The Arizona Cardinals are back on the road in this week’s marquee matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Sunday night could mark a key turning point in the NFC West as Arizona (6-2) currently holds a two-game lead in the division over Seattle (4-4).
Similar to last season, the Cardinals have a commanding hold on the division race but the Seahawks still control their own destiny with two games remaining against Arizona.
Offensively, QB Carson Palmer and company will need to navigate through a historically tough Seattle secondary. The Cardinals enter Sunday’s tilt averaging 293 yards per game through the air while the Seahawks’ pass defense allows only 186 yards per contest.
Something will have to give as these are two areas in which both teams excel in.
The trio of Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown at wide receiver has been lethal this season and it appears that Brown will return to action this week after being held out of Arizona’s last game prior to a bye last week.
Look for the Cardinals to find whoever lines up opposite of CB Richard Sherman and try to exploit that matchup early and often.
On defense, Arizona’s success will depend on whether it can contain QB Russell Wilson and keep him in the pocket. Wilson is notorious for extending plays with his feet and has burned the Cardinals on more than one occasion thus far during his short career.
In two games against Arizona last season, Wilson compiled a QB Rating of over 120 in each outing and ran for over 70 yards in both games.
As mentioned above, Sunday night’s game will likely spark a turning point within the NFC West division. Unfortunately for Arizona, we don’t think that turning point will be in the Cardinals’ favor. With a win, Seattle will re-establish itself as a contender not only in the division but in the entire NFC.
Look for the Seahawks to feed of the 12th man while pulling out a crucial home victory in what’s truly a must-win situation.
Prediction: Seattle 27 Arizona 17