When the 2015 NFL schedule came out, many pointed to the Week 17 showdown between the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale as a sort of NFC West Championship Game.
Turns out, it’s not really that important a game after all.
The Cardinals wrapped up the NFC West two weeks ago and the Seahawks are also in the playoffs for the fourth straight season. Of course, there is a rivalry between the two teams, so Sunday will feature two organizations still trying to beat each other.
Seattle saw a 5-game winning streak snapped last week in a 23-17 loss to the St. Louis Rams.
All week, we’ll keep you up to date on everything going on with the Seattle Seahawks as they prepare for their annual trip to University of Phoenix Stadium to face the Cardinals.
Saturday, January 2
With the injuries the Seahawks have, the supporting cast will need to step up. That includes RG Mark Glowinski filling in for J.R. Sweezy and TE Chase Coffman replacing Luke Willson.
• Cardinals have more incentive than Seahawks in regular-season finale (MyNorthwest.com)
The Cardinals can clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a win and a Panthers loss, which gives them far more incentive in Week 17 than the Seahawks. The best Seattle can do is the No. 5 seed and with an offensive line missing starters, there is a debate regarding how long Russell Wilson should stay in the game Sunday.
• Playing Russell Wilson vs Arizona embodies Pete Carroll’s approach with Seahawks (MyNorthwest.com)
Despite the risk in playing Wilson, Pete Carroll is going to play the star quarterback.
Friday, January 1
We won’t see Lynch on Sunday, but the Cardinals could see him again in the playoffs.
There’s no doubt about how elusive Russell Wilson is in the pocket and the quarterback for the Seahawks has oddities in his training regiment like massages and swimming.
“Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson could break the team season records for touchdown passes, passing yards and completion percentage.”
Friday’s injury report lists Sweezy as out on Sunday, which means that Glowinksi will likely get his first career NFL start.
Thursday, December 31
If this is Lynch’s final go-around with the Seahawks, it’s playing out exactly how one might expect.
Marshawn Lynch’s return will have to wait at least another week. And if there is any good news with the running back’s continued absence, it’s that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll believes it will only be another week.
The Seahawks first practice report of Week 17 is out and it includes one player not previously noted by the team or head coach Pete Carroll.
• Seahawks’ Doug Baldwin continuing to excel despite more attention (MyNorthwest.com)
Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin has been receiving all kinds of attention during his record-setting touchdown reception streak – during games, in the media, and even off the field.
A phrase originally aimed at not losing money can now put money in Marshawn Lynch’s pockets.
Wednesday, December 30
• How the Seahawks are attacking defenses downfield (ESPN.com)
Russell Wilson is averaging 8.41 yards per attempt, which ranks third. And while the offense stumbled Sunday against the St. Louis Rams — largely because of protection issues — the Seahawks have done an outstanding job of generating big plays through the passing game.
Over and over, Bennett and Avril would refer to how one player stayed outside, and the other moved down and in, and how one man helped the other to make a play. It was yet another illustration that football is the most interdependent sport, and if you don’t embrace that on the field, you don’t have much of a chance.
It’s time for another look at the Seahawks’ weekly stats and where they rank as we head into the final game of the regular season with Seattle still on track to break or near a number of franchise records.
• Was Seahawks’ loss to St. Louis just a misstep or a sign of regression? (MyNorthwest.com)
Was the Seahawks’ clunker of a performance a sign that their second-half turnaround wasn’t quite as real as it appeared, of regression toward their early-season form?
Or was that 23-17 loss to the 6-8 Rams – as coach Pete Carroll characterized it – merely a bad day at the stadium, a one-week slip-up for a team that had been playing its best football of the season?
• Revisiting the Seahawks’ preseason pursuit of guard Evan Mathis (MyNorthwest.com)
The Seahawks’ offensive line didn’t play well on Sunday against St. Louis.
That was better than Broncos guard Evan Mathis, though. He barely played at all Monday night.
Six snaps. That was the total playing time for the former Pro Bowl guard who visited the Seahawks before the regular season started before ultimately choosing the Broncos, signing a one-year deal that will pay him about $3 million.
Going into Week 17, the field in the NFC is set, but the only seed that’s locked up is Washington at No. 4.
The Seattle Seahawks will go in as the fifth or sixth seed, meaning they’ll need to win at least two games (most likely three) on the road to get back to the Super Bowl for the third consecutive year.
• Are Seahawks’ offensive-line struggles a trend or an aberration? (Seattle Times)
That’s the question the Seahawks’ offensive line will answer, one way or the other. The Seahawks’ next opponent, the Cardinals, sacked Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers nine times Sunday.
• Three Things from the Seahawks’ loss to St. Louis (MyNorthwest.com)
The Seahawks didn’t lose much in terms of playoff positioning on Sunday.
They did lose the momentum they had gained during their five-game winning streak, and after falling 23-17 to St. Louis, the biggest question heading into the final week of the regular season is whether Seattle lost much in the way of confidence.
• How Week 17 will decide Seahawks’ first-round playoff opponent (MyNorthwest.com)
The Seahawks are guaranteed a playoff berth.
But then we already knew that. Just where the Seahawks will be playing, however, remains very much up in the air after their six-point loss to St. Louis. In fact, Sunday’s games didn’t eliminate any potential sites for Seattle’s wild-card game.
There are three possibilities that will be depend on the outcome of two games in Week 17: Seattle (9-6) at Arizona (13-2), 1:25 p.m. and Minnesota (10-5) at Green Bay (10-5), 5:30 p.m.
• What people are saying after Seahawks lay an egg in loss to Rams (SeattlePI.com)
After a month and a half of offensive excellence, the Seahawks attack couldn’t get anything going against a stout (but by no means dominant) Rams defense. The offensive line reverted to its early season form, meaning the Marshawn Lynch-and Thomas Rawls-less running back corps couldn’t get anything established on the ground while quarterback Russell Wilson took a beating.
- NL Wild Card tracker: D-backs fight for playoff positioning
- In the face of criticism, Cardinals QB Carson Palmer stays even-keeled
- Dealing Cards: Carson Palmer defends J.J. Nelson, MNF adds a practice day
- Carson Chats: Intelligence, confidence key to Nelson’s game
- Cardinals RB David Johnson: There really is no timeline for injury return