The Seattle Seahawks can lock up home field advantage throughout the playoffs and drop the Arizona Cardinals from postseason contention with a victory on Sunday afternoon at CenturyLink Field.
At 12-2 after shutting out the New York Giants, the Seahawks hold the head-to-head tiebreakers over most NFC rivals but would surely like to wrap up the home field and get healthy over the next few weeks.
The Cardinals are on pace for an 11-win season, but could still miss the playoffs unless San Francisco and Carolina falter in the wild card standings.
The Cardinals have won six of their last seven games behind quarterback Carson Palmer, who has recovered to toss 13 touchdowns to four interceptions during the run compared to eight touchdowns and 14 picks to start the season.
Both Palmer and leading receiver Larry Fitzgerald were listed a questionable, but are expected to play against Seattle’s blistering pass defense headlined by safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman.
Running backs Andre Ellington and Rashard Mendenhall have also balanced the Cardinals offense out with 11 combined rushing touchdowns.
Opponents are barely averaging 174 passing yards a game against Seattle, and they’ve surrendered a measly 14 touchdowns, and just five at home this season. The Seahawks have also won 14 straight at CenturyLink.
Arizona and linebacker Karlos Dansby boast the best rushing defense in the NFL, and only let up 66 total rushing yards in last week’s 37-34 overtime win over Tennessee.
Overall, the Cardinals are holding opposing rushers to 3.6 yards per carry, and have allowed five total rushing scores all season.
That could spell trouble for Seattle’s second ranked rushing attack, headlined by running back Marshawn Lynch and quarterback Russell Wilson. Lynch wrapped up his fourth straight 1,000-yard season two weeks ago, and Wilson is second on the team with 508 yards, while tossing 24 touchdowns this season.
Betting Odds: Seattle favored by 10.5 points
Over/Under: 43 points
Time: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET
TV Channel: FOX
Online Stream Info: NFL Sunday Ticket
Prediction: Seattle 24, Arizona 17
Currently covering NBA, NFL, MLB, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, focusing on trades, controversy, and injury updates. Joined IB Times in August 2012.