Two teams couldn't be trending in more different directions than the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks. The NFL's any-given-Sunday reality may be tricky, but this game seems almost too easy to call.
The Seahawks pulled out another miracle win on the road against the Chicago Bears and simultaneously announced themselves as a real threat to everyone else in the NFC. Now, they get a team that hasn't won since September.
When: Sunday, December 9, at 4:25 p.m. ET
Where: CenturyLink Field in Seattle
Watch: FOX, or FOXSports Live Stream
Listen: 710 AM ESPN in Seattle and 620 AM in Arizona
Betting Line: Seattle (-10.5) according to FootballLocks.com
What's at Stake?
The Seahawks are looking to return to the playoffs in Russell Wilson's first year and a win over the Cardinals would keep the hard-charging Bucs and Redskins off their tails. As for Arizona, draft position and possibly Ken Whisenhunt's job are on the line.
Arizona Injury Report
S Justin Bethel (shoulder, probable)
WR LaRon Byrd (head, questionable)
DE Calais Campbell (calf, questionable)
WR Early Doucet (ribs, questionable)
QB Kevin Kolb (ribs, questionable)
TE Micke Leach (back, probable)
RB William Powell (shoulder, probable)
S Kerry Rhodes (back, probable)
WR Andre Roberts (ankle, questionable)
RB Beanie Wells (knee, questionable)
Seattle Injury Report
DE Red Bryant (foot, questionable)
LB Leroy Hill (ankle, questionable)
RB Marshawn Lynch (back, probable)
WR Sidney Rice (calf, questionable)
DE Greg Scruggs (oblique, probable)
CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring, doubtful)
DB Winston Guy (suspension)
Fantasy Start 'Em, Sit 'Em and Sleeper
Sidney Rice is gaining more confidence and chemistry with Wilson every week. He's had five of his seven touchdowns this season during the last five weeks.
However, I'd leave Wilson on the bench. While one of his receivers can go nuts, that doesn't add up to fantasy playoff-worthy numbers for him.
Beanie Wells may have a better-than-you-expect weekend against a tough rushing defense. The Cardinals force a few turnovers and he may be able to capitalize on one.
What They're Saying
Arizona Media: ESPN Analyst Says Fitzgerald Is Frustrated, But Sold Out For Cardinals by Adam Green
Seattle Media: Seahawks Wilson Getting Better with Each Start by Danny O'Neil
Cardinal to Watch
Patrick Peterson has don't-go-to-the-fridge type of magnetism. He's so athletic that the potential for him to do something jaw-dropping is incredibly high. If the Cardinals score any points, Peterson will probably have a hand in it somehow.
Seahawk to Watch
Marshawn Lynch is finally becoming properly rated. He continuously churns out steady production and sets the tone of the offense. Enjoy watching one of the best go to work.
Lately, Richard Sherman hasn't enjoyed the spotlight, but he gets a chance to feature in another manner on Sunday. Sherman relishes the big matchup (see his Calvin Johnson comments) and Larry Fitzgerald is still a beast regardless of who is throwing to him.
On The Hot Seat
Whisenhunt's seat is heating up in the desert. Local fans are grumbling that he must pay the price and are already discussing possible replacements, including those on his own staff. Defensive coordinator Ray Horton will get plenty of attention this offseason as teams hire new head coaches.
Seahawks 27, Cardinals 10