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A Battle Out West

Last Thursday, there was a battle for the AFC South. This Thursday, there’s an even bigger battle for the NFC West. The Arizona Cardinals travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks in their second matchup this season. The last time these two teams met, Arizona came away with the victory handing Seattle their first loss of the season. With a three-way tie for first place in NFC West, this game means a lot for both teams.

Arizona Cardinals

Last week, the Cardinals were the most talked about team after their last second win against Buffalo. In case you haven’t heard, Quarterback Kyler Murray threw a Hail Mary with time expiring. The Hail Mary was caught by Wide Receiver DeAndre Hopkins with one second left which gave Arizona the win.

Now, Arizona has high emotion on a short week. This game means everything for Arizona. Winning this game tonight, puts them in a prime position to have control over the division, especially against Seattle. In the event where Arizona and Seattle are tied at the end of the season with the same record, the tiebreaker would go to Arizona due to both wins against Seattle.

Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray needs to step up in this game more than he has all season long. In the first meeting against Seattle, Murray went 34-48, threw for 360 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 67 yards and one touchdown. Murray is going to need a similar or even better stat line if he wants to best this Seattle defense once again. With Seattle continuing to have problems on the defensive side of the ball, it’s possible for Murray to have another fantastic game.

DeAndre Hopkins

Just like his quarterback, Hopkins needs to have a huge game against Seattle. In the first meeting, Hopkins had ten receptions, for 103 yards and one touchdown. He also lost a fumble. Since coming in the league back in 2013, Hopkins has been a matchup nightmare. Now that he has Kyler Murray throwing him the ball, he’s more elite than before. Hopkins needs to have a better stat line for Arizona in this game. Seattle will definitely be double teaming him, and he will need to find a way to break from it.

Seattle Seahawks

This is a revenge game for the Seattle Seahawks. This is also the most important game of the season for them as well. If Seattle loses this game, their chances of winning the division significantly decrease and will also fall to third place in the division. Right now, Seattle is on a two game losing streak, losing to Buffalo and division rival the Los Angeles Rams. They need to break this streak to get back on track and finish the season strong.

Russell Wilson

With back to back losses, and a poor performance, Russell Wilson’s MVP chances are gone. In the last two games, Wilson has thrown four interceptions and only two touchdowns. In the last meeting against Arizona he threw three interceptions and three touchdowns. If Seattle wants to keep their hopes of hosting a playoff game alive, Wilson needs to return to the MVP form he was playing in during the first half of the season.

DK Metcalf

Remember that? That was the only highlight DK Metcalf had that night. He only had two receptions for 23 yards. DK Metcalf was a non factor in the first matchup. That can’t happen again if Seattle wants to win. Metcalf for the most part has taken the league by storm, emerging as one of the best young receivers in the league. With his size, speed and athletic ability, it’s nearly impossible to cover him… unless your name is Patrick Peterson. Metcalf is Seattle’s number one receiver and he needs to play like it for Seattle to stand a chance.

Prediction

This is a no brainer. Arizona will walk into Seattle and win another close hard fought game. This game will come down to defense, where Seattle as struggled all season long. Arizona will keep the reigns in the NFC West, and Seattle will lose their third in a row.

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-Matt Burnett (mattthew_jordan on Twitter) 

 

 

 

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