Ken Whisenhunt & Mike Holmgren (Getty)
The Cardinals are increasingly the favorite to win in Seattle against the Seahawks, but what impact will Matt Hasselbeck have on that prediction? Here is everything you need to know about Sunday's game.
KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:05 ET
TV: FOX (Dick Stockton, Brian Baldinger, Laura Okmin)
SERIES: 19th regular-season meeting. The series is tied 9-9, and the teams have split games the past two years, each winning at home. Sunday's game is in Seattle, where the Cardinals have lost five straight, and only one of those losses was by fewer than 11 points. Last year, the Seahawks hammered the Cardinals in Seattle, 42-21, and quarterback Kurt Warner took a beating. He was sacked five times and was hit on numerous other occasions.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 34-20
KEYS TO THE GAME: When the 49ers rolled coverage to WR Larry Fitzgerald last Monday night, Warner simply picked the secondary apart with Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston.
The morale of the story is Arizona has more weapons than any team in the NFC West can cope with. That includes Seattle's 31st-ranked pass defense. However, one of the Cardinals' concerns is a red-zone offense that had to settle for three field goals against the 49ers and could keep this game closer than expected. ...
Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck returns after
missing five games with back and knee injuries, and should get WR Deion Branch back as well. The question the Cardinals will force an answer to by blitzing heavily is just how healthy is Hasselbeck? Seattle hopes his return will open the doors for a running game that was ranked as high as No. 5 before Hasselbeck was injured but has since dropped to 13th with opponents stacking the box with eight defenders.
CB Eric Green (knee) and TE Ben Patrick (knee sprain) could return this week.
Seahawks: DE Patrick Kerney (shoulder) is out; FB Leonard Weaver (ribs) is uncertain.
FAST FACTS: After leading the league in penalties last year, the Cardinals are tied for first with Green Bay with 72 this season. ... Hasselbeck has eight touchdowns and no interceptions the past three meetings.
--QB Matt Hasselbeck got clearance from team doctors on Wednesday night, practiced on Thursday and will start Sunday's game.
--WR Deion Branch went through his second full practice and will start at flanker on Sunday.
--DE Patrick Kerney did not practice because of a shoulder injury and is out of Sunday's game.
--DT Red Bryant did not practice because of a high ankle sprain and is likely out.
--FB Leonard Weaver is doubtful for Sunday with bruised ribs. If he cannot play, rookie Owen Schmitt will fill in.
--LB David Hawthorne (calf) did not practice and is doubtful for Sunday's game.
--S C.J. Wallace has a pulled hamstring, restricting him from practicing. He is doubtful for Sunday.
--QB Seneca Wallace's sore groin has kept him from practicing this week and he is doubtful for Sunday. If he is sidelined, Charlie Frye will back up Matt Hasselbeck.