DANNY ONEIL

Seahawks are going to take care of their end of things

Dec 29, 2017, 9:45 AM | Updated: 3:50 pm
Pete Carroll...
Happy New Year? Well, that depends on what happens Sunday for Pete Carroll and his Seahawks team, who need a win and some help for a sixth straight playoff berth. (AP)
(AP)

The Seahawks are going to match their win total from each of the past two seasons.

They’re facing an Arizona team that has a good defense, but a backup quarterback and a blowhard’s confidence. That would be Bruce Arians, the coach caught on camera referring to Seattle as his team’s home field after the Cardinals victory last week.

Moore Predicts: Cardinals outmatched by Seahawks in Week 17

But history is about all that’s on Arizona’s side in a game where an average offensive showing from Seattle should be more than sufficient. Whether that’s enough for a sixth consecutive playoff berth depends on what happens in Georgia.

Happy New Year?

Well, we’ll wait and see. First, Seattle has to beat an Arizona team that has won three of its past four games at CenturyLink Field. In fact, the Cardinals are responsible for three of the nine home losses Seattle has suffered since Russell Wilson joined the team.

But it’s going to take more than beating the Cardinals for Seattle to reach the playoffs. The Seahawks need a Carolina victory over Atlanta, too, leaving Seattle dependent on help to reach the playoffs for the first time in Pete Carroll’s eight seasons as head coach.

Is it strange to think Seattle doesn’t control its own fate?

“It is,” Doug Baldwin said, “but for some reason I enjoy it so I’m looking forward to whatever happens on Sunday.”

Oh yeah, about that game. The Cardinals come in missing their quarterback Carson Palmer and on the brink of potentially changing coaches with many thinking this will be Bruce Arians’ final game despite the fact he has dubbed those reports “fake news.”

The Cardinals also have one of the stingiest defenses in the league over the second half of the season. Arizona allowed an average of 350 yards over its first eight games. It has given up 268.7 over the past seven.

The Seahawks offense has hit a low-water mark over the past two games, gaining a total of 285 yards and crossing midfield exactly four times. That’s just one more factor on a Sunday where Seattle needs more than just a victory.

The Seahawks win if … they score 20 points. That’s it. That’s all they’ll need against a Cardinals team that is starting backup quarterback Drew Stanton, has scored 16 points or fewer in three of the last four games and is 2-8 this season when the opponent scores 20 or more points. And as much as Seattle’s offense has struggled the past two weeks, the Seahawks have failed to score 20 points in only one of the past seven games.

The Cardinals win if … the Seahawks turn into a New Year’s Eve piñata where after a couple of good whacks, the goodies start spilling out. It’s going to take Seattle turnovers — plural — for Arizona to win this game given the fact that the Cardinals are starting three backups on the offensive line and Larry Fitzgerald is about the only player on offense who is having what could be a characterized as a good season. The Cardinals defense is certainly capable of causing problems, but if the Seahawks don’t practice self-harm, they should have more than enough horsepower to win.

Prediction: Seahawks 20, Cardinals 6.

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Seahawks are going to take care of their end of things