The No. 1 seed in the NFC and the West division is at stake as the Arizona Cardinals host the Seattle Seahawks Sunday night at U of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals (11-3) are one of two teams in the conference to have clinched at minimum a wild card berth, but avenging Week 12’s 19-3 to Seattle would not only tie the season series but lockup the West for the first time in five years.
But Arizona is likely to start its third quarterback of the season due to a rash of injuries at the critical position. According to reports the Cardinals plan to start Ryan Lindley but that Drew Stanton is a game-time decision.
Stanton, who took over after Carson Palmer went down with a torn ACL sprained his knee during Week 15’s 12-6 victory over St. Louis. He’s expected to suit up but only as the back up to Lindley, who last made a start in 2012.
Lindley went 4-for-10 for 30 yards against the Rams last week, owns a 1-3 record as a starter and now must stare down a Seattle defense that’s in championship form.
Luckily Lindley has receivers like Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd to help him out. The duo has combined for 1,369 yards and six touchdowns. There’s also emerging running back Kerwynn Williams, who followed up his 100-yard game against Kansas City with another 75 yards against a tough Rams defense.
After a rough start low-lighted by some reported issues in the locker room, the Seahawks (10-4) are now one of the hottest teams in the league, winning four straight and seven of their last eight games. The defense that dominated the NFL last season has returned to form, allowing 14.4 points, 233.3 yards in the last eight games and forcing 15 turnovers.
During their current win streak, the Seahawks have taken down San Francisco twice, eliminating it from the playoffs, and stunted Philadelphia’s high-scoring offense. Seattle could repeat as division champs with a victory, but doesn't necessarily need a win to make the postseason.
A victory by Dallas over Indianapolis would secure Seattle a spot in the postseason, as well as the Cowboys and Green Bay. It would also bump Philadelphia out of the playoff picture.
While the defense deserves a fair share of credit, the Seattle offense has also played a huge role. The Seahawks are first in the NFL with 168.8 rushing yards per game, with running back Marshawn Lynch already notching his fourth straight year with at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Quarterback Russell Wilson has also set a new bar, complementing his 18 touchdown passes with 754 rushing yards and another five scores.
Start Time: 8:30 P.M. ET
TV Channel: NBC
Live Online: A live stream is available at SNF All Access here
Betting Odds: Seattle -8
Over/Under: 36.5 points
Prediction: Seattle over Arizona, 27-10