Welcome to NFL football! The regular season for the Arizona Cardinals starts today against division-rival Seattle Seahawks. It will be the first NFL start for Hawks quarterback Russell Wilson from Wisconsin. He beat out Matt Flynn in the preseason. The Cards have their own quarterback drama as third-year John Skelton beat out the incumbent starter Kevin Kolb for the job. Neither guy really impressed in the preseason. Skelton almost won by default and he is in a position if he fails, he may have a quick hook.
Amazingly as it sounds, Wilson probably will have a longer leash than Skelton will. The Cards have reached a point where they have a guy that should be performing like a third year guy and not a first year guy. However, Skelton was always considered a project coming out of Fordham. Then you have a guy in Kolb who definitely should have been performing like a veteran. Kolb should have rolled over Skelton this preseason. It didn’t happen, however he played well enough that if Skelton struggles, coach Ken Whisenhunt won’t hesitate to put Kolb in the game.
The Hawks really like Wilson, but I also see them at some point using Flynn. They are paying him a lot of money as the Cards are for Kolb. It’s not always about the money but at some point you have to see some return for that money. Keep an eye on the quarterbacks today most definitely.
As for everyone else, some interesting story lines exist for the Cards and Hawks. For the Cards, the running game. What is the health of Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams like? Wells made the injury report, again, for a hamstring this time. He is expected to see some carries though. Williams may see the greater balance this week. We’ll see. It’s always a waiting game you know.
For the Hawks, Marshawn Lynch has been hurt and questionable to play. Word yesterday was he was going to give it a go. Lynch had a terrific season last year in Seattle. He will be an important part of the offense and helping Wilson move the ball down the field.
This is most likely going to be another close contest. Both games last season between these two teams finished with three point victories, one for each team. They are that closely matched and it shouldn’t be any different today. I will take the Cards at home over the Hawks 27-24.