Predicted Score: Seahawks, 24, Cardinals 13
Seattle: Mike Holmgren acknowledged the lack of receptions for Deion Branch last week against Tampa Bay and reiterated that Branch is a big part of Seattle's plan on offense. "In our system right now, Deion should touch the ball more than any of the other receivers," Holmgren said. The Bucs rolled coverage to Branch all day making it a point to take him out of the offense. Rest easy Branch owners; let's see how he fairs against Arizona before jumping ship. Shaun Alexander didn't show any effects from his foot injury, carry 27 times last week for 105 yards. Some numbers for consideration - Alexander has 10 rushing TDs in past 5 games vs. Arizona and Matt Hasselbeck completed 20 of 28 passes (71.4 pct.) for 243 yards with 3 TDs in his last meeting with the Cardinals.
- Start: QB Matt Hasselbeck, RB Shaun Alexander, WR Deion Branch, WR Bobby Engram, TE Marcus Pollard, K Josh Brown
- Consider: WR Nate Burleson, Seahawks D/ST
Arizona: The Cardinals are looking to rebound from a ho-hum loss to the 49ers last Monday night in which their passing game was non-existent. Leinart completed only 50% of his passes for 102 yards and looked lost against the 49ers defensive schemes. On the bright side, Edgerrin James ran hard and often, carrying the ball 26 times and looks to be the focus of the offense until the passing game catches up. Interesting to note that J.J. Arrington and Marcel Shipp were used in the same backfield on a number of occasions while James was catching a breather (Arrington had 4 carries to Shipp's 1). The Cardinals pounded the ball on the ground last week because they could. Their low-scoring game against San Francisco allowed them to run the ball all four quarters. They won't have that luxury this week should they fall behind Seattle, which I expect they will. More attempts for Leinart may mean more yards but it may be another week before the Cardinals passing game hits its stride.
- Start: RB Edgerrin James, WR Larry Fitzgerald
- Consider: WR Anquan Boldin, QB Matt Leinart
- Sit:TE Leonard Pope