After all the injuries, drama and defeats, the national media are still picking the Seahawks – even when Seattle happens to be playing the team with the best record in the NFL.
Or maybe, just maybe, no one really believes in the Arizona Cardinals.
However you look at it, most from the national media and major newspapers pick the Seahawks to win a close game Sunday. Forty-two of the 52 predictions were that the Seahawks would win the game at CenturyLink Field.
Surprising? Maybe not. The oddsmakers agree, favoring the Seahawks by about 6.5 points.
That’s partly because the Seahawks play at CenturyLink in front of their famously loud fans. Don’t forget, though, that the Cardinals beat the Seahawks 17-10 last year in Seattle.
Here’s a roundup of picks from around the country.
Three of four pick the Seahawks.
Jerry Brewer – Seahawks 19, Cardinals 10: Desperate times call for an inspired defensive effort from a Seahawks team that can’t lose any more ground to Arizona.
Bob Condotta – Seahawks 21, Cardinals 13: In a game that is win-or-else for their hopes of repeating as NFC West champs, the Seahawks — buoyed by the home crowd — will find a way to get it done. Seattle’s defense has revived its ballhawking status, and a turnover or two will be key.
Jayson Jenks – Cardinals 24, Seahawks 14: Injuries have taken their toll on the Seahawks this season, and the Cardinals are just too good defensively to give Russell Wilson and Co. much room to work with.
Larry Stone – Seahawks 24, Cardinals 17: The Seahawks have reached the point where this is a true must-win game, and they’ll ride that urgency to a victory against one of the NFL’s best defenses.
Twelve of 14 pick the Seahawks
Terry Blount – Seahawks 24, Cardinals 23: The Seattle Seahawks are playing at home against the NFC West leaders in a game they have to win to keep any realistic hope of catching the 9-1 Arizona Cardinals for the division title. And it’s probably a must-win game to stay in the playoff picture since three of the last five games are on the road against winning teams. Home-field advantage will make the difference, especially against a quarterback who never has experienced how tough it is to play in Seattle.
Five of eight pick the Seahawks.
Pete Prisco – Seahawks 21, Cardinals 20: Huge NFC West game. If Seattle is to have a chance to win the division, they must win this one. The Cardinals beat the Seahawks in Seattle last year with an attacking, blitzing defense. They will do the same thing here to keep it close with Drew Stanton at quarterback. Only this time, the Seahawks will win it late.
All six pick the Seahawks.
Gregg Rosenthall – I’m not ready to give up on Seattle as a playoff team just yet.
Elliott Harrison – Seahawks 17, Cardinals 13: For all the success Arizona has had in 2014, the football has not been the Cardinal receiver’s friend. Arizona has dropped 9.6 percent of catchable balls, the highest rate in the league. The Cards can’t afford to keep letting plays bounce off their hands in Seattle.
Don Banks – Seahawks 27, Cardinals 24: I hate picking against the ultra-resilient Cardinals this season, because they rise to whatever challenge is before them. And we know they can handle a trip to CenturyLink Field, because they were the only team to win there last year. But if the defending Super Bowl champs are going to shake off their almost season-long hangover and find their way back to the playoffs, they have to have this game. The Cardinals would love to win it, but the Seahawks must win it. Seattle’s next four games are at San Francisco, at Philadelphia, home against San Francisco and at Arizona. If Seattle enters that stretch at 6-5, it won’t survive.
Six of seven pick the Seahawks.
One picks the Cardinals.
Sam Farmer – Cardinals 24, Seahawks 21: These two teams are going in opposite directions. The Seahawks are really struggling on offense, and it won’t help going up against this playmaking Cardinals defense. A test for Drew Stanton.
Greg Cote – Cardinals 20, Seahawks 17: “AAAWWWK!” blurts the Upset Bird. “I personally think this should have been the Game of the Waawwk!” The point spread here verifies that Mr. Betting Public has hardly given up on the Seahawks and still isn’t quite sold on the Cardinals. Seattle has won 21 of past 23 home games, but one of those losses was to Arizona last season, 17-10. I see another D-dominated game with a similar result. ’Zona WR Larry Fitzgerald and RB Andre Ellington both being questionable worries the upset pick a bit, but I think both will play. Also think Cacti run-D will neutralize Seattle’s ground game and Marshawn Lynch, especially with center Max Unger out injured. Bonus fact: Cardbirds are 8-2 against the spread. “Traditionally tough for a visitor to win at Seaaawwk,” notes U-Bird. “But if anybody can, it’s Arizonaaawwwk!”
Kent Somers – Seahawks 21, Cardionals 17: The Seahawks have issues. Their passing game has not been good in recent weeks and losing Mebane to injury is a big blow. But the Seahawks desperately need to win and they are at home. The Cardinals have won six consecutive games but we’ll go with the desperate team at home.
One picks the Seahawks.
Six of seven pick the Seahawks.
Mike Tanier – Seahawks 22, Cardinals 20: Those playoff odds should change this week. A journeyman backup is facing the Seahawks secondary in Seattle. Injuries in the trenches and defections among the receivers aside, do we really have to question the results?
We do, which is a clear sign of just how far the mighty have fallen.
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