Arizona Cardinals Slightly Favored in Sunday’s Game
By Erich Becker
The team takes on their rivals in Seattle with a healthy QB in tow
What most fail to realize when they determine that the Cardinals are destined to come up short in Seattle this weekend is that, in both losses last year, the team fielded Drew Stanton (serviceable) and Ryan Lindley (meh) as starting quarterbacks, rather than a healthy starter in Carson Palmer. Now, Palmer, one of the top five statistical QBs in the league this year, and on the second highest scoring team comes into the game having won his last match-up against the Seahawks.
But what do the rest of the experts say when you ask who will win the game this weekend. It’s a mixed bag for the Cardinals. Past events lend to the belief that the team will stumble, not just the game’s leading up to the bye, although winning a four turnover game is exactly what the Cardinals did last time they went up to Seattle with Palmer, but the Seahawks ability to dominate the second half of the season is also on display.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com gets us started this week, picking Seattle to win by a point over Arizona 22-21:
"If Seattle is to have hopes of winning a third straight NFC West crown, this one qualifies as a must-win, as a Cardinals victory would put Arizona up three games with a head-to-head advantage and only seven games to play. Hashtag relevant."
FOXSports.com’s panel of six has two picking Arizona, four picking Seattle. Maybe because they are the home team?
Over at FOXSports rival CBSSports, in straight up picks five out of eight pick the Arizona Cardinals to win the game. At the same site, Pete Prisco has the Cardinals winning by one:
"This is an enormous game for both teams for different reasons. The Cardinals need to show they are the real deal in the division, while the Seahawks need it to have a chance to win the division. I can’t wait to see the Cardinals offense against the Seattle defense. If Arizona goes up there and attacks, they will win. I think they do."
At ESPN, Josh Weinfuss has the Cardinals taking home the W:
"Between Seattle’s penchant for losing when opposing quarterbacks throw for 200 or more yards (1-4) or when running backs eclipse 100 yards (1-3), expect Arizona to pound the ball early and often to open up the passing game. The Cardinals will establish control early and hold on to it when the passing game takes hold. Cardinals 24, Seattle 17."
It is certainly going to be a big, interesting matchup, in primetime, for a national audience. I for one, can’t wait.
I wouldn’t pick any other way in this game, the Cardinals offense, even slowed, is still a force to be reckoned with. With a dual (or tri-) headed rushing attack, wide receivers and tight ends who can pound the ball. Look for the Cardinals to try and run up the score as high as the scoreboard can hold. On the defensive side of the ball, Russell Wilson is on pace to be sacked 60 times this season, Calais Campbell and company would love to have a big game. – Arizona 24, Seattle 14.