The Seattle Seahawks, playing their best ball of the season, welcome the Arizona Cardinals into town this Sunday afternoon. The Hawks (7-5) are clinging to the final playoff spot in the NFC while also casting a hopeful eye at the division leading San Francisco 49ers.
Arizona (4-8) is almost certainly out of contention in the Western Division, and the Cardinals have problems that go beyond this week. They have a mess of a situation at quarterback and Darnell Dockett accused of engaging in the art of expectoration at his own teammate.
Yes, his own teammate. According to the National Football League, Dockett spit at teammate Kerry Rhodes during an altercation about defensive strategy late in the Cardinals’ 7-6 loss to the New York Jets last Sunday. The fine, the amount of which has not been released to the public, is said to be at least $100,000 for the attack by saliva on Rhodes, starting safety for the beleaguered Cardinals. Rhodes intercepted Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez twice in last week’s game.
As expected, Dockett is appealing the fine for the incident. The Cardinals will need both Dockett and Rhodes at the top of their game if they are to upset the suddenly hot Hawks, and it will doubtless be the defensive side of the ball that leads the way if the upset is to be. Arizona’s offense has been stifled by the mere presence of anyone’s defense lately, largely due to poor play at the quarterback position. Just today the Cardinals announced that John Skelton would be given the start for Arizona at Seattle, while Ryan Lindley would be sent to the bench. Frankly, though, the Cardinals haven’t had an answer behind center since Kurt Warner retired.
The Seahawks have been motoring smoothly behind the running of Marshawn Lynch and an improved Russell Wilson at quarterback. Corner Brandon Browner has dropped his appeal of the league imposed four game suspension for using Adderall and will begin serving time this Sunday. Richard Sherman, corner across the field from Browner, is still appealing his suspension for the same offense. If, as expected, Sherman’s appeal is denied, the Hawks will only be without both corners for three games.
Vegas sharps list the Hawks as a 10 point favorite for Sunday’s game, which can be seen on Q13 Fox. Double digits is a big deal in the NFL against a division opponent that has already seen you once. That shouldn’t matter this week. Expect Arizona to put up a lively effort for a quarter and a half, throw a pick six and be rolled like an avalanche on Snoqualmie Pass in the second half. Take the Seahawks, lay the points, and send me a nice Christmas gift with the winnings.