The Seahawks (9-4-1) play their final home game of the regular season this Saturday, when they welcome the division rival Arizona Cardinals (5-8-1) to Seattle's CenturyLink Field. Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m. PT with television coverage on FOX (channel 13 in Seattle).
Here's a look at which side the national media is predicting to win the Christmas-Eve matchup:
Elliot Harrison at NFL.com picks the Seahawks to win by three, 20-17, "Big Red has been reeling, eliminated from playoff contention while dropping four of five contests. The Seahawks have done a nice job bottling up running backs this season, allowing just 3.5 yards per carry. Seattle is in the top 10 against the run, meaning that David Johnsonwill have to do much of his damage through the air on Seattle's linebackers. The Seahawks are second in points allowed overall, which means Carson Palmer must make good on any and all red-zone trips. This especially holds true given that the Seahawks are undefeated at home, averaging 28 points per game. If you aren't a fan of either of these teams, watch David Johnson this weekend. He needs 200 receiving yards to become the third running back to reach the 1,000/1,000 plateau. Awesome stuff."
Josh Weinfuss at ESPN.com takes the Seahawks to beat Arizona by double digits, 34-17, "Despite their best effort to play spoiler, the Cardinals won't be able to overcome a combination of noise at CenturyLink Field and the Seahawks' stout front seven, especially with a patchwork offensive line. The offense will continue to struggle without Michael Floyd, and the Cardinals will head into the season finale looking for their sixth win."
Sheil Kapadia at ESPN.com likes Seattle, 20-6, "The Seahawks need to keep winning to get a bye in the first round of the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the NFC, while the Cardinals are out of playoff contention. Seattle's pass rush looked good last week, with Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett and Frank Clark giving the Rams fits. And Tyler Lockett (seven catches for 130 yards last week) looks like he's going to be a factor down the stretch."
Pete Prisco at CBSSports.com predicts Russell Wilson to lead a late-game drive that will push the Seahawks to a 27-24 win, "This looked like it would be a big late-season game, but the Cardinals have flopped. The Seahawks are pushing for a seed, so they will play hard here. I think Arizona will keep it close, but Seattle finds a way with a late drive by Russell Wilson."
Chris Burke at SI.com picks Seattle to win 31-14, "The Seahawks and Cardinals played one of the odder, harder-hitting games of the season in Week 7, a 6–6 Sunday night tie that was 3–3 after regulation. But there's almost no point in comparing Seattle's road offense to its home one—Russell Wilson & Co. are much more explosive in front of their fans. With Deone Bucannon (ankle) and Tyvon Branch (groin) on IR, the Cardinals also are but a shell of their former selves, as Brees's monster Week 14 showed. WR Tyler Lockett was the Seattle star last week, and he now has a combined 268 yards from scrimmage his past two home games. Arizona's star, RB David Johnson, produced 171 total yards against Seattle back in October. He'll have to keep the heat off Carson Palmer with another strong game Sunday."
Peter Schrager at FOXSports.com likes Seattle to win a close one, 23-20, "David Johnson may be the last thing in the way of the Seahawks and a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. Well, that's a heck of a big thing in the way. Johnson is having a historic season, having become the first player in the history of the league to have 14 games of 100-plus scrimmage yards to start a season. Seahawks win -- in a tougher one than they are hoping for."
David Steele at Sporting News picks the Seahawks to win 29-21, "This game more than anything is a reminder of the fleeting nature of rivalries in the NFC West: Seahawks-Cardinals was hot just a year ago, and Seahawks-49ers just a year before that. The Seahawks will hold things down at home and keep pressing for a first-round bye. "
Michael David Smith and Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com each pick the Seahawks to win by double digits.
The Seahawks and Cardinals have matched up 35 times throughout their history, with an even split of 17 victories each as well as a tie that came earlier this season. The two teams face off again this Saturday at CenturyLink Field to see who will lead the all-time series.