The Arizona Cardinals really couldn’t feel better after a Sunday if they tried to. After one of the most ridiculous catches in recent NFL history, the Cards knocked off the Buffalo Bills in epic fashion to take over possession of the NFC West and prove all the Kliff Kingsbury/Kyler Murray haters wrong. The Cards have come a long way in just two seasons from Josh Rosen and Steve Wilks to this new dynamic duo that has Arizona sports back on the map.
On Thursday, they’ll be taking on a team that they’ve already beat once this season and wants to be sitting where they are in the NFC West, the Seattle Seahawks. The Hawks were one of three undefeated teams left in the NFL before they were upset in overtime by the Cardinals on Sunday Night Football just a few weeks ago. Now, the Hawks come into their second matchup with the Cardinals on a two-game losing streak and with their once MVP frontrunner QB Russell Wilson on his worst stretch of the season.
This game is incredibly meaningful for both teams in their pursuit of the NFC West. If you aren’t familiar with how the playoff picture works in the NFL, the team with the best record wins the division, duh. But what happens if they both have the same record? At that point, they take the head-to-head record of the teams and whoevers is better, wins. If that record is also a tie then it goes to the divisional record of the teams. Basically, the Cards can claim the head-to-head record with a win while the Hawks could force a tie to go to the divisional record.
The biggest hoop that Arizona will have to jump through to win this game is playing on the road. The Seahawks are 10-2 straight up at home in their last 12 games. The one misleading part of this stat is that most of those 12 games were played with fans in attendance at CenturyLink, a stadium that was built to trap in sound and give the Hawks a legitimate home-field advantage. No fans will be rocking out as the 12th Man on Thursday and the Cardinals are catching a serious break because of it. Maybe playing at home will calm the nerves of Russell Wilson who has played two straight on the road.
Seattle Seahawks, Russell Wilson: This one seems obvious but Russ is the heart and soul of this Seattle team. When he plays well, they win. When he doesn’t, they lose. He threw three interceptions against the Cardinals in their first showdown this season and has turned the ball over six times in the last two weeks, he’s got to hold onto the pigskin.
Arizona Cardinals, Kenyan Drake: The Hawks pretty much silenced the Cardinals lead rusher last time out, he had 14 touches and rushed for just 34 yards. Thankfully Kyler Murray stepped up in a big way but they can’t expect the same thing to happen the second time around. Drake needs a big game and he needs to help out his QB.
The Hawks are 4 point favorites here, it seems high and I like the hot hand.
Cardinals 31 Seahawks 28
By: Matt Lively CruelFan.com