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Week 14: Cardinals-Seahawks preview

The SportsXchange

Arizona at Seattle

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, at CenturyLink Field, Seattle - TV: FOX; DirecTV: 716

*TV announcers: Chris Myers, Tim Ryan, Jaime Maggio

*Keys to the game: Head coach Ken Whisenhunt said the Cardinals' offensive issues are unit-wide, but it's impossible to overlook that extremely poor quarterback play has been the root of the problem during the bulk of the team's eight-game losing streak. Kevin Kolb returned to limited practice last week and there's a chance he could return to provide some stability for Arizona's offense. The Cardinals want to lean heavily on RB Beanie Wells, but offensive line issues continue to hamper the ability to move the ball on the ground or through the air. Arizona can be competitive in a field position game, but the Seahawks are undefeated at home and rookie QB Russell Wilson is continuing his rapid ascent with a pair of strong performances on the road. RB Marshawn Lynch remains the focal point, but Wilson is increasingly picking apart defenses that stack the box with eight defenders in run support. He works well rolling out on play-action and keeps defenses off-balance with a handful of deep shots per game.

*Matchup to watch - Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton vs. Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell: Wilson was picked off once, lost a fumble and was sacked three times as he looked like a well, rookie, in Seattle's season-opening 20-16 loss at Arizona. The Cardinals will see a different player in the matchup, with Wilson going four games since his last interception. Bevell recently defended Seattle's rather conservative offensive approach, and he doesn't want to expose Wilson to Arizona's strong pass rush.

*Player spotlight - Cardinals C Rich Ohrnberger: The fourth-year pro has taken over for injured Lyle Sendlein, and the Cardinals' offensive line issues reached a new level against the Jets last week.

*Fast facts: The Cardinals were 0-for-15 on third-down conversations last week. ... Seattle is 5-0 at home, where Wilson has a 122 passer rating with 11 TDs and no INTs.

WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

Rashad Johnson's 40-yard scamper on a fake punt accounted for almost 30 percent of Arizona's total yards last week. Even if QB Kevin Kolb returns, the Cardinals' poor offensive line play is a deal-killer in a tough road environment.

*Our pick: Seahawks 20-12
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