The Arizona Cardinals, now with an 11 and 5 record, will host the Seattle Seahawks, 6 and 10, in Phoenix. The game will be at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ on Sunday, Jan. 9 at 2.25 PM. Expect to see a dramatic struggle between these two teams, especially now that Arizona has secured a wild card slot for the playoffs.
Moreover, the game has more meaning to both teams than it might first appear. Here is why.
Why Arizona Needs to Win and the Likelihood Will Happen
On the one hand, Arizona needs to secure a win to raise its seeking rank in the playoffs.
For example, in the NFC West, Arizona is ranked #2 right behind the LA Rams. The Cardinals hope to finish the season with a 12 and 5 record. That might allow it to tie with the number 1 ranked LA Rams.
The Rams presently have a 12 and 4 record, especially if they lose to the San Francisco 49ers. However, that does not seem likely, given that the 3rd ranked (NFC West) 49ers have a 9 and 7 record.
Moreover, the Rams game is also a home game in LA, giving them the home-town advantage, just like the Cardinals Phoenix game on Jan. 9.
So, given these rankings, there seems to be a slightly better chance that the LA Rams will win compared to the chance that the Cardinals will win - albeit both are favorites to win. So this means that there will be great pressure on the AZ Cardinals to win and to also hope that the LA Rams will lose. At least then, they will booth have a reasonably equal shot in the seedings rankings and for their odds going forward.
Why The Seahawks Need To Win
Seattle needs to finish their season with a win. Their lousy record of 6 and 10 is a disgrace for their storied team and their fans know it.
Let's face it - Seattle can't end the season with a 6 and 11 record. That is almost a 50% failure rate (i.e., 6/11 = 54%). That would mean that won only slightly more than half of their games. They need to show fire so that next year their team can come out swinging.
The problem is the last time Seattle played Arizona, the Cardinals routed the Seahawks 23 to 13 on Nov. 21. That loss could still be in the minds of both teams' players.
So, on balance, it is going to be an uphill struggle for Seattle. They need to come out swinging and plow through a decisive victory.
Where This Leaves the Odds
The bottom line here is: expect the Arizona Cardinals will beat the Seattle Seahawks. However, also expect to see the LA Rams beat the San Francisco 49ers.
This will leave the Cardinals with a full season record of 12 and 5 and the LA Rams with a 13 and 4 record. If that happens, the Cardinals will not get the kind of NFL playoff seeding that they would want.
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