Free NFL Pick: Seattle at Arizona 11-14-2010

November 13, 2010

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Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals

Sunday November 14th, 2010 4:15 PM EST

Line: Arizona -2

Overview:

The NFC West is the poster of mediocrity around the NFL. All four teams are middle of the road at best and have suffered humiliating losses. Last week, the Seahawks lost at home 41-7 to the Giants. The Cardinals are 2-1 at home, so despite posting a 3-5 record, at least they have that to hang their hat on. As poor as the play of both of these teams has been, they both have a shot at sitting atop the NFC West with a win this week and a Rams loss. The Seahawks, Rams, and Cardinals could all be in first place at 4-5 after this week, with the 49ers trailing closely behind at 3-5. As ugly as it is, the NFC West is one of the most compelling divisions in the NFL.

Keys to the Game:

  • Matt Hasselbeck is back. This is great news for a Seahawks team who had to endure Charlie Whitehurst last week. Hasselbeck hasn’t had a good year, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns for a 70.8 QB rating. He is, however, a seasoned veteran who has the trust of his locker room. He has a group of young receivers and little help on the o-line. The Seahawks are a team in transition, but there is no questioning the effect Hasselbeck has on the locker room. They are a much better football team when he is under center.
  • The Cardinals have a good chance of knocking Hasselbeck out of the game. The Cardinals are likely to bring the heat on Sunday, as the Seahawks showed just how porous their offensive line really is last week. The Seahawks are banged up and have been shuffling their offensive line around all season long. The Seahawks were in complete disarray last week and the Cardinals would do well to apply that sort of pressure this week. The Cardinals have been capitalizing on other teams mistakes this season. Putting the defense in attack mode is going to foce Hasselbeck into making poor throws.
  • Derek Anderson didn’t have a great week last week, but it was almost good enough to come away with a victory. The Cardinals are very good in certain areas, which compensate for poor quarterback play at times. Unfortunately, Max Hall and Derek Anderson have both kept the Cardinals from being competitive by making horrible throws at inopportune times. If Anderson can continue to play slightly above average, the Cardinals will see themselves involved in more competitive games, like last week.
  • Larry Fitzgerald finally had a 100 yard game. It seemed like Fitzgerald was going to be victimized by poor quarterback play all season long, but after last week, the Cardinals may have turned a new leaf. Fitzgerald is a crucial part of Cardinals offense. He has the potential to take over a football game, but the Cardinals have struggled to find a quarterback who can get him the ball. The Cardinals will not see many victories if they fail to involve their best player. They need to build on Fitzgerald’s big game by taking advantage of the mismatches presented by the Seahawks secondary.

Wrap Up:

This game is going to come down to defense. Both teams look like they are going to encounter offensive struggles. While neither team is exemplary on the defensive side of the ball, the Cardinals make game changing plays fairly consistently, especially at home. The Seahawks are 1-3 on the road. With the injuries they have encountered, it appears they will move to 1-4 on the road.

Free NFL Pick: Arizona Cardinals -2


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