Battle Of The Birds: Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals

This is a short week for the Seattle Seahawks as they will face the Arizona Cardinals today for their Thursday night match up of the season.

I don’t know much about the Cardinals, except for QB Kurt Warner’s comeback run with them when he led them to their last Super Bowl in 2008 and WR Larry Fitzgerald on my fantasy football team plays for them.

Here are three things to know about the Hawks’ opponent going into the game:

1) In the Past

The Seahawks and Cardinals are NFC West division rivals, with the Seahawks currently in first place, going 5-1 on the season, while the Cardinals are tied for last place with the St. Louis Rams at 3-3.  It’s been awhile since the Cardinals have dominated the NFC – as I mentioned before, since Warner was their QB during the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

Seattle and Arizona met twice last year during Weeks One and Fourteen.  The results were lopsided.  The first meeting was a home game for the Cardinals and it was close one, with Arizona pulling away with a late fourth quarter TD to win the game, 20-16.  But the second game was all Hawks, as it was a home game and they were on a winning streak (if you don’t count that game against the Miami Dolphins during Week Twelve that they should’ve won).  Seahawks romped on the Cardinals, 58-0.  The Hawks forced the Cardinals to commit eight turnovers and Russell Wilson only threw 148 yards and completed one TD – the rest was the Marshawn Lynch show: he had 11 carries for 148 yards and three TDs.  

2) Players to Watch

WR Larry Fitzgerald is the Cardinals’ franchise guy.  He was the third overall draft pick by Arizona in 2004 coming out of the University of Pittsburgh.  In his ten year career, he has broken countless records and received many awards, which includes being a seven time Pro Bowler, Pro Bowl MVP in 2009, and ranked fifth all-time career in the NFL for most receiving yards per game.  And during Super Bowl XLIII, Fitzgerald was the Cardinals’ top receiver, with seven catches for 127 yards and two TDs. 

Another player that will be front and center is QB Carson Palmer.  This is his first season with the Cardinals after two years with the Oakland Raiders and prior to that, seven years with the Cincinnati Bengals.  Palmer played one of his better games last week during the loss against the San Francisco 49ers, completing 25 of 41 passes for 298 yards, with two TDs, but he also had two interceptions and a low Quarterback Rating (QBR) of 26.  He’s consistent with his numbers, but that won’t be in his favor against the Seahawks’ secondary.

3) Game Prediction

The Cardinals’ 2013 schedule hasn’t been that difficult, with wins over the Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers.  It’s their losses that speak for the weaknesses in their team.  They had a big loss to the New Orleans Saints, 7-31, which was expected.  But with the Rams and the 49ers, the Cardinals squandered many opportunities to overtake the game and their failure to close out shows that their placement at the bottom of the NFC West is warranted.  San Francisco scored 16 points off of Arizona’s four turnovers, and Palmer averages about two interceptions per game – so expect the Hawks to force turnovers like they always do and for the Cardinals to suffer for it.

The overall take-away is the Seahawks’ defense will be tough for the Cardinals and the Hawks are looking to make up for the mistakes in their game against the Tennessee Titans.

Advantage: Seahawks.  

Carina Fung

About Carina Fung

Carina is a native Seattlite and a die-hard Seattle sports fan: Sonics, Mariners, Seahawks, Huskies -- in that order. On her sports bucket list, she would love to see: the OKC Thunder restored as the Seattle Sonics, the Mariners win the pennant, and the Seahawks beat the "Stealers" in a Super Bowl! Oh, and visit every baseball stadium in the U.S. (seven down, 23 to go)!