The Seattle Seahawks will travel down to University of Phoenix Stadium to take on the Arizona Cardinals in an NFC West battle on Thursday night (8:25 p.m. ET on the NFL Network). As is the norm with Thursday games, expect to see crisp. precise, and error-free football from both squads. The Seahawks are coming off a 20-13 win over the Tennessee Titans, and the Cardinals and looking to bounce back from a 32-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
The game will be a reunion for Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer and Seattle coach Pete Carroll. Palmer won the Heisman when Carroll was his coach at USC, and the two haven’t faced one another since they each moved up to the NFL. My guess is that Palmer will be less focused on catching up with his old coach and more focused on dealing with Seattle’s nasty defense.
That Seattle defense is anchored by the loquacious Richard Sherman, who will have the tough task of dealing with Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald. In his 18 career games against Seattle, Fitzgerald has amassed 1,436 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. He’s been battling a hamstring injury, though, so Arizona’s other receivers will need to step up their production.
You probably already know all about Seattle’s dynamic backfield of Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, so let’s skip the praise for pair and get right to the numbers. The respective NFL rankings are in parentheses.
Seattle: 215.0 yards per game (24)
Arizona: 236.7 yards per game (18)
Seattle: 157.7 yards per game (2)
Arizona: 85.7 yards per game (24)
Seattle: 26.2 points per game (8)
Arizona: 18.5 points per game (25)
Seattle: 188.3 yards per game (2)
Arizona: 260.0 yards per game (19)
Seattle: 101.8 yards per game (11)
Arizona: 90.7 yards per game (5)
And for all those who want to wager some of your heard-earned money…
Line: Seattle (-7)
My Expert Prediction: Peering into my crystal ball, I have a hard time seeing the Cardinals pulling this one out. Yes, Seattle isn’t the same team on the road as they are at home, but their defense is just too good to be denied. Seattle wins 28-17