When: Sunday, 1:15 p.m. PT, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
Records: Seahawks are 4-4 and tied for first the NFC West; Cardinals are 3-5 and third in the NFC West
TV: KCPQ/13, with Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick and Nischelle Turner
Radio: 97.3 FM and 710 ESPN, with Steve Raible, Warren Moon and Jen Mueller
Seahawks CBs Marcus Trufant and Kelly Jennings vs. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald: The Cardinals’ big – and big-play – receiver had feasted on the Seahawks’ secondary, catching 48 passes for 620 yards and five touchdowns in his previous six games. But in Week 7 at Qwest Field, Fitzgerald had three catches for 30 yards. A big part of his uncharacteristic performance was the inability to rookie Max Hall and Derek Anderson to get the ball anywhere near him. But when they did, Trufant and rookie Walter Thurmond – who was subbing for an injured Jennings – made the play, rather than giving up the big play. The Seahawks will need a repeat performance if they are to sweep the Cardinals for the first time since 2005.
One to watch
Seahawks RBs Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett vs. the Cardinals’ 28th-ranked run defense: The Seahawks’ ground game has been running on empty the past two weeks, with 47 yards against the Raiders and 49 against the Giants. But Lynch had a season-high 89 yards against in the Week 7 win over the Cardinals at Qwest Field, while Forsett ran for 123 yards – the second-highest total of this career – in last year’s game in Arizona. Having Chester Pitts at guard on the left side of the line, because of Tyler Polumbus’ return at tackle, should help. So should the fact that the Cardinals already have yielded four 100-yard rushers, which is tied for second most in the league.
Fun to watch
Seahawks SS Lawyer Milloy vs. Cardinals SS Adrian Wilson: The key word with these two is strong safety. They are the 10th and 11th players in league history to collect 20 sacks and 20 interceptions in their careers. Wilson joined the exclusive club last December. Milloy did it with his two-sack performance in the Seahawks’ Week 6 win at Chicago. While they obviously won’t be matched against each other, their efforts – as usual – will go a long way in determining who wins this game.
One tough task
The kickoff coverage units. For both teams. The Seahawks’ Leon Washington ranks No. 1 in the league in return average (31.4), while the Cardinals’ LaRod Stevens-Howling tops the NFL in returns (38) and return yardage (1,060). Each has a pair of scoring returns – 101 and 99 yards for Washington in the Week 3 win over the Chargers; Stevens-Howling had a 96-yarder last week to go with his 102-yarder in the Cardinals’ Week 3 win over the Raiders.
The two teams have combined to lose their past five games – three in row by the Cardinals, for the first time since 2006, when they finished 5-11 in Dennis Green’s final season as coach; two in a row for the Seahawks, by a combined score of 74-10. … The teams have combined to score 27 points in the first quarter – 10 by the Seahawks, 17 by the Cardinals; and they have produced their most points in the second quarter – 41 by the Seahawks, 62 by the Cardinals. … The Seahawks have not beaten the Cardinals in Arizona since 2005. … The Cardinals Tim Hightower has 72 receptions in the past season and a half, which is fourth highest among running backs in the NFC. … Seahawks K Olindo Mare tied a club record with five field goals in the Week 7 win at Qwest, which ran his since-snapped franchise record for consecutive kicks to 30. … MLB Lofa Tatupu and Trufant lead the Seahawks in tackles (44, one more than Milloy), while LB Paris Lenon and FS Kerry Rhodes lead the Cardinals (61). … Seahawks DE Chris Clemons (5½) and Cardinals LB Joey Porter (5) lead their team in sacks. Porter needs three more to become the 25th player in NFL history with 100 for his career. … In their past five games against the Seahawks, the Cardinals defense has recorded six forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, seven interceptions and 17 sacks (including five in the Week 7 game).