The Seattle Seahawks host the Arizona Cardinals tonight to determine first place in the National Football League’s toughest division, the NFC West. Three teams are currently bunched at the top of the standings in this division with 6 and 3 won/loss records. In addition to the Seahawks and Cardinals, the Los Angeles Rams, who beat the Seahawks last week, also have six wins in nine decisions. They play their tenth game of the season on Monday night against the Buccaneers in Tampa.
The Cardinals come into tonight’s game at Seattle with an edge over the home team, having beaten them four weeks ago in another primetime matchup. In that game, the Seahawks entered the fray with five straight wins and their bye week to prepare for the showdown with the Cardinals in the desert.
At the time, some were wondering out loud how the Seahawks could have a perfect record while their defense, particularly against the pass, was among the worst in the league?
Isn’t defense the key to winning?
It is, until you have Russell Wilson running your offense. Then, the key seems to be him.
It looked that way for most of the night when these two teams met on October 25th, as the Seahawks offense stayed ahead of the Cardinals attack guided by second-year quarterback Kyler Murray. The competitive game was forced into overtime with each team tallying 34 points. While those 68 points were being scored, the Seahawks never trailed.
Then, late in the overtime period, the Cardinals forced a turnover and converted a winning field goal.
Tonight, the Seahawks host the team that beat them a month ago with first place on the line … in other words, the more experienced team at winning is at home needing a victory to not fall to third place in their division race.
This time, the Seahawks are not coming into action bloated by five straight wins, but rather looking to reverse field on a pair of consecutive losses. As surprised as some might have been that Seattle won five straight games to open the season, they should be equally questioning how this team could lose three straight?
According to my numbers, they can’t.
The Cardinals had all the motivational edges in the first meeting between these two teams which included being two back in the standings coming into that contest, getting points at home on the spread, and playing a Seattle team riding a win streak that had met its logical conclusion.
The Cardinals required all those edges to eke out a narrow win on their home field.
Tonight, the edges are again with the home team, but this time the team at home is Seattle. They come into this game needing a win in their division race to not fall two back in the tiebreaker category for straight up wins against the Cardinals. They also are not blown up by recent positive results, but motivated to reverse field on back-to-back losses on the road against a pair of talented opponents, the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams.
Four weeks ago, the Seahawks were favored by 3½ points in a tough spot to succeed in Arizona. Tonight, they are in an ideal spot to succeed with the Cardinals coming off their dramatic Hail Mary win over the Bills and getting less points on the line than they got at home last month, the current line on this game has the Seahawks favored by three points.
The Cardinals are also on the road with a short work week off that emotional win.
This isn’t tough.
This is obvious.
Qoxhi Picks: Seattle Seahawks (-3) over Arizona Cardinals