After a home game against the Lions in week 11, the Cardinals will travel to Seattle in week 12 for their first road game since quarterback Carson Palmer’s season ending injury. Arizona has the NFC West lead and can put a strangle hold on the division with a win at Seattle. The Seahawks are 4-1 at home this year and 19-2 since the start of 2012.
Drew Stanton started two road games earlier this year for the Cardinals, leading them to a 25-14 win over the Giants in week 2, and falling at Denver 41-20 in week 5. (Though Stanton was knocked out of the Denver game and third-string QB Logan Thomas was pressed into action.) In the two road starts, Stanton threw neither a touchdown nor an interception. Palmer had little trouble leading Arizona to road wins at Oakland and Dallas. The Cards are 3-1 against the spread away from home. Arizona’s defense has been a mixed bag this year. They stop the run very well but are a bit leaky in pass coverage. They have made up for the yards against with an excellent plus-12 turnover margin (tied for first in the NFL with New England).
While not as dominating as in past seasons, Seattle has beaten heavyweights Green Bay and Denver at home this year. The Seahawks are 3-2 in front of their fans against the spread on the season and 15-6 over the last three years. Besides a 30-23 loss against the Cowboys in week 6, Seattle was only seriously challenged at home in their overtime win over Denver. The Seahawks have not moved the ball via the air very well this season – they are second-last in the league with just 194 yards per game. But they are far-and-away the best rushing team in the league, averaging 171 yards per game, almost 18 more than the second-place Cowboys, and 30 more than the third-place Jets. As always, Seattle’s defense has been tough this season yielding more than 20 points in only one home win. The defense is giving up seven more points per game than last year – when they averaged an incredible 14 points against per game – but that is mostly due to a lack of takeaways, as the Seahawks are third in the league in total defense (307 yards per game).
These teams will meet in Arizona in week 15. They split two matchups last season with both teams earning wins on the road. The equity in the series dates back further than that, though; since the start of the 2009 season, the teams have split the series 50/50 with each team winning five. Four of the ten games have been decided by one score. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has thrown for six touchdowns while being intercepted three times and losing three fumbles against the Cardinals in four career starts.
(Photo credit: By Kelly Bailey [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)