It’s time for another week of Thursday Night Football. Last week’s game actually lived up to expectations somewhat, with the New York Jets upsetting the Buffalo Bills 34-21. In other news, pigs are now capable of flight. On a more serious note, the Jets actually look like a functional team right now. It’s kind of cool to see! Both teams are still in the mix for the AFC playoff race.
We got another division rivalry on tap this time around in the NFC West, featuring the Seattle Seahawks travelling to Glendale, Arizona, to take on the Arizona Cardinals. The Seahawks are coming off a disappointing loss to the Washington Redskins last Sunday, highlighted by three missed field goals from kicker Blair Walsh. The Cardinals, meanwhile, were able to come away with a victory over the winless San Francisco 49ers. It was a decent showing, though the most entertaining part of the game came from a fight.
Will this one be as good as last week? Better? Worse than the week before? Let’s find out. It’s the third edition of Should I Watch the Thing?
Playoff implications: this game actually has huge implications for both teams. Believe it or not, at 5-3, the Seahawks are a game behind the 6-2 Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West. They’re tied with the Dallas Cowboys for the final wild-card spot in the NFC; the Cowboys currently have the tiebreaker. A loss could be a huge setback for them.
For the Cardinals, they’re in third at 4-4. Not completely out of the playoff chase yet, but a loss tonight would jeopardize their chances big time.
3 points out of 3
Division rivalry/past history: NFC West bros for life. Unlike other divisions, the two teams don’t have a long history of games, since the Seahawks only came over to the NFC in 2002. Still, the series has been a tight one. The Cardinals lead 18-17-1. They tied in a historically awful Sunday Night game last year; the Cardinals won the rematch in a close game.
1.5 points out of 2 (4.5 out of 6 points total)
Team quality and offensive showcase potential: a little more mixed in these two categories. The Cardinals offense is an enigma right now. With Carson Palmer on injured reserve, their offense is being led by backup Drew Stanton, though Adrian Peterson was terrific on the ground last week. Their defensive outlook is uncertain as well; they’re 11th against the run and 23rd against the pass.
The Seahawks defense is still in the top half of the NFL, though they haven’t been as consistent as in years past and Earl Thomas will be out tonight. Their offense is 6th in the league, bolstered by some outstanding play from Russell Wilson. They’re still trying to incorporate the newly acquired Duane Brown into their anemic offensive line.
Team quality: 1 point out of 2; offensive showcase potential: 1.5 points out of 2 (7 points out of 9 total)
Must-see players/record watches: we actually have a record watch update this week. Two even! Peterson needs 102 yards to pass Marcus Allen for 13th on the all-time rushing yards list. Larry Fitzgerald needs 175 receiving yards to overtake Tony Gonzalez for 5th all-time.
Must-see players are well-represented. Wilson, Doug Baldwin, Bobby Wagner and Kam Chancellor stand out for Seattle. Fitzgerald, Peterson, Tyvon Branch and Patrick Peterson are guys to watch for Arizona.
1 point out of 1 (8 out of 10 points total)
That’s a pretty high score! There’s a realistic chance that the Seahawks defense smothers Stanton and company, but all things considered, this should be an entertaining contest. We’ll find out tonight.