The line for this matchup between two similarly talented division rivals has been relatively steady to date following Week 10 and reflective of the highly competitive matchup the teams engaged in during their first meeting this season.
The Seahawks did originally open as 5.5-point favorites pre-Week 10. That number had come down a full two points by early in the week. Seattle opened as a 3.5-point favorite Monday before briefly tumbling to 3.0 points and then bumping back up to 3.5 later in the day. The Seahawks are currently () point favorites.
The Cardinals have plenty of players sporting questionable tags to begin the week. However, there are few, if any, significant expected absences for Thursday. Kenyan Drake is one of the walking wounded as he continues to nurse an ankle issue that recently cost him a Week 9 matchup against his old Dolphins squad. Nevertheless, he was able to successfully return Week 10 versus the Bills and garner 100 rushing yards on just 16 carries.
The Seahawks have a robust injury report themselves. Top running backs Chris Carson (foot) and Carlos Hyde (hamstring) are banged up. Carson is not expected to play Thursday, while Hyde will suit up. Meanwhile, Tyler Lockett emerged from a Week 10 loss to the Rams with a knee sprain that includes some swelling. Lockett is likely to play.
The total for this game is unsurprisingly the highest of the week. It’s been the subject of some movement as well, opening at 56.5 late Sunday before quickly climbing as high as 58.5 and then tapering down to 57.5 as of Tuesday afternoon. It is now at ().
- The Cardinals are 5-4 (55.6%) against the spread this season, including 3-1 (75.0%) as a road team and 2-0 in division games. Then, the Over is 3-6 (33.3%) in Arizona’s games this season, including 0-4 in its away games and 1-1 in its games against NFC West opponents.
- The Seahawks are 5-4 (55.6%) against the spread this season, including 3-1 (75.0%) as a home team and 1-2 (33.3%) in division games. Then, the Over is 6-3 (66.7%) in Seattle’s games this season, including 3-1-1 (75.0%) in its home games and 2-1 (66.7%) in its games against division opponents.
CARDINALS VS. SEAHAWKS GAME MATCHUP
The fact this game comes on a short week later into the season could temper scoring expectations somewhat. Yet, the combination of the talent on each offense and some deficiencies for each club on defense could certainly still lead to an abundance of points.
The Cardinals offense is arguably more set up for success than that of the Seahawks. The matchup of Arizona’s passing game against Seattle’s porous secondary is the most favorable statistically of any between units within this game. Even the run-heavy Rams rang up a 300-yard passing effort on the Seahawks in Week 10. The ‘Hawks are now allowing an NFL-high 353.3 passing yards per game, 7.9 yards per attempt and an NFC-high 69.7% completion rate. Then, Seattle is also ranked in the bottom 10 in the NFL in yards per drive (40.38) and points per drive (2.62) allowed.
One of the reasons the Seahawks have faced an NFL-high 403 pass attempts – which even puts them ahead of six teams that have yet to take their bye and have therefore played 10 games – is that they’ve actually been one of the best squads against the run. That could spell rough sledding for Drake, who was already limited to 34 yards and 2.4 yards per carry in the first meeting. Seattle is giving up the fourth-fewest rushing yards per game (95.0), the ninth-fewest adjusted line yards per carry (3.98) and seventh-fewest RB yards per carry (3.69). Defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.’s unit is also ranked in the top 10 in second-level yards (1.06) and open-field yards (0.45) allowed per rush.
Russell Wilson, who’s uncharacteristically tossed a combined seven interceptions in three of his past four games, racked up 388 yards and three touchdowns against Arizona back in Week 7. Three of those aforementioned seven picks were also recorded by the Cardinals. They’re allowing a respectable 232.0 passing yards per game, plus an elite 5.9 yards per attempt and 61.8 percent completion rate, on the road. If Lockett is indeed slowed by his knee issue Thursday, it could be another thorny matchup for Wilson, who completed a season-low 59.5% of his throws versus the Rams on Sunday.
The going on the ground should be easier. Arizona is allowing 127.8 rushing yards per road game, along with 4.2 RB yards per carry overall. The Cards are also ranked in the bottom 10 of the NFL with 1.39 second-level yards per rush surrendered. The only question is which combination of backs the Seahawks will be able to field to try and exploit the potentially advantageous scenario. Alex Collins appeared to take the reins of the backfield in Week 10 with 11 carries for 43 yards and a touchdown. He reverted back to the practice squad Monday but could find himself right back on the active roster if Carson and/or Hyde remain sidelined on the short week.