Two teams scrambling to elevate their status in the NFC West standings will tangle in the desert Thursday night when Seattle faces Arizona. Considering that the division-leading LA Rams are 12-point favorites Sunday against Houston, the Cardinals and Seahawks have little room for error as the season advances past the halfway point.
Of particular interest is a quote last week from Richie Incognito, Buffalo's potty-mouthed offensive lineman, who grumbled after last Thursday night's game that it is extremely unfair to ask players to play on such short rest after a Sunday outing. Especially old guys like him.
With that in mind, let's see how that plays out for the Cardinals, who have the oldest starting lineup in the league – even with greybeard QB Carson Palmer on IR (arm).
Now for a closer look at Thursday's game. The odds are provided by Westgate Las Vegas.
Seattle Seahawks (5-3) at Arizona Cardinals (4-4)
Time: 5:25 p.m. PST
Line: Seahawks by 6 (41)
Facts: The Cardinals are 2-1-1 vs. the Seahawks the past two seasons, including a 6-6 tie last year in Arizona, the lowest-scoring OT game in NFL annals... Cards QB Drew Stanton, who replaced Palmer, last faced Seattle in the season finale in 2015. He had abysmal 19.0 passer rating in a 36-6 loss... The Seahawks' ballyhooed defense has seen foes score TDs on 22 of their past 23 first-and-goal possessions dating to Week 10 of last year. The only miss was when Atlanta took a knee to seal its playoff win... Arizona's four wins have come against the 0-9 49ers (twice), 2-6 Bucs and 3-6 Colts... Adrian Peterson rushed for 159 yards on a career-high 37 carries in last week's 20-10 win at San Fran. The Cards, though, say they don't intend to reduce his workload.
Analysis: The QB battle should be won by the Seahawks' Russell Wilson easily, which gives Seattle a mighty edge. It's just a question if he has to be the team's leading rusher for the third game in a row. The Seahawks are coming off a somewhat stunning home loss to the injury-ravaged Redskins, 17-14, but outgained their visitors by 193 yards and got six sacks. What killed their chances were three FG misses by Blair Walsh, who was 12-for-13 the first eight weeks. And, of course, there's Arizona's geezers having to operate on minimal rest. Especially Peterson. As long as Seattle doesn't get extra silly with penalties, such as its NFL-high 16 last week, things should be fine.
Forecast: Seahawks 24, Cardinals 10