Hawks Look to Dominate
The Seattle Seahawks continue their march toward the Super Bowl Sunday when they host the Arizona Cardinals – a team that they handled in Week 7, but a team that has found another gear since.
The Cards have gone 6-1 in their last seven games to creep back into the NFC playoff picture. Arizona will need to win out to qualify for the postseason, meaning they must win at CenturyLink, where no visiting team has won since Dec. 24, 2011.
Last year, the Cardinals were sent packing from the Pacific Northwest to the tune of 58-0!
Arizona (9-5) at Seattle (12-2)
When: 4:05 PM ET, Sunday, December 22, 2013
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
Seahawks vs. Giants Betting Lines from Bovada.lv
Arizona Cardinals+10½ -110 +450 Ov 43½ -110
Seattle Seahawks -10½ -110 -565 Un 43½ -110
The Arizona Cardinals have graduated from an okay team to a good all-around squad. Defensively, the Cardinals have been a top-10 unit all season, and offensively this team has found its groove during a 6-1 stretch. Carson Palmer has a 106 passer rating over that span – among the tops in the NFL — and Larry Fitzgerald continues to be featured in the passing game. Names like Michael Floyd and Rob Housler continue to be key pieces in this emerging offense as well.
But if history has anything to do with it, you have to give the advantage to the Hawks. Palmer was sacked seven times and intercepted twice in the teams’ Week 7 matchup, and Seattle has allowed Fitzgerald to post just seven catches, 82 yards and zero touchdowns in the last three meetings combined – ouch! With Richard Sherman playing at the level he is, you have to think Fitz may struggle again Sunday.
The Cardinals’ defense has been solid all season long – quietly they have amassed top-10 numbers across the board. But this is a team that was torched by Seattle earlier this year, and it is coming off perhaps its worst effort of the season thus far, giving up 394 yards passing to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Tennessee Titans.
Seattle continues to roll – offensively and defensively this team is definitely the best in the NFL right now. At home they have been virtually untouchable – just ask the 49ers and the Saints; two of the better teams in the NFC that left Seattle with their tails between their legs!
At home, Russell Wilson has a 119.2 passer rating with 29 TDs compared to six interceptions. Marshawn Lynch brings his best, and the pass catchers Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and even Zach Miller seem to raise the level of their games.
Arizona brings the league’s best run defense to town with it. The team allows just 83.2 yards per game, but it is hard to imagine that deterring the Hawks from running the ball. Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson have combined to total nearly 1,600 yards this season. Lynch ran 21 times for 91 yards and a touchdown in the teams’ meeting.
Seattle’s defense has consistently been one of the best in the NFL this year — with the aid of the 12th man, they are even better.
Last time the Hawks played at home they held Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints absolutely in check. They held Brees to a historically low 147 yards passing! Walter Thurmond III returns from suspension, Richard Sherman has been the best cornerback in the game, Earl Thomas is on his way to yet another Pro Bowl and the defensive line continues to scare the life out of opposing offenses.
Seattle is insane on defense and at home they are almost impenetrable.
Dave B’s Free Betting Prediction:
A Few Trends To Consider:
• Under is 7-2 in ARI last 9 vs. NFC.
• Over is 7-2 in ARI last 9 games in Week 16.
• ARI are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 vs. NFC.
• SEA are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games in December.
• SEA are 16-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
• SEA are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 vs. NFC West.
• Over is 13-6 in the last 19 meetings.
The Seahawks have made even the best teams look bad on their home turf – expect much of the same Sunday. Arizona is a motivated bunch, but it is certainly banged up. As we all know, to defeat the Hawks, you have to be 100% healthy, and at your absolute best.
The Cards are far from that. Add Arizona to the list of teams humbled by the Seattle crowd and the best team in the NFL.