Week 1: Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

Seattle Seahawks v Kansas City Chiefs
Oakland Raiders v Arizona Cardinals
Winner Russell Wilson did not have the pedigree of Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, but he will be the Seahawks’ starting quarterback. The third-round pick beat out Matt Flynn because of his poise, athleticism and accuracy.
Ken Whisenhunt still had not made an official selection at quarterback. John Skelton and Kevin Kolb seem to have little to offer at this point and it seems likely that Skelton has the better chance to improve at this point.
The Seahawks should be able to take some of the pressure off of their rookie quarterback with the running game. Marshawn Lynch is coming off a 1,204-yard season and is ready to meet or exceed those numbers. Sidney Rice is the best receiver of an ordinary group.
Winner If the Cardinals can get any kind of positive traction from quarterback, they have one of the best receivers in the game in Larry Fitzgerald. Todd Heap can go up and get it in third-down situations. Beanie Wells gives them solid production from running back.
Pete Carroll understands defense and the Seahawks showed steady improvement in that area last year. Red Bryant seals the edge on the run while Chris Clemons had another double-digit sack season.
Winner The Cardinals have to look at their team and realize that the defense must carry the team. Defensive coordinator Ray Horton depends heavily on Calais Campbell to put pressure on the quarterback and he gets help from Darnell Dockett.
Special Teams
Winner The Seahawks were not overly effective on special teams in 2011, but they have two excellent special teamers in Leon Washington and Michael Robinson. Placekicker Steven Hauschka and punter Jon Ryan are a solid duo as well.
Patrick Peterson is 2012-speak for Devin Hester. Peterson is coming off a season in which he returned four punts for touchdowns. Like Hester, it seems Peterson can take it to the house any time he wants.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Seattle Seahawks v Kansas City Chiefs Oakland Raiders v Arizona Cardinals

The checkmarks may be even, but you have to favor the Seahawks because the Cardinals are so moribund at the quarterback position. That sounds strange considering the Seahawks are going with a rookie third-rounder, but Wilson earned the spot because he can put the ball on the money. That’s what the position is all about.


  1. Mike Vick #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Philip Rivers  of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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    The high-powered Pittsburgh offense was a bit out of sync against the Ravens in Week Four without Ben Roethlisberger, but it seemed like Mike Vick was pretty close to finding success.

  2. Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Giants quarterback Eli Manning. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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    Colin Kaepernick is under extreme pressure to produce at a high level. That has not been happening, and the 49ers are in danger of seeing their season fall apart.

  3. Peyton Manning (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 30: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders passes against the St. Louis Rams in the second quarter at the Edward Jones Dome on November 30, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Raiders 52-0.
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: Denver Broncos At Oakland Raiders

    Peyton Manning appears to have come to terms with the deficiencies in his game at this point. He can no longer whistle the ball downfield at the last minute, and some medium-range passes are difficult as well.

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