What an age we live in. The Seattle Seahawks (6-10) head into their first ever 17th game of the regular season, and they do so with little to play for other than pride when they take the field against the Arizona Cardinals (11-5) in Glendale. But even being technically eliminated from the playoffs following their loss to the similarly struggling Chicago Bears two weeks ago, these ‘Hawks aren’t giving up and would love to finish the season with a victory. While their avian opponents are in a significantly different position — having clinched a playoff berth no matter what happens — they still have a lot to play for, as the playoff implications may loom large for this one.
The Odds (courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
The Cardinals are favored at home by 6.5, nearly touchdown favorites over the Seattle Seahawks by nearly a touchdown. The over/under stands at 48 with an even line of -110. Both teams have tended towards the Under this season, although their first matchup was a real dud featuring Colt McCoy and a barely recognizable Russell Wilson. While both Wilson and Kyler Murray have struggled through injury and inconsistency this season, both looked back to form last weekend against the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys, respectively. I expect this matchup to feature a lot more offense and at least a few more points than the first meeting.
Regardless of the outcome, at least one NFC West team not named the Seattle Seahawks will be disappointed by the result, and with schadenfreude looking to be the sole motivator at this point, it is at least comforting to know that we can bank on that either way.
How the Seahawks can play spoiler in the NFC West race
The Cardinals need to win and the Los Angeles Rams to lose to the San Francisco 49ers to capture the NFC West for the first time since 2015. If the Seahawks beat or even tie Arizona (which has happened before!) then the Rams win the division by default.
Seattle is 7-3-1 on the road against the Cardinals under Pete Carroll, with two of those losses coming in overtime.
Noteworthy Injuries and Covid absences
- As mentioned above, both teams expect to have their QB1 in action this weekend, though Covid continues to be problematic for the Hawks, most recently landing Ryan Neal in protocols, which is of course unwelcome news heading into this game.
- Arizona just designated JJ Watt to return from Injured Reserve, though he is not expected to be back this weekend as is targeting being ready for the playoffs.
- Seattle defensive leader and tackle machine Bobby Wagner wants to go, but his status is very much up-in-the-air after suffering an ankle sprain early in last week’s game.