The Arizona Cardinals sit atop the NFC with an 11-3 record. The team is seeking to secure the NFC West Division title this coming Sunday with a win over the Seahawks. The last time the Cardinals held the title of NFC West champions was in 2009. Since then, the team has had poor performances with two 5-11 seasons, and one 8-8 season, but that changed last year when head coach Bruce Arians took over the helm. The Cardinals just missed out on a wildcard playoff spot with a 10-6 record and the only team to beat the Seahawks in Seattle in 2013.
The Cardinals were on the rise and seemed to be on the verge of making another playoff push with quarterback Carson Palmer acting as their field general. Those plans were derailed when Palmer suffered a shoulder injury earlier in the season, and then countermanded with a season ending no-contact knee injury days after he signed a three year/$50 million contract extension with the franchise.
Palmer was replaced by backup quarterback Drew Stanton who was capable of securing 6 wins this season. The team’s 3 losses were also accumulated with Stanton as the starter. One of which was garnered against the Seahawks in Seattle. Stanton was shutdown by the Seahawks defense and Legion of Boom.
Stanton won’t be available for what has to be one of the biggest games for the Cardinals franchise in recent years this coming Sunday night against the Hawks. He was injured in this past Thursday Night Football game against the St. Louis Rams. Interject Ryan Lindley, a 2012 sixth round draft pick out of San Diego State. Lindley has not thrown a touchdown in the NFL, however he has thrown seven interceptions. Don’t underestimate Lindley according to Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, because Lindley’s game is cerebral and has the arm to take the shots down the field, which is what Arians loves to do.
Even though the Cardinals sit atop the NFC West and are playing at home where they are 7-0 this year, the Seahawks are 7.5 point favorites in Las Vegas. The Cardinals can’t get any respect for their body of work in the 2014 season.
The coach is hoping the respect is paid by the Cardinals “BirdGang” by showing up to the University of Phoenix Stadium “I would hope there would be a sea of red and they’ll be there early loud and proud”, as he told local sports radio hosts.
The coach isn’t the only one hoping for a raucous & respect paying home crowd, Fitzgerald told the media on Monday “We’re urging all our fans to hold on to their tickets. We need as much red as we possibly can to help make it a very tough environment to play in on Sunday.” This comment may be in response to the strong showing of the 12thMan last year in Glendale for the Thursday Night Football match-up against the Hawks.