Sept. 9, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith (53) and cornerback Jeremy Lane (37) during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals beat the Seahawks 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Quick Hit: Getting to Know the Arizona Cardinals

The Seahawks will visit the Cardinals tonight in their first division game on the road this season.

The Seahawks come into the meeting 5-1 while the Cardinals come in 3-3. To better understand the Arizona Cardinals, I spoke with Scott Allen, the editor of Raising Zona, a part of Fansided.

Here is the conversation:

1. The Cardinals are sitting at 3-3 this season, 3rd in the NFC West. Is this where Cardinals fans expected to be at this point of the season? Is this record better or worse than expected at the start of the season?

I can tell you it’s about where I expected them to be.  Honestly this team could be 5-1 or 1-5 depending on your point of view.  They should have beaten St. Louis after holding a 24-13 4th quarter lead in week one, but blew the lead and lost 27-24.  In Week 4, they beat Tampa Bay 13-10 in a game they really should have lost.  Then they were losing 6-3 to Carolina at home at halftime in Week 5 but dominated the second half to win 22-6. The Niners loss on Sunday was a tough pill to swallow since they had a shot to win down 2 late in the third.  Cards fans will take 3-3 at this point given the favorable schedule over the next month (3 home games and a bye).  Next road game isn’t until Nov. 17 against Jacksonville.  Can’t ask for anything better than that.

2. What are the Cardinals biggest strengths on the field? What are their biggest weaknesses?

Strength is the defense, although the offense has shown bright spots.  Biggest weakness is maintaining drives and converting on third downs.  They are really struggling there.  The biggest weakness on defense is covering tight ends.  Tight ends have been the top receiver for the Cards opponent in five of six games.

3. The Cardinals beat the Seahawks in Glendale at the start of last season. What do they need to do on Thursday to beat the Seahawks again?

Well, they need to come with the same game plan they had against the Niners.  They need a balanced attack, not force balls into receivers and limit turnovers.

4. Which player on the Cardinals should the Seahawks keep their eye on? Who has the best opportunity to make the biggest impact on the game?

On offense, it should be running back Andre Ellington.  Kid can ball.  He is quick to the edges and has good hands.  He can be used as a back and a receiver.  On defense it is Karlos Dansby.  He has somehow had a re-birth of sorts since re-joining the Cards in free agency.  Those two clearly also have the ability to make huge impacts on the game.

5. What is your prediction of the outcome of Thursday night’s game?

My heart says the Cards are headed in the right direction after a much better than expected showing in San Francisco, but I’m not sure the short week helps them here.  My mind says it’ll be close but the Cards fall short to the Seahawks 20-13. 

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