The Cardinals tout the NFL's worst record as well as its most underwhelming offense. Will they be able to put up much of a flight in Seattle on Sunday?
The Seahawks may have already secured a wild-card spot, but the regular season isn’t over.
The 3-12 Arizona Cardinals probably wish it was.
Here are five things to know about Seattle’s next opponent.
1. The Cardinals allowed 269 rushing yards, 6.6 yards per carry and three rushing scores in a 31-9 loss to the Rams last week.
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Oh, and standout Los Angeles running back Todd Gurley didn’t even play.
This is far from a fluke for the Cardinals, who rank dead last in the NFL in rushing defense (153.1 yards per game), 31st in runs of 20 or more yards allowed (20) and tied for 23rd in opponent yards per carry.
That all bodes well for a Seahawks offense that leads the NFL with 158.5 rushing yards and 33.3 attempts per game … even if starting running back Chris Carson is gifted some much-needed rest.
2. Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen was replaced by Mike Glennon for the second consecutive week.
That shouldn’t be all that surprising, considering that the No. 10 pick in the 2018 NFL draft has completed just 55.4 percent of his passes and throw for 10 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. In his last two games, Rosen has completed just 55.6 percent of his passes, throwing for 219 yards and zero touchdowns with a pair of picks.
The Cardinals’ most effective quarterback last weekend actually might have been Larry Fitzgerald. The veteran wide receiver threw the first touchdown pass of his career, a 32-yard pass to David Johnson. It was Arizona’s only touchdown of the game.
3. The Cardinals rank last in the NFL in scoring, averaging just 13.4 points per game.
They’ve scored fewer than 20 points in 12 of 15 games this season and are averaging just 8.7 points in their last three games.
It doesn’t help, of course, that Arizona currently ranks last in the league in both rushing offense (83.8 yards per game) and passing offense (160.7 yards per game).
The Cardinals may be bad, but at least they’re balanced in their incompetence.
4. Defensive end Chandler Jones ranks tied for eighth in the NFL with 12 sacks.
Looking for a bright spot? You might just find it with the Cardinals’ 6-foot-5, 265-pound defensive end. The 28-year-old pass-rusher has quietly produced 40 sacks in his three seasons in Arizona and has finished with at least 11 sacks in four consecutive seasons. How’s that for consistency? He nabbed one of those sacks in Arizona’s home loss to Seattle on Sept. 30.
The Seahawks’ largely improved offensive line is as injured as it’s been all season, and they rank 22nd in the NFL with 45 sacks allowed. Russell Wilson was sacked three times and hit nine times in Seattle’s win over Kansas City last weekend.
All of this is to say that the Seahawks may be vulnerable Sunday, and Jones is plenty capable of taking advantage.
5. The Cardinals may have a lame duck head coach.
Arizona is planning to part ways with first-year head coach Steve Wilks after Sunday’s season finale at Seattle, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
That shouldn’t surprise many Cardinals fans, considering that a loss Sunday would secure a tie for the worst record in franchise history. Still, some of the factors behind the team’s repeated failures were out of Wilks’ control. Four of Arizona’s five starting offensive linemen entering the season ended up injured, and the fifth — right tackle Andre Smith — was released during the season. Starters wide receiver Christian Kirk, defensive linemen Robert Nkemdiche and Olsen Pierre and linebacker Josh Bynes were also placed on injured reserve.
This may not be all Wilks’ fault, but that doesn’t seem to matter much to management.
Wilks’ status, as well as his team’s league-worst record, beg an obvious question:
When the Cardinals take the field on Sunday, what exactly will they be playing for?