The Seattle Seahawks lost some of their early-season sheen after their Week 5 loss to the Andrew Luck led Colts, but they recovered quickly and sit atop their division going into tonight’s NFC-West showdown against the Arizona Cardinals. Tonight’s NFL game on ESPN marks a pivotal NFC West clash, and not just from a talent level. The Cardinals may be sitting with a 3-3 record, but they’ve historically been a tough matchup for Seattle. If you can’t get to a TV, you can watch ESPN Thursday Night Football online free live stream using the links below. But before you even start to watch the Seahawks Cardinals game, read this preview to learn about why what seems to be a one-sided game should really be a battle.
Fans will want to talk about the quarterbacks for both teams, and that’s a fair place to start. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson will undoubtedly get most of the attention, having joined 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick and the Redskins’ RG3 in taking the “new generation” conversation to a new level. Yet it’s actually Cardinals QB Carson Palmer who’s having the better season. Seahawks QB Wilson has certainly been no slouch, going 97-158 for 1,254 yards and 8 touchdowns this season. It’s just that Cardinals quarterback Palmer has played even better. Through five weeks, Palmer has thrown 131-221 for 1,483 yards and 7 TDs, and he’s led the Cardinals to a more highly ranked passing game than the Seahawks (18th vs. 24th). The catch, of course, is that Wilson does damage on the ground as well, having racked up 294 yards rushing on the NFL’s second-ranked rushing team.
Stopping Wilson and Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch will be a top priority for the Cardinals defense, which got some good news today about defensive end Calais Campbell. The Cardinals DE was carted off the field during Sunday’s loss to the 49ers and actually spent the night in a hospital undergoing numerous tests. According to reports on ESPN, when you watch ESPN Thursday Night Football online free stream you will, in fact, see Campbell take the field against the Seattle Seahawks. Although he’s still suffering from the effects of a bruised spine, all indications are that Campbell has improved from his “questionable” status on Wednesday and will play Thursday night.
The Cardinals may also find solace in their overall record against Seattle, although with one big asterisk attached. Seattle has won four of their previous six matchups against the Cardinals, but the Cardinals lead the Seahawks 15-13 all time. The problem is that they’ve never beaten Seattle in a Thursday Night Football game since moving to Arizona. Well, tonight’s game will be played in University of Phoenix Stadium. Perhaps there’s a first time for everything.
Or maybe not. Evening games have treated Seattle well in recent years, with the Seahawks going 6-1 in games on Sunday, Monday or Thursday nights since Carroll became head coach. In light of that history, plus Seattle’s 5-1 record, the point spread for the Seahawks Cardinals game is 6 points in Seattle’s favor. For a road team not named “Denver Broncos,” that’s an accomplishment. Then again, the Cardinals defense will undoubtedly try to slow down Seahawks RB Lynch, giving quarterback Russell Wilson an opportunity to pick apart an Arizona pass defense ranked just 19th in the league.
Kickoff for tonight’s ESPN Thursday Night Football game is scheduled for 8:25 Eastern / 5:25pm Pacific. It’s best to see the game live on your HDTV, though you can also watch ESPN Thursday Night Football online free live stream at the links above, on the NFL Network’s site or on DirecTV with the NFL Sunday Ticket. All indications are that this will be a low-scoring affair, in spite of Seattle and its 10th-ranked offense going up against the Cardinals’ 15th-ranked defense. But you’ll still want to watch the Seahawks Cardinals game live from the opening drive, as things in this NFC-West showdown could get very interesting, very fast.