Darren Urban of azcardinals.com provides a closer look at Seattle's Week 16 opponent:
1. What can the Cardinals improve on in their final two games of the season after being mathematically eliminated from the postseason?
Urban: What can they improve on? Many things, which is why they have been eliminated in the first place. As was seen the first time these teams met, special teams have been an Achilles heel all season. Injuries have ripped up the offensive line, which has forced the Cards to do some different things in the passing game. They have been OK defensively up until last week, when Drew Brees had a field day. Against the Seahawks, they need to keep holding up on the line, and they need to find a way to make sure Russell Wilson doesn't get outside the pocket.
2. What is the biggest reason why the Cardinals took a step back in 2016?
Urban:You can point to a couple of things – if they are good on special teams alone, you can make the argument they would have turned three losses (and maybe five) plus a tie into wins – but ultimately I think it comes down to offense. Last season, they were so explosive and scored a ton of points. The offense has been hit and miss and still can get yards, but they have had a much more difficult time finding the end zone.
3. What roster changes do you think the Cardinals will make this offseason?
Urban:Too early to know for sure. The Cardinals have a boatload of free agents, some of whom will be offered a lot of money on the open market that they likely won't be retained even if the team wants them. Coach Bruce Arians and QB Carson Palmer have both said they will be back, but wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has not committed one way or the other. The roster could look a lot different next season.
4. How has David Johnson carried the production he had late in his rookie season to Year 2?
Urban:Well, all you have to do is look at the stat sheet. Johnson deserves to be in the MVP talk, even though he won't win. He's well over 1,000 yards rushing and has 800 yards receiving and 17 touchdowns. Any team would love to have their running back have such numbers. This is one of those career years – except it's only his second season and the Cards believe he has a career in front of him that could make him one of the best.
5. Finally, do you think Larry Fitzgerald will return for his 14th season?
Urban: It's a great question, one he isn't answering right now. My gut tells me, in the end, he'll come back one more time and fulfill the one-year contract extension he signed in training camp. I don't think he'll want his last season to be under .500. But I won't be shocked if he retires. This has been a hard year for him, because he was counting on the Cardinals being in the thick of things.