Arizona Cardinals 6-3 @ Seattle Seahawks 6-3 (-3)
Man these Thursday night games are getting better and better. Do you remember trying to get psyched up for Broncos vs Jets? What about the Eagles against the Giants? I’ve felt like the league has fumbled the Thursday night matchups in years past. I know the schedule is made extremely early and it’s hard to tell which teams will be good, but time and time again we have some mediocre teams in prime time.
The NFC West on the other hand, has no mediocrity. It’s a three headed race with the fourth seed just needing a little bit of health. The Rams defense held one of the best offenses in check last week. The pass rush was just too much for Russ to handle. Meanwhile Arizona had quite possibly the play of the year when Deandre Hopkins high pointed the ball and used the best hands in the league to muscle that Hail Mary away from three defenders. Making up a crucial game on Seattle.
Just like in the NFC South, if the Cardinals can sweep the Seahawks, there should be no reason why they can’t win this division. This is a must win game for both teams. A home game in the playoffs is in the balance. Russel doesn’t take losing easy and especially one where he was out dueled. I expect an amazing game!
Arizona has to be feeling on top of the world. They know they stole a win against a quality opponent. Down 23-9, they went and scored on their next three possessions to make it a real game. We saw Drake come back and provide some much needed help on the ground. The 217 yards rushing as a team added some much needed balance, and allowed Kyler to be more efficient as a passer. Defenses are forced to put more guys in the box and allow the receivers to have more one on one coverage. We have all seen how that goes against Hopkins. Plus we are seeing Kirk really step into this role as the number two option. Arizona is second in pace of play, and that’s really tiring out the defense later in the game. We have seen them score 17 or more points just in the second half, in three of the last four games. One thing that really helped them the past couple weeks, was the fact that Kyler really never got sacked. There was a six game stretch where he went down once or zero times. Sunday however the bills got him for three. The main thing holding this team back, is the same thing holding back their opponent. The defense has given up 30 or more points in each of the last three weeks. Patrick Peterson has looked solid but he can’t do it all. I’m super pleased with the progress I’ve seen from this team. I truly believe that the future 2020 MVP will lead this team to a division title. But I don’t know how confident I am in them winning this week.
Seattle is coming in a little scrambled I would say. Lately we are seeing a more human side to Russel Wilson and thus, this team is losing. We have preached all year long that they will only go as far as Russ takes them because this defense is atrocious. I would of thought that with Jamal Adams coming back, we would of seen some sort of progression from the secondary but that unit can’t stop getting torched. Goff hasn’t looked great all year but 302 yards? Or what about when Josh Allen said hold my beer and balled out for 415 yards. At some point, the defensive coordinator has to realize that what he is doing, just isn’t working. Russel isn’t helping them out by throwing seven interceptions in the last four weeks. Now some may not be his fault, but not all are excusable. When everything is clicking and D.K. or Lockett are torching guys, this team is fun to watch. But they need this ground game to get going. Russel can’t keep leading the team in rushing. They rely on running the ball and letting those wide outs get open against single coverage. But when four guys rush and everyone else drops back, things become way more difficult for Wilson to work his magic. Thankfully Carson should be back this week and allow for a more well rounded team. Plus how can Wislon lose at home with the division on the line?
Seattle opened as a 5.5 point favorite but that line quickly dropped to -3, where I believe it will probably stay. Seattle is 1-4 ATS in their last five, while Arizona is 3-2. Arizona is also 3-1 on the road against the spread and undefeated when they are the underdog. But even though Seattle has been bad lately, on the year they are 3-1 at home ATS and undefeated at home. This is scripted to be a must see game, especially with what happened the last time these teams played each other. Ultimately I think Hopkins and the athleticism of Murray will be too much for the Seahawks to handle. Give me the Cardinals +3