Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals: NFL Week 1 Preview

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Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals: NFL Week 1 Preview
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals host the Seattle Seahawks in an evolving NFC West rivalry to start the 2012 season. Both teams will want to assert themselves as the primary challenger to the San Francisco 49ers, division winners in 2011.

University of Phoenix Stadium will be loud and hostile. While NFL fans are well aware of the home-field advantage the Seahawks have at the "Clink," the Cardinals fans also get quite loud and will give their defense an edge in this contest.


Game Time
: 4:25 ET
Television: Fox (National Broadcast, "America's Game of the Week")
Last Game: Arizona 23-20 (OT) over Seattle
Favorite: Seattle -3
Prediction: Seattle 20-13 over Arizona 

 

The top story for the Seahawks is Marshawn Lynch. His status will be a game-time decision, but he did practice on Friday and is expected to split carries with rookie Robert Turbin. 

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is reporting he'll play “unless something crazy happens.”

The Seahawks need his presence to help keep some of the defensive pressure off rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.

Arizona will put up a solid defensive effort but will need to respect Lynch more than his backup, Turbin.

The Cardinals are concerned with the status of their offensive line. They had one of the worst blocking units in the NFL last season and several injuries during the preseason could make them even worse in 2012.

They are down to D’Anthony Batiste at left tackle. He's bounced around the NFL since 2007 but has just four starts. Rookie Bobby Massie will start on the right side.

Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin will attempt to spend the afternoon harassing John Skelton; the Cardinals' offensive line needs to at least slow them down.

Don't be surprised to see Arizona use a hurry-up offense early and often to keep the Seahawks from rotating their situational players into the game. Pete Carroll has done an amazing job of acquiring specialists, but many of them lack the versatility to be effective on every down. They will also lose effectiveness if the defensive linemen can't stay fresh.

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Both defensive units will be strong against the pass. Their secondaries will play well, and the key to moving the ball through the air will be protecting the quarterback.

That doesn't bode well for Skelton.

Both defenses have good pass-rushers, but the health of Seattle's offensive line gives them the edge.

Skelton will have the luxury of simply throwing the ball to where Larry Fitzgerald will be against a lot of defenses this season, but Seattle isn't one of them. Their corners (Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner) are big, strong ball-hawks. They'll be in press coverage and will make him pay with that approach.

Skelton will need to find a way to extend plays so he can get the ball to the best receiver in the NFL (or one of the top two, for the Calvin Johnsonn fans reading this).

Wilson will have a decided edge if both quarterbacks need to move away from pressure. He is extremely fast and athletic and was effective at picking up chunks of yardage on the ground for the Seahawks in preseason.

Please visit the B/R live blog during the game for ongoing analysis and updates.

 

Injury Report

Seattle





Name

Position

Injury

Practice Status

Game Status

James Carpenter

T

Knee

Limited Participation

Out

Golden Tate

WR

Knee

Did Not Participate

Out

Marshawn Lynch

RB

Back

Limited Participation

Questionable

Byron Maxwell

CB

Shoulder

Did Not Participate

Doubtful

Greg Scruggs

DE

Hamstring

Limited Participation

Out

Matt Flynn

QB

Right Elbow

Limited Participation

Probable


Arizona




 

Name

Position

Injury

Practice Status

Game Status

Rob Housler

TE

Hamstring

Full Participation

Probable

LaRod Stephens-Howling

RB

Groin

Full Participation

Probable

Early Doucet

WR

 

Did Not Participate

 

Adam Snyder

G

Elbow

Limited Participation

Questionable

Andre Roberts

WR

Ankle

Full Participation

Probable

Rashad Johnson

S

Abdomen

Full Participation

Probable

Gregory Toler

CB

Hip

Limited Participation

Questionable

Chris Wells

RB

Hamstring

Limited Participation

Questionable

O'Brien Schofield

LB

Knee

Full Participation

Probable

 

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