The 1-5 Arizona Cardinals are on the road this week facing the 3-2 Seattle Seahawks for an NFC West showdown. Get a Cardinals vs. Seahawks preview featuring predictions, odds, depth charts, injuries, and best bets.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks Preview & Prediction
Cardinals vs. Seahawks Prediction: Seahawks Team Total Over 26.5 Points
The Cardinals are on a three-game losing streak following their stunning win over the Cowboys in Week 3. At 1-5 they sit in second-to-last in the NFC and have a -45 point differential.
There are a lot of issues to unpack in Arizona but the most glaring is their defense. The Cardinals are ranked 31st in defensive DVOA and 30th in defensive EPA and sit in the bottom five of the league in average total yards (376.7) and points (27) against them. They consistently struggle to contain opposing running backs as they are averaging 110 rushing yards against them per game by running backs alone and rank 31st in run defense success rate. Kenneth Walker has scored at least one touchdown in 4 straight games, so he should see a lot of the workload.
It’s difficult to criticize the Arizona offense too much considering they are down both their starting quarterback and their starting running back, and thin on raw talent elsewhere. That being said, they are ranked 12th in offensive DVOA which is impressive given their current roster.
The Seahawks played well last week, but came up short where it counted. While they had 381 yards of total offense, they were 5-for-12 on third down, 0-for-2 on fourth down and 1-for-5 in the red zone. Geno Smith threw two uncharacteristic interceptions, and they continued to rack up penalties on both sides of the ball. They are now averaging nearly 8 penalties per game (most in the league). They face an Arizona defense that forces the 5th most penalties per game.
The Seattle defense continues to improve every week, especially in the run game, where they are ranked 1st in rush defense success rate and DVOA. Another bright spots includes the return of Charles Cross to the offensive line.
This Seattle offense is still an extremely efficient and dynamic group. They should get back in the win column this week and outperform a struggling Arizona defense. Take the Seahawks to score over their team total.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks Betting Odds
Taking a look at the lookahead line, the Seahawks have shifted from being 7-point favorites to 8-point favorites in this matchup. The over/under has, rather surprisingly, shifted down from 46.5 points to 44.5 points.
On the Cardinals, Budda Baker has been designated for return from the IR, however James Conner remains there with a knee injury.
The Seattle offensive line is battered and bruised but should be ready for the game minus Abraham Lucas who is not expected to play.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks Key Matchups
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for the Cardinals vs. Seahawks game below.
Cardinals Red Zone Offense vs. Seahawks Red Zone Defense
Last week versus the Rams, the Cardinals offense went 0-for-3 in the red zone, with the three trips ending in two field goals and an interception. They currently have a 50% red zone scoring percentage.
They will be facing a Seahawks defense which ranks 32nd in opponent red zone scoring percentage, allowing 90% of plays that enter the red zone to be converted into a touchdown. Arizona faces a new and improved Seattle defense here, but if they can move the ball, they will be able to score.
Seahawks Passing Offense vs. Cardinals Pass Defense
Though Kenneth Walker will see a lot of the action, part of what makes Seattle so dynamic as an offense is the use of its wide receiving trio – DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Jaxon Smith-Njigba – and its tight ends. The addition of Smith-Njigba, who tallied a season-high 48 yards in last week’s loss, has forced defenses to think on the fly. Coupled with Geno Smith’s accuracy, they become a very dangerous threat to secondaries. They rank fourth in pass offense success rate and seventh in pass offense DVOA.
Seattle faces an Arizona pass defense which ranks 31st in pass defense DVOA and success rate and 28th in pass defense EPA. In their last three outings, they’ve forfeited a 78.02% completion rate to its opponents, the most in the league. This squad has been down Budda Baker for those three games, however he was re-activated from IR this week so that should give them a boost.