3 - Field position battle
The Arizona Cardinals have struggled at covering punts at times this season, and the Seahawks have one of the better return units in the league, averaging 14.5 yards per return, which ranks fifth. Cardinals punter Blake Gillikin needs to have a huge game this week and help his coverage team pin the Seahawks deep.
Fortunately, Gillikin has fared better than his predecessor, Nolan Cooney, averaging 50.4 yards per punt. However, he’s also averaging just 36.4 net yards, which is the worst in the league. Gillikin has the leg to pin the Seahawks, but the coverage team has got to step up if they want to force the Seahawks offense into driving the distance.
At 3.1 yards allowed per punt return, the Seahawks have kept returners in check all season. This means the Cardinals defense can’t afford to stall drives anywhere near midfield if they’d like to give their offense decent field position. In short, if the Cards want to increase the odds of winning this game, their defense must step up often.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)