Seattle Seahawks (-8) at Arizona Cardinals
It absolutely had to come down to this.
Weeks ago — largely set into motion due to the injury to Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer — the shift began atop the NFC West. Arizona, leading the division by three games with six to play, started to topple. Seattle, attempting to regain its dominance shown throughout last season, began its ascent within the division. In a perfect confluence of events, the two teams meet with the NFC West lead on the line.
Unfortunately, for those of us who crave drama, Carson Palmer’s injury takes a little life out of this game. Worse, backup quarterback Drew Stanton will also miss be unavailable with an injury. Arizona, therefore, has to turn to Ryan Lindley, owner of ten pass attempts all season. Can anyone else hear the Seahawks’ top-rated pass defense drooling?
Seattle is, indeed, a full touchdown better than the Cardinals without Carson Palmer — sixteen points better at home, if Week 12’s win was any indication — but are we falling victim to the bias that Ryan Lindley is the biggest catalyst for this? Perhaps. But the more likely explanation is that Seattle has been building towards this moment for weeks. They understand what it takes to win in January, and this is their first official step towards a title defense, as winning the NFC West gives them an undeniable home field advantage.
Furthermore, if the Cardinals need pour on points to keep up, the Seahawks’ defense has proven it will rise to the occasion.
Seattle wins by two touchdowns and covers.
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