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Seahawks-Cardinals Preview

Nov 13, 2009 - 11:02 PM By ALAN FERGUSON STATS Writer

Thanks to their perfect road record, the Arizona Cardinals have built a two-game lead in the NFC West, but they've inexplicably struggled to win at home.

After another stellar road performance, the Cardinals will try again to carry that success into Sunday's game against the visiting Seattle Seahawks.

Arizona's fans booed loudly during a 34-21 loss to Carolina on Nov. 1 as Kurt Warner tied a career high with five interceptions and lost a fumble.

A week later, Warner tied a career high with five touchdowns in a 41-21 win at Chicago. The Cardinals (5-3) scored on their first six possessions to build a 24-point lead early in the third quarter.

"So much of this business is how you respond and how you come back," said Warner, two touchdowns shy of 200 for his career. "I always want my teammates to know that I'm going to be there every week battling with them. And if I have a bad week, hopefully they can pick me up. If not, I'll try to do my best the next."

The Cardinals have won by an average of 16.3 points in their first four-game road win streak since 1982. They are 1-3 at home after going 6-2 there in each of the last two seasons.

Arizona needed a goal-line stand to record that lone win, 28-21 over Houston on Oct. 11.

The Cardinals have rushed for 108.5 yards per game on the road, registering a season-high 182 last week, compared to 50.5 at home.

Warner has 10 touchdowns and two interceptions in the four road wins, and nine INTs and six TDs at home.

"Whatever it is, why ever we make those mistakes at home," coach Ken Whisenhunt said, "that's something that we have to make our focus this week on eliminating."

The defense has given up 70.8 rushing yards per game away from home but 115.5 at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals have also forced 10 turnovers on the road and three at home.

"Inconsistency is the thing that I probably dislike the most at this point," Whisenhunt said. "We have a number of games where if we don't make mistakes, we could be in a better position than we are in right now."

As they attempt to turn around those struggles, the Cardinals couldn't face a much better opponent than the Seahawks (3-5).

Seattle has been outscored 95-44 in three straight road losses to open this season and has dropped 11 of 13 away from home since Dec. 16, 2007.

The Seahawks have also lost three in a row at Arizona and five of six overall meetings dating to Dec. 10, 2006.

That includes a 27-3 defeat Oct. 18 in which Warner completed 32 of 41 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns. Larry Fitzgerald hauled in one of those TDs among his season-high 13 receptions for 100 yards.

Seattle needed five interceptions and a record-setting performance from quarterback Matt Hasselbeck last week to rally past lowly Detroit 32-20 at home.

The Seahawks trailed 17-0 after the first quarter, but Hasselbeck completed a franchise-best 39 passes on 51 attempts for 329 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown to T.J. Houshmandzadeh early in the third quarter that gave the Seahawks the lead for good.

Josh Wilson sealed the victory with a 61-yard interception return for a score with 22 seconds left.

"I don't care who you're playing, if you have Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, whoever at quarterback - Troy Aikman - you don't want to get down 17-0. We're just fortunate," Houshmandzadeh said.

Hasselbeck is expected to be limited in practice this week as he hurt his shoulder while making a tackle after throwing an interception on Seattle's first play. The quarterback, 144 yards shy of 25,000 in his career, is also playing with broken ribs, which caused him to miss two games.

Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin is expected to return from a high right ankle sprain. Boldin didn't practice until two days before last week's victory and did so on a limited basis.

He said he was ready to play after warming up for the game, but the Cardinals made him inactive, and Boldin expressed his displeasure with the decision following the win.

"Nobody was man enough to come and tell me what was the situation," Boldin said.

Whisenhunt said he told Boldin after the list of inactive players was submitted and said the receiver's comments weren't a concern.

"In fact, that is kind of what you like to see because he wants to play," Whisenhunt said. "I think we all know how tough and how competitive Anquan is. The fact that he was upset that he didn't play is what you would expect. I certainly have no issues with that whatsoever."

The Cardinals may be without starting linebackers Gerald Hayes and Chike Okeafor, who are doubtful due to back injuries. Hays would miss his second straight game.