The 2012 NFL season is finally here, and the Arizona Cardinals are hosting the Seattle Seahawks to open things up.
The Seahawks come to town with rookie quarterback Russell Wilson under center, with many NFL pundits believing the former Wisconsin Badger will be the next…umm…big thing.
The Cardinals, on the other hand, will turn to John Skelton with the hope he is the right guy to lead the team back to the postseason.
Which team will open its season undefeated? The experts at Arizona Sports 620 tell you, and we encourage you to post your prediction with a comment.
If nothing else, the Cardinals-Seahawks game is a quarterback cautionary tale. The Cardinals threw caution to the wind and traded for Kevin Kolb before signing him to a huge contract in 2011, while Seattle lined the pockets of Matt Flynn to the tune of $26 million over three years. They’ll both be holding clipboards while John Skelton and Russell Wilson start Sunday. Anyway, there’s not much I saw in the preseason from the Cardinals that instills me with confidence for the upcoming season.
Final Score: Seahawks 24, Cardinals 17
I apologize up front for my lack of conviction but I have no idea what will happen in this game. I don’t like the matchup of a rookie QB going against Ray Horton, so I’ll take the Cardinals, but starting two new OTs is not a normal picture for success.
Final Score: Cardinals 20, Seahawks 10
Only three teams had more takeaways than Seattle’s defensive unit last year (49ers, Packers, Lions). It’s an obvious key to every NFL team in every NFL game, but the key for the Cardinals specifically is for John Skelton’s accuracy to be spot on Sunday. Usually it’s just spotty. I expect Skelton to be under serious duress in this game, impacting his accuracy and creating short fields for Russell Wilson.
Final Score: Seahawks 17, Cardinals 14
I have been on the Russell Wilson bandwagon for a year now so no stopping it now. Rookie quarterbacks don’t usually fare well, and there are questions at receiver where Sydney Rice is never healthy and at running back with Marshawn Lynch banged up heading into the opener. But Wilson is capable of making plays out of nothing and Seattle’s offensive line is much improved while the Cardinals’ is not.
Final Score: Seahawks 23, Cardinals 20
The Cardinals begin the 2012 season the same way they ended the 2011 campaign by hosting Seattle. They also begin the 2012 season the same way they began both 2010 and 2011 by facing rookie QBs making their first NFL start.
Is Russell Wilson good? Probably, but he’s an unknown at this point. Funny thing is, so is Arizona’s John Skelton.
Put me in the camp that believes the Cards’ QB will look better than people think this season, and as long as the line holds up his numbers will be there. It won’t — at least not for 16 games — but will do just enough to get the win at home this Sunday.
Of all the week one scenarios to have, the Cardinals seem to once again be set up for success as they open up the season against a rookie quarterback for the third straight year. Ray Horton will also be unleashing a hungry bunch on defense after keeping things vanilla during the preseason. Despite the obvious focus on the Cards QB and O-line situations, I think it comes down to limiting turnovers & mistakes as well as feeding off the crowd for Big Red to get started out with a W.
Final Score: Cardinals 24, Seahawks 14
Russell Wilson doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. Not yet. Meaning, just like Sam (Bradford) & Cam (Newton) before him, he’ll make plays. More importantly, the rookie QB will also make mistakes. Just enough mistakes in his debut to ensure that this season starts the same way last season ended — with the Cardinals beating Seattle at home in a tight game.
Final Score: Cardinals 24, Seahawks 21
For the third year in a row, the Arizona Cardinals go up against a rookie QB with a whole lot of upside to begin the season. Two years ago it was Sam Bradford in St. Louis, last year it was Carolina’s Cam Newton, and though he threw for 422 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, the Cardinals prevailed anyway, 28-21. This year it’s Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. I’m a big believer that history repeats itself, so while Wilson will impress, the Cards will ultimately come out on top.
Final Score: Cardinals 27, Seahawks 20
Let’s see…Russell Wilson vs. John Skelton? Whoo! I know what I’ll be watching on Sunday.
This game is going to be a long one with a lack of offensive potency and anything close to sterling defense. No keys here. Whoever commits the fewest errors wins.
I think the key to this game will be Cards receivers vs Seahawks secondary — and I like the good guys in this battle.
Final Score: Cardinals 21, Seahawks 17