The three biggest things to watch for Thursday when the Cardinals play the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field in Seattle:
Let's Talk MVP Candidacy
Russell Wilson got off to one of the best starts ever passing the ball, and it looked like he'd be the front-runner – or at least co-front-runner – to the MVP trophy. But Wilson has looked less DangeRuss of late, turning the ball over as the Seahawks have lost three of four. Meanwhile, it is Kyler Murray whose play has trended up, shredding defenses with both arm and legs, and now he's in the MVP discussion. Whether or not either won wins the award means little, but which of the QBs plays a better game Thursday night means a lot. The weather will make it interesting – there is a 40 percent chance of rain Thursday night with a high of 48 degrees – but the Cardinals' No. 1 ranked offense figures to have its chances against a reeling Seahawks defense.
Let Confusion (Continue To) Reign
Speaking of Wilson, he hurt the Cardinals for a chunk of the game in Arizona. Then Vance Joseph started getting blitz-heavy and a lot more confusing with his looks, and it cost Wilson some interceptions and ultimately, the game. The Seahawks' run game is tepid at best; if the Cards' defense can give Wilson fits again, it'll go a long way toward helping the Cards. Having Patrick Peterson control DK Metcalf wouldn't be bad either, although Tyler Lockett lit up the night for 15 catches, 200 yards and three scores. There figure to be some points put on the board. The Cardinals aren't going to shut the Seahawks down, but they can limit the damage.
First Things First
This is about first place in the NFC West (yes, the Rams are also 6-3, but let's not mess with the storyline just because of that.) Since the Cards won the first meeting, this could be a crushing blow for the Seahawks in the division. A Cardinals' win, and the Seahawks would lose the tiebreaker and need to recapture two games in the standings to beat out the Cards for a division title. That still could happen, but the Cards would be in great shape if they can go on national TV to beat the Seahawks for a second time this season. Yes, the Cardinals still have to play the Rams twice, but this one goes a long way in shaping up the stretch run.