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WILD-CARD HAWKS: A SEATTLE WIN SECURES THE NFC’S NO. 5 SEED FOR THE SEAHAWKS

 Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks rushes for a first down during the first quarter of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at CenturyLink Field on December 23, 2018 in Seattle, Washington

Russell Wilson passed for three touchdowns, the team rushed for 210 yards and Seattle clinched a playoff berth with a convincing 38-31 win over Kansas City on Sunday night. The Seahawks are now 9-6 overall and 9-4-2 against the spread. They’ve covered four of their past five.

The Cardinals rush defense is so bad, Todd Gurley’s recently acquired backup, C.J. Anderson, rushed for 167 or more yards for the first time since 2014. Without having to face Gurley and getting +14 points, Arizona still failed to cover the spread in a 31-9 loss to the Rams. The Cardinals are now 3-12 overall and 6-8-1 against the spread but have failed to cover in four of their past five.

In Josh Rosen’s first career start, the Cardinals covered +3.5 despite losing 20-17 to the Seahawks back in late September.

SHARK BITES
  • The Seahawks are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games vs their division at home.
  • The total has gone OVER in six of the Seahawks’ last seven games (avg. combined score: 54.29).
  • The total has gone OVER in 17 of the Cardinals’ last 24 games on the road (avg. combined score: 48.17).

Cardinals vs Seahawks Game Center

WHAT WE LEARNED WEEK 16, THIS SEASON AND MATCHUPS TO CONSIDER

Cardinals – For the second week in a row, Mike Glennon finished a game Josh Rosen started. The rookie quarterback out of UCLA hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in over a month. His 55.4 percent completion rate ranks 32nd among qualified quarterbacks. After cameras caught Rosen on the sidelines with his elbow wrapped, there’s a chance that injury could impact his Week 17 status. If Glennon is named the starter against the Seahawks, the Cardinals offense immediately earns a small upgrade.

Arizona’s defense has allowed 202 rush yards per game over the past three weeks. Seattle’s league-best rush offense is averaging 197.3 rush yards per game during the same stretch. With the clock running in Week 17, we’d expect a short game where the UNDER is in play considering the fact that Arizona has averaged 13.6 points per game over its past 10.

Seahawks – Through the first 15 weeks, Seattle averaged more than seven penalties per game – sixth-most in the NFL. In their 38-31 win over the Chiefs, the Seahawks committed just three penalties, which also helped them win the time of possession battle 35-25.

Wilson has thrown 16 touchdowns and only one interception over his past seven games. Behind him, Chris Carson has averaged 23 to 24 carries and 108.3 rush yards per game with four touchdowns over the past three weeks. The Seattle workhorse could get a little bit of a breather against the Cardinals as rookie Rashaad Penny makes his return after missing several games with a knee injury. Carson missed the game at Arizona earlier this season. Mike Davis rushed 21 times for 101 yards and two scores.

The ’Hawks have averaged 30.4 points per game over their past seven, which when you consider how much they run the football is quite efficient.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON FORECAST

Overcast with temperatures in the mid-40s and a 40 percent chance of rain showers. The wind shouldn’t impact the passing or kicking games.

Sebastian Janikowski was injured in Sunday night’s game against the Chiefs. The leg injury was severe enough that rookie punter Michael Dickson handled kickoffs the remainder of the game. We don’t know Seabass’ status for Week 17 as of press time. Janikowski is 20-for-25 on field goals and 45-for-48 on extra points this season. Reminding everybody why Cleveland cut him earlier this season, Arizona’s Zane Gonzalez missed a field goal and an extra point in the loss to the Rams.

MY LEAN

After pushing Kansas City around, Seattle looked like a legit threat to win the NFC championship next month. On the same day coach Pete Carroll earned a contract extension, he told the media he will not rest any of his regular players. With the depth that the Seahawks have at running back and considering the opponent, look for the ’Hawks to run it down Arizona’s throat. The Cardinals are likely more interested in securing the draft’s No. 1 pick than competing in Week 17.

I’m leaning Seattle by 13 and depending on what the total is, the UNDER.

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