Moore: Seahawks’ desperation makes them dangerous vs. Cards

Nov 22, 2014, 2:14 PM | Updated: 2:22 pm
Despite being three games back of Arizona in the standings, Russell Okung and Seattle are favored b...
Despite being three games back of Arizona in the standings, Russell Okung and Seattle are favored by 7. (AP)
(AP)

It’s pretty amazing when you think about it – how can a 6-4 team be favored by seven points over a 9-1 team?

Especially when you think about how the Seahawks have played – they’ve been inconsistent, sporadically showing signs of life but looking nothing like last year’s team that won the Super Bowl.

Then when you look at the Cardinals – red-hot, winning close games, prevailing even with a backup quarterback.

It looks too obvious to take Arizona and 7, doesn’t it? And I know this, whenever a line looks too obvious, there are two things you should do:

1) Don’t bet on the game.

2) Take the other team, and in this case, that’s the Seahawks.

This reminds me of a game the Seahawks played in San Francisco last year. They were 11-1, and the 49ers were 8-4. The Seahawks didn’t need to win; the 49ers were desperate for a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. The 49ers won 19-17, though they didn’t cover the 2 ½-point spread.

The Seahawks are clearly the more desperate team in this matchup. If the Cardinals lose, they’ll still have a one-game lead for the best record in the NFC and a two-game lead in the NFC West. If the Seahawks lose, you can pretty much kiss their playoff hopes goodbye.

Some key matchups:

• Marshawn Lynch has rushed for more than 100 yards in his last two games, but will he find running room against the Cardinals, who are third in the NFL in run defense, allowing 80.5 yards a game? The Seahawks will also have a harder time running the ball without their starting center Max Unger.

• Will Russell Wilson be able to take advantage of the blitzing Cardinals? When he’s in the pocket, I’d say no. But if he scrambles outside, I’d say yes. His scrambling ability allows his receivers to shake free when they improvise downfield. Arizona’s secondary, led by Patrick Peterson and Washington State’s Deone Bucannon, is one of the best in the league, rivaling the Legion of Boom. To expect Seattle’s middling receivers to consistently exploit one-on-one matchups is unrealistic.

• Can the Seahawks get enough of a pass rush on Drew Stanton to cause him to throw interceptions? If they can’t get to him with four rushers, I’d like to see the Seahawks blitz and take their chances with the Legion of Boom backing them up. Arizona’s receivers are top-notch, but I’m guessing Seattle’s secondary will be up to the challenge, particularly if Stanton’s the least bit off-target, which he figures to be.

John Clayton talks about it all the time – backup QBs are typically fortunate if they can lead their teams to .500 records. If they were better QBs, they’d be starting QBs. Stanton is 3-1 as a starter thus far. It’s time for him to regress, particularly since he completes only 54 percent of his passes.

I’m guessing the Seahawks will come up with three interceptions, including a pick-six, and it will be the difference in a run-away win at Century Link Field.

Prediction: Seahawks 31, Cardinals 10.

Season record against the spread: 5-5.

The Go 2 Guy also writes for SeattlePI.com and KitsapSun.com. You can reach Jim at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.

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Moore: Seahawks’ desperation makes them dangerous vs. Cards