This week’s NFL Thursday Night Football game is shaping up to be a good one, featuring two of the best quarterbacks in the league today, one bound for the NFL Hall of Fame and the other a young man who won the Heisman Trophy and who is off to a great start in the NFL. It’s the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson versus Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals.
NFC West Teams Featured On TNF
Both the Cardinals and the Seahawks at currently at 6-3 and are in a three-way tie, along with the Los Angeles Rams, for the lead in the NFC West, so, this game on Thursday evening in Seattle will be for the lead in the division.
The Seahawks are listed as three-point favorites, but that can be simply home field advantage since Century Link Field in Seattle is a notorious venue for visiting teams to win in. They won’t have that overwhelming crowd noise to deal with this time around, but Murray and company have their work cut out for them tonight.
However, the Cardinals are coming off of one of the most fantastic finishes of NFL Week 10 when Murray, behind four points with only 11 seconds on the clock, threw a Hail Mary pass to the end zone to DeAndre Hopkins, who was surrounded by defenders from the Buffalo Bills secondary.
But Hopkins, being the Pro Bowl player that he is, went up and caught that pass, giving the Arizona Cardinals a 2-point win over the Bills with no time left on the clock. It was an amazing play to watch and the replay, in slow motion, was even better.
The Seahawks Look For A Recovery
The Seattle Seahawks, on the other hand, have lost two games in a row and are determined not to make it three. Acknowledging that his team is floundering at this point in the season, Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll recently said, “We’re going to have to work our way back. I know that we’re all tied right now and so that just makes the point of every game being a championship game more clear.”
If Seattle can get by Arizona, they have the next three games against teams who are below .500, and Coach Carroll is still planning on making the playoffs this season. However, Wilson has committed ten turnovers in recent games and has not looked like the player we all know that he is.
Wilson has not lost three games in a row since his sophomore season at North Carolina State and is 32-9 coming off a loss in his NFL career. The Pro Bowl quarterback told reporters recently, “I don’t ever think about that. I don’t ever think that way.”
Wilson should be getting some help in the backfield as running back Carlos Hyde is scheduled to play after being out with a hamstring issue and Chris Carson, who suffered a foot injury in Week 7, is now listed as questionable, but possible. Getting either one or both of these guys back should bring the Seahawks offense back into balance which will be of invaluable help to Russell Wilson.
Wide Receiver Tyler Lockett will also be once again available to play after sustaining a knee injury earlier in the season giving Wilson an excellent target the throw to.
The Cardinals Offense To Excel
Over on the Cardinals side of the ball, despite all the antics of Murray, Arizona has been rushing the ball to the tune of 169 yards average per game. Most of that coming from running back Kenyan Drake and Murray himself, who runs like no quarterback we have seen in recent memory. Both guys are on pace to finish the season with 1,000 yards rushing. “This offense is at its best when you’re running the ball,” said Murray. “When you can run the ball it just opens up everything else.”
The Seahawks are -148 favorites against the +130 Cardinals. With a spread of just 2.5 points, expect this to be a tight game, but the Seahawks will emerge victorious.