Arizona Cardinals (9-1 SU, 5-5 ATS) at Seattle Seahawks (6-4 SU, 7-3 ATS)
NFL Week 12
Date and Time: November 23, 2014 4:05 p.m. EST.
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA.
by Wilson, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:Cards +7/SEA -7
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The Arizona Cardinals fly into the Pacific Northwest this weekend to be a part of the other Battle in Seattle not to be confused with the annual Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball game held in Seattle each year under the same title. Yes, it will definitely be a battle in Seattle but with an NFL backdrop. Seattle fans will be more than ready to get back to winning after the Seahawks suffered a loss at KC last week 24-20. Kansas Citys defense held up with the game on the line like they have so many times this season thus sending the Hawks away from Arrowhead Stadium with a loss and a now three games behind their next opponentthe Arizona Cardinals. The trend for Seattle at the Link is usually a home win, but the Cards bring in a top ranked defense and a team that boasts the NFLs best record at 9-1. Its the best start for a Cardinals team since 1948.
To be candid, the Seahawks are simply not the same team they were last season. They have personnel changes and injuries which have seriously impacted their performances and their chances, really, at this point to even make the playoffs. Russell Wilson had a typical, in fact, better than usual day versus KC. Wilson was 20 of 32 for 178 yards and 2 TDs. He was sacked twice by KCs D. KC also continued their season streak thus far by not allowing a rushing touchdown. Seattle knocked on the door but never rushed for a TD but rather scored through the air. Doug Baldwin and Jerome Kearse have become Wilsons top targets along with TE Luke Wilson who pulls in occasional key first down passes. Seattles running game remains the best in the NFL but will they have what it takes to over-power Arizonas stellar defensive line and rush stopping D? Hawks RB Marshawn Lynch carried the pigskin 24 times for 124 yards but no TDs. Even so, Lynch is a force, a beast to heart to stop and the Cards will be tested ultimately at CenturyLink Field this weekend.
For the Cardinals, its all about flexin on the road! They are 3rd in rush defense which is bad news for Seattle especially with the injury to Max Unger last weekend. Without Unger the Hawks might well be finished for the season! Unger is the key driving force for the Seattle running game to take shape. The Hawks failed to convert 3 times in a row on 4th down in the final 7 minutes of the game. This will no doubt hurt the Hawks approach versus the Cards this weekend. Arizona enters this game currently ranked 30th in rushing offense but without Unger those numbers will jump up considerably. Arizona is ranked 11th in passing offense which will challenge a banged up secondary albeit a good one.
Arizona hasnt missed a beat since losing starting QB Carson Palmer. Cards backup QB Drew Stanton threw 2 INTs in last weekends 14-6 win against the Detroit Lions but it was his 2 TD passes to Lions WR Michael Floyd in the first quarter that made all the difference. Stanton and Floyd hooked for a 42 yard TD strike and another for 12 yards. Then the Arizona defense locked down and kept Detroits offense in check. The Cards D only allowed to FGs.
Both the Seahawks and the Cardinals have a lot on the line but there is more urgency for Seattle to get back to winning games if they want a shot at the playoffs. Seattle has to play Arizona twice, San Francisco twice, Philadelphia, and St. Louis to finish out the regular seasonnot an easy task! Seattle opened early at -7 with a total of 42. This game will be Seattles rush versus Arizonas pass attack with a sprinkling of special teams. Last week Seattles game went over (43.5) against a similarly tough KC squad if the total remains 42 I like the over. To be honest, Seattle and the 12th man have earned the -7 at home but Arizona will be tough and likely cover that if not win this game in SeattleArizona is that good.
Injuries have hurt the Hawks all year and as the second half of the season moves on the Hawks are feeling the pressure. Take the Cards plus the points all day long! Luck to ya.