Seahawks-Cardinals once looked like premier matchup, but that was then

Seattle Seahawks' Jimmy Graham, left, breaks loose from Arizona Cardinals' Justin Bethel (28) and Harlan Miller (34) to score in the second half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

When the schedule came out, folks in Seattle and Phoenix pointed to the Seahawks-Cardinals game on Thursday night as a pivotal one in the NFC West.

Forget that: Arizona, plagued by injuries and mediocre play, has been a huge disappointment.

Indeed, the Seahawks haven't exactly been world beaters, either, bothered by untimely penalties and a sporadic attack.

This is an opportunity for Seattle to keep close to the division-leading Rams, who sort of have a bye as they face the powerless Texans. Are the Seahawks up to it?

Star linebacker Bobby Wagner has no doubts, and even finds a benefit to playing the Cardinals on a short week.

"Yeah, because you don't have to relearn a new offense, like you have seen this team a handful of times," Wagner said.

"We got a lot of film on them, so that's what helps us. They know us, we know them, and it's just who can remember what they did the fastest."

The Arizona roster Wagner and cohorts will face in truth isn't all that recognizable with Carson Palmer and David Johnson sidelined.

But newcomer Adrian Peterson has had two big games running the ball and will get all of Seattle's attention.

"I think this is a style of offense where he is excelling really well in because he is a very patient runner, and this is a patient kind of run game," Wagner said.

"It is just crunching and just waiting for someone to pop out of their gap. He does a good job of finding it, but I feel like we have been very disciplined when we played him, and we understand the problems that he kind of presents when we play him. If we stay gap sound, we should be fine."

Seattle (No. 10 in AP Pro32) is a 6-point choice at No. 23 Arizona.

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