Legion Of Boom Can Help Seahawks Close Gap In NFC West With
The Seattle Seahawks have earned back-to-back victories after winning just two of their first six games to open the season. Now they have the opportunity to close the gap in the NFC West title race when they take to the field under the bright lights of Sunday Night Football. Seattle will host the division-leading Arizona Cardinals in their first meeting of the year and while the Seahawks won both games between these clubs last season a lot has changed since then. Arizona is back on top of the NFC West but this time they have Carson Palmer back healthy and under center looking to test the Legion of Boom and help earn a measure of redemption for his team.
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks
Sunday November 15, 2015 – 8:30 PM ET
NFL Betting Line: Seattle -3
The LOB hasn’t lived up to expectations after playing at a dominant level in each of the last two seasons and while some of their regression can be blamed on safety Kam Chancellor’s holdout to begin the year the reality is that it is extremely difficult for an NFL defense to stay at the top of their game for as long as the Seahawks did. Chancellor is back in Seattle’s secondary but opposing offenses haven’t been nearly as hesitant to throw the football his way or to go after cornerback Richard Sherman. Palmer has completed 64.6-percent of his passes for 2,386 yards and 20 touchdowns compared to just six interceptions this season and if Seattle can’t find a way to slow him down they will be in big trouble. A big part of that equation will be whether or not the Seahawks can get pressure on Palmer and rattle him a bit in the pocket but the Cardinals’ quarterback has done a pretty good job of getting the ball out quickly this season and running back Chris Johnson has looked rejuvenated since arriving in Arizona. Johnson has averaged 4.8 yards per carry for 676 yards and three touchdowns this season and he will be leaned on again this weekend in order to try and keep the Seattle pass rush from attacking with an all-out approach. Meanwhile, the Cardinals’ defense will do its best to keep the Seahawks’ offense from finding any sort of rhythm as Russell Wilson and company have struggled with consistency all season. Wilson has completed 68.8-percent of his pass attempts but he has averaged just over eight yards per completion this season for 1,878 passing yards and nine touchdowns compared to six interceptions along with three fumbles lost. A big part of the problem for Seattle has been the lack of a consistent rushing attack with Marshawn Lynch struggling early on and then dealing with an injury over the last couple of weeks. Lynch has averaged just 3.6 yards per carry for 375 yards and two scores and the Seahawks need him to really turn it up in order to take some pressure off of the passing game. Seattle certainly has the potential to improve and make some noise in the NFC playoffs again this season but they aren’t there yet and they are about to face a tough division rival that is looking for some revenge after losing both meetings a year ago with Palmer sidelined. A big game from the LOB and the Seahawks’ offense could very well help them pull out a close win but the Cardinals will at the very least cover the spread with a very good chance to win this game straight up.
Pick: Arizona +3
Seattle will rely on its defense and a better effort from its rushing attack in order to give itself a chance in this game but even then they will be in tough. The Seahawks offense won’t get any breaks against the Arizona defense while on the other side of the football it will be the LOB slowing down Palmer and company long enough to give Seattle a chance. Look for both defenses to step up and play at a high level with the Cardinals squeezing out a win in a game that should easily stay under the total.