All In The Cards: The Seattle Problem (Week 10)

The Cardinals are fresh off their bye week and ready to start the second half of the season. Unfortunately for Arizona it faces the Seattle Seahawks who are also coming off a bye and will be playing at home on national television in a must-win game for the Seahawks if they want to still win the NFC West. This week I will go more in-depth on the recent rivalry. I hope you enjoy and if you do make sure to follow me on Twitter @QTipsforsports or just search the hashtag #Allinthecards for in-game thoughts and analysis. Without further ado, let’s break down this divisional rivalry:

Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks

Last Meetings: L 19-3 @Seattle (11/23/14) and L 35-6 vs. Seattle (12/21/14)

If you have been a frequent reader of All In The Cards, you can probably pick up on the fact that I don’t like the Seahawks. I have nothing against Seahawk fans, the city of Seattle, or the organization. I just don’t like the team for three reasons: most of their players are very arrogant, I’m jealous of their talent and to a lesser extent their luck (the Golden Tate so-called TD during the referee strike, the onside kick fumble vs. Green Bay in the NFC Championship, and the no-call for batting the ball against the Lions to name a few), and the fact that they love to humiliate the Cardinals.

As a Cardinals fan I don’t really have a right this season to talk about disliking a team because they humiliate my team, especially after what Arizona did to San Francisco and Detroit, but neither of those teams were going anywhere this season. A couple of weeks ago I talked about how the Cardinals have been able to count on beating the Lions to turn things around. Well the Seahawks like to use the Cardinals as their launch pad to turn things around. Over the past five seasons, the Seahawks have won seven of their ten matchups against the Cardinals and most of them have either given the Seahawks tons of momentum going forward or really hurt the Cardinals. Here’s the list:

  • 10/24/2010, @ Seattle (SEA 22-10)
  • 11/15/2010, @ Arizona (SEA 36-18)
  • 9/26/2011, @ Seattle (SEA 13-10)
  • 1/1/2012, @ Arizona (ARZ 23-20 OT)
  • 9/10/2012, @ Arizona (ARZ 20-16)
  • 12/9/2012, @ Seattle (SEA 58-0)
  • 10/18/2013, @ Arizona (SEA 34-20)
  • 12/23/2015, @ Seattle (ARZ 17-10)
  • 11/23/2014, @ Seattle (SEA 19-3)
  • 12/22/2014, @ Arizona (SEA 35-6)

Remember back during the 2010 season when the Seattle won the NFC West at 7-9? During weeks 7 thru 12, the Seahawks lost four of their six games with their only two wins during that stretch coming against Arizona. You might disregard that as a random data sample but getting both of those wins was critical. During the last week of the season, the Seahawks defeated the 7-8 St. Louis Rams to end the season with the same record. Since the Rams had defeated the Seahawks earlier in the season, the first tiebreaker (head-to-head matchup) was thrown out. The next tiebreaker was divisional record, and wouldn’t you know it that the Seahawks won one more divisional game than the Rams. Those wins over the Cardinals were the Seahawks’ only divisional wins after their bye week before beating St. Louis in the final week.

The disastrous end to Arizona’ 2012 season, when the Cards lost 11 of their last 12 after starting the season 4-0, reached its most infamous low when the Seahawks humiliated the Cardinals by beating them 58-0. It’s a miracle the Cardinals won another game that season, let alone the following week when they beat Detroit. On the other side, it was the second win of the Seahawks five-game winning streak at the end the season that earned Seattle a wild card spot.

Last season had a similar storyline to this year’s storyline when Arizona went to Seattle. The Cardinals had lost Carson Palmer for the season but were still able to beat the Lions to improve to 9-1. Meanwhile, after a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Seahawks sat at 6-4, a full three games back of Arizona with six games left in the season. The Seahawks beat the Cardinals 19-3 and started a winning streak that didn’t end until they lost to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. That winning streak included another win over the Cardinals to the score of 35-6.

It’s worth mentioning that unlike the Arizona-Detroit series, the Cardinals do have a couple wins during this stretch. However, none of them were that consequential. The Cardinals’ win in the final week of the 2011 season had no implications other than that the winner would finish .500 for the season. The win to start the 2013 season lost all credibility when the Seahawks obliterated Arizona 58-0 in the rematch. Finally, the win in Seattle during the 2013 season was nice (because it ended the Seahawks’ home winning-streak) but the Cardinals still missed the playoffs at 10-6 while the Seahawks rebounded the next week to earn home field advantage throughout the playoffs and eventually win the Super Bowl.

It really pains me to bring up these memories so there is a point to all of this. That point is that the Seahawks are desperate for a win and recent history dictates that they’ll get that win this week against the Cardinals, just like they did last year. I know Carson Palmer is healthy and is arguably playing the best he has ever played. I know the Cardinals have some favorable matchups. I know that the Seahawks aren’t as good as they were in previous seasons. For all of those reasons I think the Cardinals will win the rematch at University of Phoenix Stadium during the final week of the season. However, this week the season is on the line for the Seahawks and I don’t think we’ve heard the last of them.

Prediction: Seattle 20, Arizona 19

Week 10 NFL predictions:

  • New York Jets 20, Buffalo 17
  • St. Louis 23, Chicago 16
  • Pittsburgh 23, Cleveland 20
  • Tampa Bay 31, Dallas 23
  • Green Bay 38, Detroit 13
  • Carolina 24, Tennessee 13
  • Philadelphia 27, Miami 20
  • New Orleans 26, Washington 23
  • Baltimore 24, Jacksonville 20
  • Oakland 23, Minnesota 18
  • Denver 24, Kansas City 13
  • New England 38, New York Giants 31
  • Cincinnati 30, Houston 17

Week 10 Record: 0-1
Season Record: 86-47 (.647)
Perfect Score Predictions: 2

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