NFL Week 12 Betting – Cardinals, Seahawks Set for a War
John BensonNo comments
At first glance, it might look like the Seattle Seahawks (6-4, 4-1 home) will be facing a youthful, inexperienced quarterback when they meet Drew Stanton and the Arizona Cardinals (9-1, 3-1 away) on Sunday (4:05 p.m. Eastern). However, Stanton (who took the reins after starter Carson Palmer was lost for the season to an ACL injury) has actually been in the league for eight seasons as a backup, honing his skills for just this opportunity.
The former Michigan State Spartan has not disappointed in his first few starts for the Cardinals, posting a 2-1 record, including a win over the NFC North-leading Detroit Lions last week. Stanton threw for two touchdowns and over 300 yards in the 14-6 win, though he was also picked-off twice by the top-ranked Lions defense.
While many around the league may be surprised by Stanton’s early success, don’t count his teammates among them. Said wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, “Drew did what we expected from Drew. There was no question he was going to go out there and play well.”
Regardless of who is under center, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll knows the Cardinals come to Seattle as a well-rounded team. He said, “These guys are flying high and we have to see if we can find a way to stop them and score on these guys and then we’ll take it to the next one. I’m really excited about the way this thing sets up and I think most people should be with all of the drama still out there about the division.”
While some may think Stanton is the x-factor in this game, the truth is that designation belongs to the Seahawks’ offense, which has been uncharacteristically dysfunctional at times this season.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has only thrown for more than 200 yards twice. The team is relying heavily on running back Marshawn Lynch and the legs of Wilson. It will be interesting to see what game-plan Carroll creates for Sunday, however; the Cardinals are third in the league against the run (80.5 yards per game), but 29th against the pass (263.2 yards per game). Though, the Cardinals secondary has generated a lot of takeaways and showed improvement, yardage-wise, last weekend, holding Matt Stafford to 183 passing yards.
Whether Seattle focuses more on the air or the ground, the Cardinals are confident they can keep the Seahawks in check. “We’re definitely one of the best in the game … I believe we have caught our stride. The last two games, we didn’t give up over 200 yards passing with three or four interceptions. That’s something we’re hoping for the rest of the season,” said Cardinals defensive back Patrick Peterson.
The Super Bowl champions will be getting plenty of attention, but don’t be mislead. This isn’t the same Seahawks team as last year, which makes the Cardinals money line (+252) the right play.