You can see the first part of this series here. For the record, I won’t be writing one of these Worrier posts for every single team the Seahawks play; I’m not demented! There’s no point in writing one of these about the Jags or Titans, for crying out loud. Why should I worry about those teams; they’re terrible! I’m also not going to write one of these about the 49ers or Falcons, because duh. Those are two great teams. They comprise 3/16 of our schedule (not counting playoffs). I’m not special because I worry about the Seahawks possibly losing to two other elite ballclubs (especially when two of those games are on the road).
This series is about the teams that the Seahawks very well SHOULD beat, but because I’m soft in the cabeza, I can’t help but be concerned about the very minor possibility that the Seahawks fuck up and blow it.
For the record, there’s a lot to dislike about the Cardinals. They were in the bottom fourth of point-differential last year, for starters. Of course, a lot of that had to do with the 58-0 whuppin’ the Seahawks put on them towards the end there. But, either way, they’re easily the worst team in the NFC West and it’s not even close.
Also, this is just my personal opinion: I think Carson Palmer sucks dick. In fact, if I were in charge of that team, I would have passed on Palmer and tried my hand at a healthy Kevin Kolb one more time. That, I think, should tell you something about my opinion on Mr. Palmer. He’s a washed up clown who hasn’t been great since that playoff game against the Steelers where they killed his career. I don’t care what kind of yards he’s able to throw for in any given year; when he throws as many interceptions as he does – and at just the worst, most Philip Rivers-esque times – and when he fumbles the ball as much as he does, how can you trust him to lead your football team?
What happens to formerly-elite quarterbacks? Do they get a huge ego and think they can fit a pass into any opening, no matter how non-existent? Is it their offensive coordinators, who go around abandoning the run once they see they’ve got a guy with a cannon for an arm? If I rooted for a Carson Palmer-led team, and I never saw my quarterback throw into triple-coverage again, it would be too soon.
Also, not for nothing, but Carson Palmer is not Kurt Warner. I understand he had a raw deal with the Raiders. EVERYONE has a raw deal when they play for the Raiders; they’re the Raiders! But, just because you’ve got a guy in his mid-30s who had a track record of quarterback success once, and now he’s going to be throwing to Larry Fitzgerald, that doesn’t mean you should start booking your tickets to the Super Bowl.
For starters, I would argue that when Kurt Warner took the Cards to the Big Game, it was during a very down year for the rest of the NFC West. This year? The NFC West is the most stacked division in football, with defenses out the wazoo. Remember how Carson Palmer struggled in Oakland because he was under constant duress thanks to his Swiss cheese line? Well, now picture him in a Cardinals uniform, going up against the defensive units of the Seahawks, 49ers, and Rams. These three defenses MIGHT be 1,2, & 3 in the NFC this year. I wouldn’t count on Carson Palmer as far as Carson Palmer can throw Carson Palmer straight into the hands of an opposing team’s free safety!
That having been said, you can’t necessarily count this team out of any game either. They WILL shock some people. Or, I guess based on the way people are over-rating this fucking team, I should say that they WILL shock me. They have a solid, if unspectacular defense. Maybe lacking some of the depth of the Seahawks and 49ers, but still good enough, with some quality play-makers. They also still play eight home games a year. I don’t care who you are: you’re not at your best when you’re playing on the road.
This year, the Cardinals don’t have the luxury of hosting the Seahawks in week 1, with a rookie quarterback making his first-ever regular season start. This year, the Seahawks don’t go into Arizona until Week 7, which just so happens to be a Thursday night game. I’ve argued this point ad nauseum, but I’ll say it again: anything can fucking happen on a Thursday night game. Most of the time, it means that a bad team’s weaknesses are exploited tenfold because they don’t have enough time to properly game-plan for their superior opponent. But, every so often, you get a freewheeling upstart who gets hot and starts throwing the ball around and scoring points in bunches. The Seahawks SHOULD win this game, and they should win it by double digits. But, since it’s on the road, on a short week, and against a division rival (always a tough game; last season’s 58-0 thrashing notwithstanding; besides, that one was at home), the game will likely be ugly and a lot closer than it should be.
Both times the Seahawks play the Cardinals, they play the Rams the very next week. I don’t know how that works, but you have to argue that the Seahawks would have no reason to look past the Cardinals (like they might with the Panthers, considering the 49ers loom the following week). We don’t play the Cards again until Week 16, at which point if everything is going according to plan, we should still be fighting hard for a first round playoff BYE. I don’t see much point in predicting what’s going to happen in this game, since in all likelihood Palmer will be injured by this point anyway, but suffice it to say I’m 100 million times less worried about this game than I am the Thursday nighter.
All divisional games are critical. Which makes these games you’re SUPPOSED to win all the more important. Yes, beating the 49ers would be nice, but you can’t go coughing up games against the Cardinals & Rams and expect to have that tie-breaker advantage you so desperately need.