Good afternoon, 12s, and happy New Year.
Here's a look at what's "out there" for today - Friday, Jan. 1 - about your Seattle Seahawks (9-6), two days before the team's regular-season finale on the road against the Arizona Cardinals (13-2). Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m. PT on Sunday, Jan. 3 at Glendale's University of Phoenix Stadium with live television coverage on FOX (channel 13 in Seattle).
The Picks Are In
Pete Prisco at CBSSports.com expects another big game out of quarterback Carson Palmer in an Arizona victory, 30-20, "This game matters for the Cardinals, but not much for the Seahawks except for playoff position. Arizona can still get the top seed in the conference, so they will play hard here. You know they would love to sweep Seattle. Carson Palmer continues to roll and they will."
David Steele at Sporting News thinks Seattle gets the win on the road, 27-23, "The Cardinals are suddenly the trendy NFC Super Bowl pick now that the Panthers have lost, with nine straight wins. The Seahawks suffered one of those inexplicable losses that are becoming routine, at home to the Rams. The Cardinals made the Seahawks look human in their last meeting, but Seattle then won five in a row behind a red-hot Russell Wilson. They have to keep him upright this time. They will."
Don Banks at SI.com thinks the Cardinals will extend their winning streak to 10 games with a 26-21 victory, "I don't have to get on the Cardinals' bandwagon because I've been there since midseason. If I had to put money on one team to both get to and win the Super Bowl at this moment, it would be Arizona. Bruce Arians's club has already beaten the Seahawks in Seattle this season, and they'll get the sweep to head into the playoffs on a resounding 10-game winning streak."
ESPN.com NFL Nation reporters Sheil Kapadia (Seahawks) and Josh Weinfuss (Cardinals) each think Arizona has the edge this weekend.
Kapadia, who predicts a 30-24 Cardinals win, says, "The Seahawks have a playoff berth clinched and they can't determine their own fate in terms of getting the fifth or sixth seed.Carson Palmer picked them apart for 363 yards in the first meeting and he should have another big game. It wouldn't be surprising if these two teams met a third time in the postseason."
Weinfuss, who predicts a 34-27 Cardinals victory, writes, "Winning 13 straight to become Super Bowl champions isn't an easy task. But coach Bruce Arians has already said he's not resting his starters, which means more offensive fireworks are to be expected. Unless Seattle rests some of its starters in anticipation of its wild-card game the following weekend, Sunday's tilt will be similar to the first go-round, which Arizona won by a touchdown after surrendering a 15-point lead. Seattle's defense has improved since, allowing the second-fewest points since its loss to Arizona in Week 10, and its offense has scored the most touchdowns during that same span."
Elliot Harrison at NFL.com thinks the Cardinals will top the Seahawks this weekend, 27-21,* "Whoever gets the carries in the Seahawks' backfield versus the Arizona run defense.In last week's loss to St. Louis, Seattle employed Fred Jackson, Bryce Brown, Christine Michael and Will Tukuafu. They rumbled 16 times for 21 yards ... get excited. With Marshawn Lynch still working his way back to the field, all of that means Russell Wilson will probably be scrambling all over the place. You know the Cardinals will blitz, which is something they do with more frequency than any team in the NFL. Sure would be nice to slow them down with the run."*
Michael David Smith and Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com each think Arizona will beat Seattle.
MDS, who sees a 30-20 Cardinals win, writes, "There's no team in the NFL I'd pick to win at Arizona right now. The Cardinals are a dangerous team heading into January."
Florio, who thinks the Cardinals win 27-24, says, "Arizona treats every game like a playoff game, and this one could give them the No. 1 seed in the playoffs."
Danny O'Neil at 710Sports.com shares his picks for Week 17 and sees the Seahawks losing, 34-27, "A win for Seattle would prevent the Seahawks from playing their wild-card game at Green Bay. Other than that, Seattle is playing to avoid finishing with a losing record in the NFC West. The Cardinals need this win to, well, they may not need this win if the Panthers beat the Bucs. All that tangential importance means that both teams are going to try. Kind of. Seattle is the biggest underdog it has been in any game since Week 7 of 2012."
All four writers at the Seattle Times are picking the Cardinals to win, but Seattle Mariners radio announcer Rick Rizzs - this week's celebrity guesser - sees a Seahawks victory, "The Seahawks will bounce back from the loss to the Rams by beating the Cardinals. Steven Hauschka will kick a last-second field goal to win the game, allowing Seattle to finish the season and go into the playoffs on a high note. Go Hawks!"
And only four of 13 staffers at ESPN.com had picks in as of Friday afternoon, but half of them think Seattle will win.
Tweet Of The Day
Today's "Tweet of the Day" comes from @KatChancellor, who shares a photo in celebration of 2016's very first T.G.I.B.F.
More From Around The Web
Here at Seahawks.com, digital media reporter John Boyle explains how valuable quarterback Russell Wilson's durability has been to the Seahawks and says Seattle's offensive performance from Week 16 was an aberration for a group that was surging the previous five weeks.
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is out for this weekend's game as he continues to rehab from surgery, but he recently customized a 'Beast Mode' Jeep at an Oregon dealership.
Former Washington State Cougars safety Deone Bucannon, who trained with Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor this past offseason, has been excelling at inside linebacker for the Cardinals.
And Thursday's practice saw two defensive starters return to work on a limited basis.
D*id I miss anything you think is worthy of inclusion? Let me know on Twitter *