Five keys to victory for Cardinals in season opener

Arizona Sports News online

The 2012 NFL regular season is officially underway, and on Sunday, the Cardinals will get a chance to christen their season with a win over the Seattle Seahawks.

Pete Carroll has had quite a bit of success against the Cardinals since becoming head coach in Seattle. Carroll is 3-1 so far against Arizona.

Here’s my five keys to victory for the Cardinals:

1. The offense has to push back on Seattle’s defense, because that defense will be out to cause problems.

John Skelton needs to take command of the offense and guide them up and down the field and in the end zone as much as possible.

2. The offensive line will have to do their job in order to keep Chris Clemons away from Skelton. Clemons had 11 sacks last year…the line can’t let him and Red Bryant come off the edges and disrupt their offense.

3. The running game, which was so strong during the preseason, will have to be even stronger on Sunday.

Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams will have to find seams, holes and ways to get outside and keep the offense in scoring range.

That tandem, along with LaRod Stephens-Howling and William Powell, will have to crack a defensive line that gave up less than four yards a carry last season.

4. The Cardinals face yet another rookie quarterback in Russell Wilson, who’s looked very sharp in preseason mode.

The front seven, especially Calais Campbell with his 6’8″ frame, need to keep Wilson’s eyes focused on the lights above and not on his running backs and receivers.

Any time Wilson’s rushing to make something happen, instead of working at ease, is a sure advantage for the Cardinals.

5. Keep your mistakes to a minimum.

The team has worked very hard to get to this very moment. Each and every player needs to keep their mind right, and be accountable to the men around them.

Be aggressive at the point of attack, win the time of possession and field position battles and play smart football and it’s very possible to come away 1-0 in this game.

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