Seahawks versus Cardinals: Our staff predicts another close Seattle win
By Lee Vowell
The Seahawks are 11-3 and two games away from the playoffs. Who will win when they play the Cardinals in week 16? Here are our best guesses.
The Seahawks are currently the number one seed in the NFC but they still need to win their last two games to have a chance of staying that way. Seattle has a bad habit lately of losing to the Cardinals at CenturyLink, having lost there in three of the last four seasons. Will Seattle beat Arizona this time? Here is what we think will happen.
Geoff Shull, contributor
Could Larry Fitzgerald be retiring? My guess would be no, I think the ageless wonder will come back for another year. However, you can guarantee yourself they will come out strong and play extra hard just in case he decides to hang up his cleats. Seattle will have a tough matchup with Al Wood suspended, Quandre Diggs and Jadeveon Clowney both doubtful to play. Shaquill Griffin, Bobby Wagner and Mychal Kendrick’s are also banged up. This creates a huge opportunity for Poona Ford, Bryan Mone and Cody Barton to get more snaps and show the world who they are. I think Seattle will win in a shoot out.
Prediction: Seahawks 37 Cardinals 34
Colby Patnode, contributor and host of the 12th man Rising podcast
The Seahawks are more banged up than ever. Half the defense was on the injury report and they’ll be short-handed against a Cardinals team that can move the ball. The offense is in better shape but will be without Josh Gordon and Duane Brown hasn’t practiced this week. The Seahawks will need Russell Wilson and Chris Carson to be great to survive this week and hopefully be a little healthier for their crucial matchup against the 49ers. I think that Wilson will do what he needs to do and the Seahawks walk out with a win, but I’m not all that confident.
Prediction: Seahawks 31 Cardinals 27
Blake Waldron, contributor
Despite their record, this is a very competitive Arizona team. With some major injuries and suspensions to the entire Seattle roster, they’re probably poised for more of a challenge then they would’ve anticipated a couple of weeks ago. The emergence of Kenyan Drake in recent weeks has opened up the offense for the Cardinals and will be a point of concern for the Seahawks with the loss of Al Woods and the potential to be without Clowney at kickoff. This will be a high scoring that will come down to the final minutes. While I believe that Arizona’s special teams led by Zane Gonzalez (kicking 90.3% on FG) can make the difference. I ultimately have to give the edge to Russell Wilson. This is Kyler Murray’s first game in Seattle and while I don’t expect him to struggle, I’ll trust Russ more in the final minutes. Seattle will squeak out a victory and move to 12-3 on the season.
Prediction: Seahawks 34 Cardinals 31
Todd Vandenberg, co-expert
I expect Chandler Jones to be a factor this time around for the Cardinals. He was shut out in the Seahawks first matchup, probably why it seemed everyone else got to Russell Wilson in that game (four sacks). Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray isn’t the wide-eyed rookie we saw in week four, either. The absence of both Jadeveon Clowney and Quandre Diggs won’t bother him one bit.
But the Seahawks still have Chris Carson, Tyler Lockett, Bobby Wagner, and of course, Russell Wilson. Wilson has made a habit of carving up the Cardinals, with 23 touchdowns against just five picks in his career. Arizona has allowed more TD passes than anyone this year and is among the worst at interceptions. I expect DangeRuss to go off in a big way.
Prediction: Seahawks 41 Cardinals 27
Lee Vowell, co-expert
Seattle seems to be “resting” a bunch of guys who if this were a playoff game might play. Duane Brown is out and likely Clowney and Diggs will be out too. In fact, the Seahawks defense might be missing Shaquill Griffin again and Mychal Kendricks. Al Woods was suspended for four games so will definitely not play. They face a better offense in the Cardinals than they did last week against the Panthers. Seattle missing so many players worries me and I don’t think Seattle can afford to take a chance on resting guys when next week even a healthy Seahawks team might have trouble against the 49ers.
Prediction: Cardinals 35 Seahawks 32