Less than three weeks ago, the Seattle Seahawks rode into the Arizona desert as one of the few remaining undefeated teams in the NFL and the clear favorites to win the NFC West.
On that Sunday night, however, Kyler Murray and the Cardinals signaled the race in the NFL’s best division was on.
On Thursday night, the change in the landscape will be clear in the Pacific Northwest when the two teams meet at CenturyLink Field for Thursday Night Football (8 p.m., FOX) with the division lead on the line.
The Cardinals and Seahawks are- along with the Los Angeles Rams- tied for the division lead with 6-3 records. For Seattle, who has lost two straight games including a 23-16 loss to the Rams on Sunday, the urgency is upped because a loss to Arizona would result in a season sweep and the loss of a critical tiebreaker.
Arizona is coming off a miraculous 32-30 win over the Buffalo Bills that was highlighted by Murray’s 43 yard Hail Mary touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins with two seconds left.
Being able to predict the big events of this game could help you win $25,000 in FOX’s Super 6 contest. Just download the free app, answer six questions correctly and you could win up to $25,000 while watching football. It’s that simple. Here’s the questions and how to look at it?
What will the last scoring play of the first half be?
The choices are: Cardinals TD, Cardinals FG, Seahawks TD, Seahawks FG, Any other score or no score.
Seattle has scored the last points of the first half in six of the nine games they have played. That includes on Sunday, when Jason Myers hit a 61 yard field goal. Arizona has scored the last point of the first half in four of nine games to this point, including the last two games. It is something to keep in mind.
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How will the first TD of the 3rd quarter be scored?
The answers are Cardinals rushing, Cardinals passing, Seahawks rushing, Seahawks passing, any other way (which includes special teams) and no touchdowns.
Four times this season, Murray has scored the first touchdown of the second half with a rushing touchdown. (He’s also thrown a touchdown pass in addition.) That included the last meeting between the two teams in Arizona. Meanwhile, Wilson has thrown five touchdown passes to start the second half scoring this season.
How many total passing yards will Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson have in the game?
The choices range from less than 450 yards, 450-460 yards, 461-470 yards, 471-480 yards, 481-490 yards or 491+ yards.
This would appear on the surface to be easy given both players MVP years. Remember that Wilson’s lowest passing yardage total this season is 217 yards. Murray’s lowest total was 133 against Carolina. In the last meeting, however, Murray put up 360 yards against the porous Seahawks defense while Wilson threw for 388. Go high on this one.
How different players will score a touchdown in the game?
The options are 1-2, 3, 4, 5, 6+, or none.
This could be a tricky number because of both quarterbacks being able to run the football in themselves. Also keep in mind the number of wide receiving options both teams have with D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald and etc. Aim high on this one as well.
How many total points will be scored in the game?
The choices are 40 or less, 41-45, 46-50, 51-55, 56-60, and 61+.
The overtime game between the two in late October ended up with 71 points being scored. The last three Arizona games have ended with both teams in the 30s – a sign that defense is an optional exercise. Seattle scored a season low 16 on Sunday against the fierce Rams defense, but they’ve also lived in the 30s because of their defensive woes. Over-61 may be the play here.
Choose team to win & by how many points.
This can’t be overstated: this is a must win game for Seattle if they want to win the NFC West. A loss here would mean three divisional losses, two against Arizona (which would give the Cardinals effectively a two-game divisional lead over Seattle) and extend the belief that the Seahawks were a smoke-and-mirrors operation who was really a one-man gang. Yet, it is important to remind everyone that Seattle has won all four home games this year and have a huge advantage on the short week. The bet here is the Seahawks win, but it’s awfully close.
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