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CARDINALS (+6.5) over Seahawks

Thursday night’s matchup features two teams extremely familiar with one another. For the past few seasons the Cardinals and Seahawks have been the class of the NFC West. That has been less the case this season with the Rams being so good, but both remain in the hunt for a playoff spot. The Cardinals will trot out Drew Stanton at QB (Carson Palmer is out with a broken arm) which should be a huge advantage to Seattle. Only Seattle is missing their QB on defense, Earl Thomas who is doubtful for tonight.

The game plan for the Cardinals should be simple, run the ball down the Seahawks’ throat. This isn’t the same stonewall Seahawks from a few seasons ago. This year the defense is surrendering 4.3 yards per carry, good for 24th in the league. Last week Bruce Arians gave Adrian Peterson the ball 37 times and there is no reason he will not give AP’s fresh-ish legs more work.

On the Seahawks side, can we trust the offense to cover any spread larger than two? Russell Wilson has been fine. Everyone else? Not so much. The offensive line still stinks and the run game is nonexistent. Thomas Rawls will be the featured back but you could have LaDainian Tomlinson back there and it still wouldn’t matter. You can’t run if your line can’t block. Patrick Peterson will be tasked with corralling the elusive Doug Baldwin and if he is successful then the quest for points becomes a bigger mystery.

Wilson seems to be a magician in November (31-8 for his career) so I can see the Seahawks finessing a W. As for covering a touchdown spread? That’s where my confidence wavers. Err on the side of caution here if you happen to bet this game and take the points.

Prediction: Seahawks 20, Cardinals 17

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