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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, November 09, 2017 1:00 am

Home field means less to these NFC rivals

BOB BAUM | Associated Press

Jaws' pick

Seattle at Arizona

Time: 8:25 p.m. today (NBC)

Records: Seahawks 5-3; Cardinals 4-4

The skinny: Seattle struggled to score last week as Blair Walsh missed three field goals, but its defense was strong again despite not having safety Earl Thomas. Adrian Peterson lugged the ball 37 times for 159 yards for Arizona and will be hard pressed to duplicate that kind of performance on short rest against a tough defense.

Prediction: Seahawks 24-17

Last week: 9-4; Season: 84-48

– Mark Jaworski, The Journal Gazette

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Seattle Seahawks must love the desert.

They've beaten Bruce Arians' Cardinals three of the past four times they've played there. The exception was last season's excruciating 6-6 tie, a Sunday night game when Arizona and Seattle both missed chip-shot field goals that would have won the game in overtime.

“It was old-time football,” said Arians, the Arizona coach. “I've never been in a game with 97 snaps on offense and you only score six points.”

It's the latest matchup between NFC West foes where home field doesn't seem to mean much. The Cardinals have won in three of its past four trips to Seattle, but the Seahawks have dominated in Arizona.

The Seahawks (5-3) will be favored again when they face the Cardinals (4-4) tonight, with Seattle's tough defensive front aiming to stop Adrian Peterson, who literally is carrying the offensive load since coming to the Cardinals.

With quarterback Carson Palmer out with a broken arm, Arizona is leaning on Peterson even more.

Tonight's game comes just four days after the 32-year-old running back carried a career-high 37 times for 159 yards in the Cardinals' 20-10 victory at San Francisco.

“I'm feeling good,” Peterson said on Wednesday. “My body's feeling fresh. I'm ready to roll. I'm sure they are as sore as us, so it's going to be a battle of will.”

The Seahawks are coming off a home loss to Washington.

“We took a step back last week,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “We didn't play like we wanted to, but over the last month or so, we've been playing pretty good football. We're moving in the right direction.”

Seattle not only has to play on short rest, but must travel to play the game.

“If you're going to play on Thursday night,” Arians said, “home is a huge advantage.”

The Cardinals, whose wins have come against teams that are a combined 5-21, will need all the advantages they can muster.

The Seahawks had several players miss practice in the short week because of injuries. Most will probably play, but running back Eddie Lacy (groin) and defensive end Marcus Smith (concussion) are out, and safety Earl Thomas (heel) is listed as doubtful.

With Lacy out, the Seahawks will rely on Thomas Rawls as their primary ball carrier.

Rawls rushed for a season-high 39 yards last week against Washington.

It's far from an impressive total, but it came on nine carries and the 4.3 yards per carry were a drastic improvement for Seattle's run game.