Desperate ‘Hawks Eye Return to Form

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Seattle can't afford any slip up if they want to win the NFC West this year as they get set to host the in-form Arizona Cardinals on Thursday.

Russell Wilson has found the going tough of late but can recover against Arizona on Thursday night.

Two of the three teams tied for the lead at 6-3 in the NFC West face off at CenturyLink Field on Thursday when the Seattle Seahawks entertain the Arizona Cardinals. Having flown out of the blocks to start the year, the ‘Hawks are reeling after losing three of their last four games, allowing the in-form Cardinals to close the gap.

Victory for upstarts Arizona would see them sweep the season series against Seattle and give them a big advantage in the race for the division title. However, the Seahawks are unbeaten at home and have the tools to get their campaign back on track.

All Hail Murray

Despite being the team in form after four wins in their last five matches, the Cardinals enter Week 11 as the 7/5 underdogs, while they are 25/27 to cover the +3 point spread.

Kliff Kingsbury’s men have been one of the most entertaining sides to watch this season and last Sunday’s meeting with Buffalo was no exception. Trailing by four in the final seconds of the game, quarterback Kyler Murray produced a play dubbed the ‘Hail Murray’ as he found DeAndre Hopkins in the end zone for the win.

That completed a remarkable comeback by Arizona, who have scored 30 or more points in five straight games now. Their offense has certainly clicked into gear with Murray’s passing accuracy having improved, while the off-season trade for Hopkins is paying dividends already.

They head to Seattle having won five of the last seven meetings with their NFC West foes but this is still a young, evolving team, one who is ahead of schedule in their development and they come into this game with concerns on defence.

Offense the Best Form of Defense

Seven of their 11 defensive starters have been listed on the injury report this week and this was a defense that had been struggling to begin with, giving up 30 points in three straight games.

Although this isn’t quite a must-win game for Seattle, a second straight divisional defeat would leave them at a big disadvantage in the race for first place in the NFC West. With so much riding on this game, Seattle can edge what likely’s to another high-scoring match-up.

With Arizona’s defense banged up and Seattle still on pace to give up the most passing yards in NFL history, taking over 56.5 total points at 25/28 could be the way to go.

These two share an incredible 71 points in Week 7, one of six Seattle games where the points total has gone over this season. Arizona have also gone three straight games where the over has landed.

Wilson Can Get Cooking Again

Seattle’ had been flying before their Week 7 loss to the Cardinals in Arizona, heading into the contest at 5-0 only to fall to a thrilling 37-34 overtime defeat. They’ve found it tough to recover from that heart-wrenching defeat with quarterback Russell Wilson, in particular, having issues rediscovering his mojo.

Wilson had been leading the race for the MVP title before the first meeting with Arizona but has cooled dramatically since, throwing seven interceptions in his last four games. The 31-year-old produced his worst showing of the season in last week’s 23-16 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

He failed to throw a touchdown pass in that Rams clash but has never gone back-to-back games in his career without a TD throw. Thursday’s game could be a turning point in Wilson’s season and he performed well in this first meeting with Arizona, throwing for 388 yards and three touchdowns.

Seattle should have top recover Tyler Lockett fit and with their other main wideout DK Metcalf is due a big game, Wilson can go over the 313.5 passing yard mark at 1/1.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Chris is broadcast and written journalist with a wealth of experience, across a number of different sports. As well covering football on the radio, he is a regular online and print contributor on the likes of rugby union, American Football and Formula One.

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