A prime-time matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals might have been interesting three weeks ago, when a healthy Carson Palmer was starting behind center for the Cardinals. Now, it’s a lopsided game featuring backup quarterback Drew Stanton going head-to-head with a ferocious Seahawk defense.
Sure, the Seahawks haven’t looked as sharp defensively, but there is too much talent on that side of the ball to underestimate their potential to take over a game. These aren’t the San Francisco 49ers the Cardinals nonchalantly breezed by last Sunday. Stanton will feel the full force of heat in the pocket from Michael Bennett and Frank Clark, while matching wits with a Richard Sherman-led secondary.
As for the Seahawks, they will try to bounce back from a disappointing loss at home to the Washington Redskins. The defense did its part in holding the Redskins to only 17 points. The Seahawks also held quarterback Kirk Cousins to 247 passing yards and zero touchdowns, while limiting the Redskins’ running backs to only 51 yards.
There is no excuse for the offense to fail to take advantage in case of a repeat performance on Thursday night. However, the thinking here is that the Cardinals might make this game more interesting than expected.
Here are three bold predictions for Thursday night’s game.
“All Day” will turn back the clock on the Seahawks’ defense (100 rushing yards)
Fee-fi-fo-fum, where did last week’s version of Adrian Peterson come from?
The Cardinals’ running back turned on the jet burners like it was 2012 against a clearly overmatched 49er defense. While the Seahawks are much better defensively, they have struggled this season in defending the run.
If the Cardinals continue to offer Peterson the buffet in carries—37 for 159 yards against the 49ers—he will continue to blow up the stat sheet. The future Hall of Famer should have the Seahawks’ defense on skates with high-volume usage.
Cardinals will score at least 20 points on a Seahawks defense ranking No. 6 in points allowed
The Seahawks should come away with the win in this game, but don’t sleep on the chances for the Cardinals’ offense to make a little noise. Stanton is a backup for a reason, but he isn’t a terrible quarterback.
He was able to earn confidence after a fairly solid game against the 49ers. Look for him to build on that performance at home against the Seahawks. The game might start out slowly, but this won’t be the low-scoring contest some expect.
Stanton and the Cardinals’ offense will find ways to move the ball on the Seahawks’ defense, even if most of the drives end in field goals.
Four-touchdown performance from Russell Wilson
This feels like the perfect rebound game for quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense. They will take full advantage of the prime-time matchup to remind the rest of the NFL why they are still legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
Another loss would put them in third place behind the Los Angeles Rams and Cardinals in the NFC West. That’s a spot no one would have ever expected them to be in at the start of the season. Expect Wilson to jump-start the offense by airing the ball out for 300-plus yards and four touchdown passes.