Moore Predicts: In entertaining thriller, Seahawks will top Cardinals in OT
The Seahawks are something they’ve never been before – unbeaten after five games. And I’m not unbeaten but “smokin’” nonetheless at 4-1 straight up and 4-1 against the spread in predicting the outcomes of Seahawks games.
The only miss occurred three weeks ago when I took Miami in an upset and was terribly misguided with that selection, thinking the weather and Human Nature would tilt the odds in the Dolphins’ favor.
In their next game, the Seahawks are favored by three points over the Cardinals, and they’ll have an added advantage that they didn’t have earlier this week – the game replaces the Tampa Bay-Las Vegas game on Sunday Night Football because of COVID-19 concerns with the Raiders. It’s an added advantage because Pete Carroll is 30-7-1 in primetime games since he became Seahawks head coach in 2010.
I’m also saying an added advantage because there are others – the Seahawks have not lost in Glendale, Ariz., since 2012 in Wilson’s first NFL game. It’s a weird series. For all of the home-field struggles the Cardinals have had against the Seahawks, they’ve won five of the past seven games at CenturyLink Field.
Plus, I like that the Seahawks are coming off a bye week since Carroll’s team has won six of its last seven games after a bye by an average of 13 points. And Arizona is coming off of a short week after playing Monday night in Dallas.
But if you saw that Monday night game you know that this isn’t an ordinary Cardinals team anymore. They’re 4-2 and can move within a half-game of the NFC West-leading Seahawks if they win Sunday night.
The Seahawks can’t stop anyone and don’t figure to put the clamps on Kyler Murray, Kenyan Drake and DeAndre Hopkins, especially if Jamal Adams misses his third-straight game. Arizona is fifth in total offense, and Seattle is 32nd in total defense – a bad combination to be sure.
As good as Murray and Hopkins are, I’m most concerned about Drake – the Cardinals are fourth in the league, averaging 161 yards a game, and remember what Minnesota did against Seattle two weeks ago, running for more than 200 yards.
Then again, the Seahawks have been unstoppable themselves, averaging a league-leading 33.8 points a game since they turned every burner on the stove over to Russell Wilson. Problem is, they’ll be facing the best defense they’ve gone up against to this point – Arizona is No. 2, allowing 18.7 points a game.
Budda Baker was all over the field Monday night in Dallas and might be the best safety in the league, and Wilson needs to look out for outside linebacker Haason Reddick, who has four of the Cardinals’ 17 sacks.
Both quarterbacks were sacked 48 times last year, and Wilson is on that pace again this year. Murray is not. He’s been sacked only nine times in six games, so it looks like it will be another challenging game for the Seahawks’ pass rushers – though it’s interesting to note that I thought the same thing going into the first 49ers game last year, and the Seahawks came up with five sacks that night in Santa Clara.
This shapes up as an entertaining, high-scoring game, the polar opposite to what happened four years ago the last time these two teams played on a Sunday night in Arizona – that one ended in a 6-6 tie.
I agree with speculation on Twitter that something strange will occur in this one since State Farm Stadium is where Malcolm Butler changed history in the Super Bowl, where Richard Sherman tore his Achilles and played his last game with the Seahawks, where Earl Thomas flipped off the Seahawks’ sideline after breaking his leg and where that 6-6 tie happened.
But the Seahawks are 6-0-1 there in their last seven games, and when you’re predicting football games, a trend is your friend. Stephen Hauschka had issues on this field, but Jason Myers won’t – look for the Seahawks’ kicker to be the difference after another long night in Glendale.
Prediction: Seahawks 31, Cardinals 28 (OT)