Seattle Seahawks (4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS) vs. Arizona Cardinals (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS)
Week 7 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday Night Football, October 23, 2016 at 8:30PM EST
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, California
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: SEA +2/ARI -2
Over/Under Total: 43.5
In a big NFC showdown, the Seattle Seahawks come down south to face the Arizona Cardinals. The Seahawks are on the right track this season with a 4-1 mark, as they came off the bye to notch a win in a tough one against the Falcons at home, 26-24. They look to make it 5-1 this week against an Arizona Cardinals team that got to .500 on MNF with a dominant 28-3 win over the New York Jets. The win gets them even, as they now look to get back to the business of being contenders.
Seattle has now won three in a row since a strange week two 9-3 road loss to the Rams. This last one was the toughest. Seattle dominated the first half, as the run-game was doing well, as Christine Michael and Alex Collins each ran in TD runs, with Collins getting his first NFL touchdown. The defense was all over Matt Ryan, with three sacks in the half and numerous hits. They took a 17-3 lead into the locker room and all looked peachy. But a 21-point third quarter that saw Matt Ryan throw for 230 yards and 3 TDs put the game in jeopardy, with the Falcons ahead, 24-17. Steven Hauschka missed a short FG early in the 4th quarter, before the Seahawks drove and scored on another Michael TD run. Hauschka then had his extra point attempt. Seattle's defense bailed them out as a Matt Ryan pass was deflected and picked off. The Seattle drive stalled and Hauschka booted a 46-yarder with less than two minutes left. The defense held off the late Falcons attempt and it was a wrap in a most satisfying victory.
Offensively, Seattle has been seeing some improvement with Christine Michael, as he ran for two scores on Sunday. With Russell Wilson seeing his knee getting better and better, we might see him start to chip in soon with some more meaningful work on the ground. The passing-game has benefitted from TE Jimmy Graham beginning to relocate the form he had with the Saints. He's become a real weapon in the last several games. With Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, and others pitching in, this side of the ball has come around in their last three games with 90 combined points, as compared to the paltry 15 points scored in their first two games.
The Seattle defense has some rocky moments against the Falcons on Sunday, keeping in mind the Atlanta offense entered the game as the top-ranked unit in the league. Seattle's defense looked in vintage form in the first half. The third quarter had the Seattle defense hanging on, with Richard Sherman losing his mind on the sidelines. This defense now faces a tough back-to-back road scenario where they might be tested. On Sunday, they were without Kam Chancellor and end Frank Clark. Another end, Michael Bennett, hyper-extended his knee. We will see how these guys are closer to game time.
Seattle might have the shorter week, but the Atlanta win was a taxing one. Look for them to enter this matchup with some steam. They split their first two division games against the Rams and 49ers and look to get a leg up here against the Cardinals, who still have some atoning to do after a ragged start. Still, the Seahawks were able The last time these teams played, the Cardinals phoned it in on week 17 with their playoff position already secured. Still, with a 36-6 win, a lot of the pieces on this Seattle team had big games, including Wilson, Michael, and the Legion of Boom.
At 2-3 heading into MNF against the Jets, the Cardinals really needed a positive development and they got it with a big win over the Jets. Carson Palmer was back behind center after missing some time with a concussion. And looking at Palmer's record as a starter with Arizona, his presence clearly enhances the prospects of this team. And the defense, with 3 mere points allowed, was also in fine form. Based on that performance, the Cardinals are again a team to watch despite an uneven start.
The defense is key for the Cardinals and the offense helps set the table. The line, with Calais Campbell, and Chandler Jones help stuff the run, while rushing the passer. Kevin Minter and Deone Bucannon help solidify the middle, while DBs like Marcus Cooper, DJ Swearinger, Tyrann Mathieu, and Tony Jefferson fortify the pass defense. It's a group that should get better after an uneven start.
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On MNF, the offense got a big boost from the return of Palmer. With the threat that Palmer can get the ball down the field, it opens up the rest of the offense. The growth of David Johnson as the main back in the offense has been startling. Against the Jets, he ran for 111 yards and three touchdowns and has been on a roll lately. And the aerial attack, with Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, John Brown, and others gives this offense a balanced feel, though they still haven't really seemed to hit their stride as of yet.
Seattle is coming off the tougher game and is on the road, though Arizona had the short week. It will be interesting to see how the Arizona offense can perform against this Seattle "D." You just can't depend on Johnson having another banner day against this group. Then again, with an Arizona defense coming into its own, we can't assume the Seahawks will thrive. I see a low-scoring affair. I'm taking under.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting under 43.5 in the Seahawks vs. Cardinals. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting the Seattle vs. Arizona game at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!