the road.
If the Hawks lose to Arizona and Minnesota beats Green Bay, Seattle will head to Minnesota as the sixth seed.
If the Seahawks lose to the Cardinals and Minnesota loses, Pete Carroll’s team will travel to Green Bay to play the Packers.
Running back Marshawn Lynch (abdomen) is out, as is tight end Luke Willson (concussion) and guard J.R. Sweezy (concussion). Tackle Russell Okung (calf) is doubtful. Safety Kam Chancellor (pelvis) and defensive tackle Jordan Hill (toe) are both questionable. Defensive lineman Michael Bennett (toe) and Cliff Avril (back) have both been listed as probable.