Here's the good news: The Cardinals are 4-4 and in the mix in the NFC. There's little chance they'll make much noise in the division; the first-place Rams (6-2) have been one of the most surprising stories of the season. The Seahawks (5-3), who annually find themselves in this position at the halfway point of the season, have made the postseason in each of the last five years, which coincides with Russell Wilson's arrival in Seattle.
And here's the bad news: Despite Arizona's record, it's one of the league's worst teams, at least on a per-play basis. According to Football Outsiders' metrics, the Cardinals are 27th in team efficiency, ahead of only the Giants, 49ers, Colts, Dolphins and Browns. Making matters worse: Arizona's quarterback situation went from bad to worse when 37-year-old Carson Palmer broke his non-throwing arm in late October and was placed on injured reserve. He was replaced by Drew Stanton, whose primary weapons are Larry Fitzgerald, Adrian Peterson and jokes.
No seriously, Stanton, who was just 15 of 30 for 201 yards (2 TDs, 1 INT) in last Sunday's win over the 49ers, uses humor to ease the tension.
"Some people can misconstrue that laid-back sense of humor as a smartass," Stanton said this week, via ESPN.com. "I've definitely gotten that a lot throughout the course of my career. I feel like I've even matured a little bit over the years, so it was probably even worse initially.
"I feel like that's one thing I've always tried to do throughout my entire career. We make it hard enough on ourselves. We take everything so serious, and it should be serious. It's very important, but at the same time, we need to go out and have fun and you only do that by being able to relax and play at your potential. Sometimes, I just go out there and do what I need to do and try to be infectious with that in some way, shape or form."
Kidding aside, coach Bruce Arians has complete faith in Stanton.
"When Drew steps in the huddle, there is total confidence in the other 10 guys," Arians said. "They know he knows this offense inside and out, and when he gets a hot hand, he can really light it up."
Unfortunately, there probably won't be many opportunities to light up the Seahawks' defense. In part because the unit is sixth against the pass, but primarily because the Seahawks are also 19th against the run. And while Arizona has struggled offensively -- it's 27th overall and 31st when running the ball -- expect a lot of Adrian Peterson, who has rediscovered himself since arriving in the Valley of the Sun in mid-October.
Two weeks after rushing four times for four yards in his final game with the Saints, Peterson went wild in his Cardinals debut. He finished with 26 carries for 134 yards and two scores. He had just 21 yards the next week, a 33-0 drubbing at the hands of the resurgent Rams, but he ran all over the 49ers last Sunday, carrying the ball 37 times for 159 yards.
If the Cardinals are going to have a chance against the Seahawks -- Arizona is 0-3-1 at home against Seattle in the Bruce Arians era -- Peterson will need a big night. And while All Day has been a fantastic story these last few weeks, it won't be enough to overcome the loss of key players, including one of the game's best players: running back David Johnson, who was injured in Week 1.
Prediction: Seahawks over the Cardinals, 24-20.
How to watch, stream
It's Color Rush Thursday (again), y'all!
Every Thursday is Color Rush Thursday in the NFL. You're welcome.
#BirdsInBlack on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/GdND8YdCko— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) November 7, 2017
Oh my. Here's the Seahawks & Cardinals color rush matchup for Thursday Night Football pic.twitter.com/yULtBAR19t— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) November 7, 2017
And here's an EA Madden simulation of what the matchup will look like:
You know who loves to shine brightest when the prime time lights are on?@LarryFitzgerald— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) November 8, 2017
Fitz vs the Seattle DBs = @EAMaddenNFL Matchup to Watch for #SEAvsAZ.
🎮: @JreedVick7#Madden18 pic.twitter.com/cVO8abtxNz
Just like last season, Color Rush will be a Thursday Night Football staple. In the meantime, here is every team's Color Rush uniform from 2016.
AFC Color Rush
NFC Color Rush
Thursday night schedule
- Week 10: Seahawks at Cardinals, Nov. 9 at 8:25 p.m. ET on NBC and NFLN
- Week 11: Titans at Steelers, Nov. 16 at 8:25 p.m. ET on NBC and NFLN
- Week 12: Giants at Redskins, Nov. 23 at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC
- Week 13: Redskins at Cowboys, Nov. 30 at 8:25 p.m. ET on NBC and NFLN
- Week 14: Saints at Falcons, Dec. 7 at 8:25 p.m. ET on NBC and NFLN
- Week 15: Broncos at Colts, Dec. 14 at 8:25 p.m. ET on NBC and NFLN
'TNF' comes to Amazon
After Twitter hosted several "Thursday Night Football" games during the 2016 for live streaming, it lost a bid for the NFL's 2017 streaming package to Amazon, which will stream 10 Thursday night games -- including the Seahawks-Cardinals matchup -- during the season for Amazon Prime members. You can read more about Amazon's deal here.
Here are the games available for streaming from Amazon:
- Week 10: Seahawks at Cardinals, Nov. 9 at 8:25 p.m. ET
- Week 11: Titans at Steelers, Nov. 16 at 8:25 p.m. ET
- Week 13: Redskins at Cowboys, Nov. 30 at 8:25 p.m. ET
- Week 14: Saints at Falcons, Dec. 7 at 8:25 p.m. ET
- Week 15: Broncos at Colts, Dec. 14 at 8:25 p.m. ET
- Week 16: Steelers at Texans, Dec. 25 at 4:30 p.m. ET