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first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The Arizona Cardinals fell 32-20 to the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday, and are hosting the NFC West-leading Seattle Seahawks Thursday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.The two teams split their season series in 2012, but the most recent matchup saw the Seahawks blow out Arizona 58-0 on Dec. 9, 2012, at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, the worst loss in Cardinals’ franchise history. The loss capped the Cards’ nine-game losing streak — one that came after beginning the season with four straight wins. Top Stories The 3-3 Cardinals look much different than last year’s squad, boasting a different starting quarterback, running back and head coach, among other positions. The 5-1 Seahawks appear even stronger than last year’s club that went 11-5 and made it to the NFC Divisional Playoffs.Keys for the Cardinals offense:1. Hold onto the ballIt’s no secret that quarterback Carson Palmer has had trouble with interceptions this season — 11 in six games. Palmer needs to play it carefully with his throws and keep them short most of the time. Going for the long ball may be too risky against Seattle.Also, the backs and the receivers need to hold on to the ball better this week. Larry Fitzgerald and Alfonso Smith both had costly fumbles against San Francisco. The result will be the same if the team can’t take care of the ball against the Seahawks.2. Exploit the Seahawks’ run defenseThe Seahawks defense is stellar overall, but their pass defense is practically impenetrable, giving up the fourth-fewest yards in the league thus far. Arizona has a chance to fare better this week if it commits to the running game. The Cardinals need to throw Seattle different looks in the backfield and utilize Rashard Mendenhall, Smith and rookie Andre Ellington as needed. Keys for Seattle’s defense1. Force Cardinals to passPalmer is prone to interceptions this season, and the Cardinals receivers other than Fitzgerald have been shaky. If Seattle can stunt Arizona’s run game, the Seahawks put themselves in good position to force turnovers and short drives.2. Bait Palmer into throwing deepPalmer will have a hard time throwing deep against Seattle, but cornerback Richard Sherman will tempt the Cardinals signal caller to do so, and Sherman is one of the best at making up ground and picking off passes in those situations. Palmer will likely know not to throw deep, but the defense will try to trick him into doing it a few times in the game.3. Cover for Chris Clemons’s absenceDefensive end Chris Clemons is listed as questionable for the game. Cliff Avril may have to start in his place. Clemons is one of the team’s top pass rushers, so if even if he sits, the line can’t afford for Cardinals to exploit his absence; it will need to keep the pressure on Palmer regardless. 3. Utilize the tight endsArizona’s defense has been atrocious against tight ends this season. The unit gave up an embarrassing number of yards (a career-high 180) to the San Francisco’s Vernon Davis last Sunday. Judging by that pattern, the Seahawks’ Luke Willson may be up next for a breakout game. The team also boasts Arizona State product Zach Miller, who looks to return after sitting out the past two weeks with a hamstring injury.Keys for the Cardinals defense1. Keep Russell Wilson in the pocketQuarterback Russell Wilson excels with making plays on the run, whether with his feet or with a pass. The Cardinals defense needs to focus on keeping him from getting free and burning them with a big play.2. If you can stop a Lynch, you can stop the ballThis one’s easier said than done, but the Cardinals need to keep Lynch in check. It’s a pretty straightforward goal. If they can slow down “Beast Mode” and make Wilson beat them from the pocket, they stand a much stronger chance in Thursday’s game.3. Shut down Seattle’s receiversWith Percy Harvin still on injured reserve, Seattle boasts no elite receivers, and the passing game isn’t the focal point of Pete Carroll’s offense. Jerraud Powers and Patrick Peterson should be ready to take away Wilson’s top receiving options. Another Peterson pick or two this game would go a long way, too. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments   Share   3. Get tight ends and Andre Roberts involvedWide receiver Andre Roberts has all but disappeared from the Cardinals passing attack since Week 1, and the team has yet to see a tight end have a big day. Now is the time to throw Seattle off its guard and bring Roberts back into the fold while also looking for Rob Housler and Jim Dray (if he plays) so the Seahawks’ defensive backs don’t double up on Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd.Keys for Seattle’s offense:1. Wear down the Cardinals defenseThe Cardinals’ usually promising defense showed signs of weakness in San Francisco due to being on the field too long. San Francisco sealed the game with an 18-play, 89-yard drive that melted 9:32 off the clock.Part of this will hinge on the Seahawks defense, but the team’s offense can do its part to wear out the Cardinals defensive unit but rushing the ball often and putting together long scoring drives.2. Keep feeding the ‘Beast’Running back Marshawn Lynch tore up the Cardinals last season and is off to a solid start this year. There is no reason for the Seahawks to go away from him on Thursday. The Cardinals have given up the eighth-fewest yards on defense this season, but the unit did allow its first 100-yard rusher (San Francisco’s Frank Gore) in its most recent game, and Lynch poses just as big of a threat. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

first_imgThe Enrollment Push Is On This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. During a Friday speech in California, President Barack Obama touted the health law’s benefits — highlighting the Golden State’s progress so far — in his effort to encourage young people and Latinos to sign up for coverage that will be available through new online insurance exchanges.The Wall Street Journal: Obama Pitches Health LawWith the launch of the 2010 health-care law’s main provisions approaching, Mr. Obama used a trip to California to make his pitch and urge the uninsured to sign up for coverage. The state, which has nearly six million uninsured people and is the largest insurance marketplace in the U.S., is considered critical to the success of the law (Nelson and Mathews, 6/7).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama Pleads For Californians, Latinos, Young People to Get Coverage Under New Health Care LawPresident Barack Obama on Friday encouraged the uninsured or those paying high prices for health insurance to sign up for coverage under his health care law and urged opponents to stop wasting time continuing to fighting its implementation. Obama used a trip to California to highlight how the state is implementing the Affordable Care Act and rebut continuing criticism over his signature legislative achievement. He touted an effort in the state to recruit Hispanics in particular to the health care exchanges that are being created to help millions of now-uninsured consumers afford coverage (6/7).Kaiser Health News: Obama: Health Law ‘Working The Way It’s Supposed To’ (Video)In California Friday, President Barack Obama praised the health law benefits already in place and talked about the state’s health insurance marketplace. He also placed a special emphasis on touting the law to the state’s Latino population (6/7). Reuters: President Obama Takes Health Pitch To California After Rate RowPresident Barack Obama insisted on Friday his healthcare overhaul is already proving worthwhile as he promoted the plan in California, where an argument is raging over whether it is living up to its name as the Affordable Care Act (Holland and Spetalnick, 6/7).CQ HealthBeat: Obama Launches High-Profile, High-Stakes Campaign To Sell Health LawMarking the opening round of what’s likely to be steel cage political combat over the impact of the health care law on insurance rates, President Barack Obama said on Friday in a speech in California that the overhaul is ushering in a new era of vigorous competition among plans in the state and elsewhere resulting in reliable, affordable coverage (Reichard, 6/7).The Hill: Obama: Health Law Is Working Despite GOP Critics ‘Fearmongering’President Obama touted his signature healthcare law Friday, dismissing Republican “fearmongering” and arguing that the law is working…Obama’s pitch for the healthcare law comes at a crucial time. The administration, along with state governments, is just months away from opening new insurance marketplaces and beginning to enroll millions of people in new coverage options (Baker, 6/7). The Fiscal Times: Insurance Premiums A Mixed Bag Under ObamacarePresident Obama on Friday touted California as a prime example of how his signature Affordable Care Act already is working, with state officials gearing up to provide an array of affordable health care policies and protections for the uninsured and defying the predictions of “doom and gloomers” of skyrocketing premium costs (Pianin, 6/7).Los Angeles Times: Bill Clinton Challenges California To Lead On Healthcare OverhaulFormer President Clinton challenged California to make the federal healthcare overhaul work to silence naysayers and win over states that are still on the fence. Clinton, addressing an audience of doctors and healthcare executives in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, said he remains optimistic about the rollout of the Affordable Care Act despite unease among the American public and persistent Republican opposition (Terhune, 6/7).last_img read more