Oct 13, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington (38) rushes for a gain against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter at Candlestick Park. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 32-20. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
So far this year Thursday night football games have been some of the worse football all year, both teams come in on short weeks and usually a battle of who can overcome fatigue first will do away with other team pretty easily.
I don’t see that changing much in the game featured this Thursday for the Arizona Cardinals at home against the Seattle Seahawks, getting off to a fast start is critical for the winner in this game.
The Cardinals returned home and did not have a normal week this week in practice so far, in fact they really have not had any contact in practice at all, Coach Bruce Arians when asked about the short week in his press conference today said “It’s totally different, you don’t practice, you walk through”, having only a few walk trough’s could not be good for a team that needs all the full speed reps as possible. In the case of a short week it is the smart thing to do “their bodies cannot practice, after a game like that or any game” Arians added, referring to the tough physical nature of the 49ers game Sunday.
One key point that works in the Cardinals favor in this game is that the Seahawks do not have a dynamic athlete at tight end, where they have had trouble covering all year long, so that gives linebackers Karlos Dansby and Daryl Washington more free space to dominate covering the tight end position and help stop the run.
Earlier today there was word that Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch did not practice at all today due to an injury of sort in his previous game, but his availability is not certain for Thursday night’s game. Not sure if the Seahawks are playing dumb here to have an element of surprise or are they just saving Lynch for the game, I anticipate him being out there for sure on game night.
The run game will be the key to victory in this one without a doubt, the Seahawks come in as the number two defense against the pass, which does not look to good for the Cards who are struggling in that area coming in at number 26 in passing, put that together and it spells more of rookie Andre Ellington.
In short the team that gets off their running game the fastest and consistent will control the game and should wear out the other, the Cardinals have the pieces and the home field advantage to implement that game plan, if Coach Arians can dial back on the down field chunk plays and not use running backs that have not played much all season.