Cards to play starters in finale
TEMPE, Ariz. -- In a perfect world, playoff-bound Arizona would rest its starters in the meaningless regular-season finale against Seattle on Sunday.
At the moment, Whisenhunt is more concerned about his team than its potential playoff opponent. That's why Sunday's game against the Seahawks has taken on added significance."I think what we've learned from this team is that we need to stay sharp and play well," Whisenhunt said. "So that's what our focus is this week, because we haven't played well the last two weeks because our focus hasn't been where it's needed to be. So in order to get ready for the playoffs, it's important that we play better." Still, Whisenhunt doesn't plan to push it with players nursing injuries. The most notable is receiver Anquan Boldin, who missed the New England game with a shoulder injury and has sat out the last three days of practice. He's listed as questionable. Boldin has 11 touchdown catches, tied with Randy Moss for most among NFL receivers, but he hasn't scored in his last three games. Whisenhunt said he'd like Boldin to play Sunday, even if it's only briefly. "We'll see Sunday," Whisenhunt said. "He's gotten a lot better. We'll work him out and see." Running back J.J. Arrington (knee) and safety Adrian Wilson (toe) are also questionable. Defensive end Travis LaBoy (ankle) and safety Matt Ware (calf) are doubtful. A victory Sunday would give the Cardinals a 9-7 record for only the second time since they moved to Arizona in 1998. They would also finish 6-0 against the NFC West, their first perfect division record. But those encouraging numbers tell only part of the story. The Cardinals are 3-7 outside the woeful NFC West, with their last non-division victory coming Oct. 12 against Dallas, a possible playoff foe. The Cardinals have been outscored 405-393 on the season. The only other teams that have conceded more than 400 points are Detroit (0-15), Kansas City (2-13) and St. Louis (2-13). And Arizona is averaging 71.1 rushing yards per game, last in the NFL. Whisenhunt said he was "embarrassed" by his team's rushing production "because we feel like we're a better team than that." With Kurt Warner throwing to fellow Pro Bowl starters Larry Fitzgerald and Boldin, the Cardinals will live or die in the air. But Whisenhunt would like to see the Cardinals' running game gain a little traction heading into the postseason. "It'd be nice to get into a game where we could have a chance to run it in the fourth quarter, or in the second half, where we're not having to play from behind like we have the last two weeks, even though we weren't making much ground doing that," Whisenhunt said. "That's why I think it's important that we play better this week."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press