Seattle (4-1) at Arizona (3-3)
When: Sunday, October 23rd 2016
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: NBC
The Seattle Seahawks look to stay in first-place in the NFC West when they visit the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night. Seattle has reeled off three-straight wins since a 9-3 loss at Los Angeles in Week 2 and will look to beat the Cardinals for the fourth straight time in Arizona. Seattle’s defense allowed Atlanta to score three touchdowns in an 11-minute span last week, but the Seahawks came back for a 26-24 victory. Despite last week’s third quarter defense lapse, Seattle owns the No. 1 ranked defense (283.6) and are 4th in points allowed (15.6). DE Cliff Avril has four sacks and a forced fumble in the last four games versus Arizona. Quarterback Russell Wilson, who has a passer rating of at least 121.9 in three of the last four meetings with the Cardinals, guided Seattle to a 36-6 rout at Arizona in the regular-season finale in January. Tight end Jimmy Graham continues to be the top target for Wilson with six catches in each of the last three games for a combined 302 yards.
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Arizona got off to a rough 1-3 start to the season, but moved back to the .500 mark with a dominant victory over the New York Jets on Monday night and still trail division-leading Seattle by 1.5 games. Quarterback Carson Palmer, who missed the San Francisco game two weeks ago with a concussion, is now dealing with a hamstring injury and sat out Thursday’s practice. Palmer threw for 213 yards and a TD against the Jets, but it was the running game that took over the offense and may need to do it again if Drew Stanton has to be under center. Stanton threw for 124 yards on 11-of-28 passing in place of Palmer in a Week 5 win at San Francisco. David Johnson has rushed for 268 yards and five touchdowns over the past two games, giving him a league-best eight scores on the ground. Johnson is the first player in franchise history with at least 100 yards from scrimmage in the season’s first six games. Arizona’s defense is tied for fourth in the league (295.0 yards allowed) and tied for third in sacks (19).
Both teams are starting to play like they should and will battle for the division all season long. Palmer will probably get the start, but rely on the running game like they have been lately. Seattle can stop the run and have had recent success in Arizona. Wilson seems to getting healthier and I expect Seattle to pull out the victory here tonight.
Pick: Seahawks +1.5