Thursday Night Football is on tonight! And as always, we’ll likely be treated to some unholy aberration of football that only hardcore junkies like me will enjoy. (And they’re looking to produce more of this?) Tonight’s contest is all about the NFC West, with the Seahawks traveling to Arizona to take on the Cardinals. Who wants a preview? You do! You do!
(5-1) Seattle Seahawks at
(3-3) Arizona Cardinals
So the Seahawks aren’t the same on the road. Everyone gets that by now. That being said, there only traveling to Arizona, so it’s not like they’re going across the country to New York for an 11 AM tilt. They know how to play in Glendale, so let’s not attribute sloppy play tonight to that specific reason. Because there are plenty of other reasons it could get messy.
First off, the Cardinal defense is tough. Calais Campbell will be back at defensive tackle after suffering what looked to be a scary neck injury last weekend. He’ll be up against a Seattle offensive line that is clearly the weakness of the team. Without Russell Okung at left tackle, Russell Wilson has been under pressure. Look for Seattle to pound that ground with Marshawn Lynch early and often, freeing up play-action as the night goes along. Daryl Washington anchors the middle of the Cardinal linebacking unit and makes impact plays with regularity. And of course all of these guys play in front of Patrick Peterson, one of the most athletic and gifted corners in the game. He’ll be draped all over Sidney Rice or Golden Tate. It won’t matter. That dude won’t be getting the ball.
The ball-hawking Seattle secondary will be facing off against Carson Palmer, a dude who has thrown his share of pick-sixes in his day. (Does anyone track that statistic? Where can I find it?) I’m almost certain that a boomerang will occur tonight. I mean, Palmer’s throwing against Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Kam Chancellor, and Earl Thomas and he’ll be forcing darts towards Larry Fitzgerald. Him not throwing a boomerang would be a surprise. Almost nothing makes me happier than a Carson Palmer pick-six. It’s like the perfect present. Well, aside from…
Where was I? Oh yeah. Crappy Cardinal offense. They actually have a decent rookie running back in Andre Ellington, who is averaging a redonkulous seven yards a carry. But he’s still not getting the bulk of the action, which is somehow still reserved for Rashard Mendenhall. Bruce Arians needs to let Ellington loose, or Palmer will continue to be throwing behind an offensive line that doesn’t have a tackle. (I’m pretty sure they just play with three guys and two revolving doors.) Honestly, Eric Winston isn’t a terrible right tackle, but that line still has issues and the Seahawks have a wealth at pass-rusher. It’s on like Donkey Kong.
Have fun watching the (hopefully) entertaining football! Check back soon for The Opening Drive of Week seven!