ARIZONA CARDINALS

Russell Wilson, Seahawks looking to play spoiler vs. Arizona Cardinals

Jan 8, 2022, 10:50 AM | Updated: 11:07 am

For the first time in five years the Seattle Seahawks have nothing to play for as they enter a season finale matchup against the Arizona Cardinals eliminated from postseason play.

The once consistent ballclub has looked anything but in what could potentially be the final year in Seattle for quarterback Russell Wilson and/or head coach Pete Carroll.

Although the Seahawks are owners of five separate losing streaks in 2021, they’re not to be underestimated by a Cardinals team jockeying for playoff positioning and looking to steal the NFC West title away from Los Angeles Rams.

“This team just scored 51 points and has played everybody tough, even the losses,” Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday. “We know they lost Russ for a while, which was tough on them, but one of the most competitive teams over the last decade.

“Coach Carroll is one of the all-time great coaches, Russ is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. We’re not looking at anything other than the Seahawks.”

They might be playing for pride and pride alone, but that didn’t stop the Seahawks from manhandling the Detroit Lions 51-19 in Week 17.

Wilson put on a show, throwing for 236 yards and four touchdowns on 20 of 29 passing (68.9%), but it was Seattle’s running game behind Rashaad Penny’s two-score evening that stood out. It marked the best running performance from Seattle all season, surpassing its Week 14 mark of 193 yards against the Houston Texans.

“I felt like they ran the ball really well,” Thompson said Friday. “Russell was looking like how he usually looks, receivers … all those guys are looking pretty good.

“So we’re gonna have a pretty tough matchup this week, but I feel like we do our jobs, we should be we should be A-OK.”

The improved run game as of late has only helped in keeping the defense honest with Wilson under center.

Now healthy from his hand injury earlier in the season, Wilson has thrown for at least two touchdowns in five of his last six games.

He’s a well-known problem for Arizona the Cardinals must contend with to have a shot at winning the NFC West.

“You can call a perfect defense against their offensive concept and the first play won’t get you, it’s the second play that Russ provides with his legs,” defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said Thursday. “Once he starts moving and scrambling, he can take off for 20-30 yards … or he can throw it for a touchdown.

“If he pops the pocket in the red zone it’s a problem, it’s gonna be a touchdown. If he pops the pocket on third down with (Seahawks wide receivers Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf) it’s gonna be a big play. … We have to plaster on the scrambles and we have to do a good job in the rush game to keep him in the pocket the best we can.”

The Cardinals take on the Seahawks on Sunday at 2:25 p.m. Tune to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station for all the action.

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