Since entering the NFL, John Skelton has been the underdog story that won't go away. But his role…
Big Red Blog: Week 1 Prediction
Week 1 Prediction: Setting the tone
Posted by Brad Wilbricht
Friday, September 7 - 2:30 PM
The Cardinals have their fair share of issues but can set the tone for the 2012 campaign with a Week 1 win against the Seahawks.
While Arizona has question marks at quarterback, Seattle arguably has even more uncertainties – starting rookie signal caller Russell Wilson. Matt Flynn was signed in the offseason and expected to be handed the keys to the Seahawks offense but that hasn't panned out and Wilson got the nod to start the regular-season opener.
Meanwhile, the fate of the Cardinals offense lies in the hands of John Skelton – at least for now. Skelton has managed to win games during his short NFL career but has never been overly impressive doing so.
Sunday's battle will largely be decided by not only the play of each team's quarterbacks but also on defense. Both teams feature improving defenses that have the ability to wreak havoc on their opponents.
The two wildcards for Arizona could end up being cornerback Patrick Peterson and running back Ryan Williams.
Peterson is no surprise to be mentioned here but his impact on special teams could be the difference between winning and losing for the Cardinals. Williams, on the other hand, is still an unknown quantity – at least during regular season game play – and could be a surprise breakout performer.
One the Seahawks side, the running game could be hampered if Marshawn Lynch is unable to play. Lynch has been battling back spasms and is listed as questionable for Sunday's matchup.
Look for both offenses to start off conservative while the defenses try and force mistakes early. Both special teams units are capable of turning the game around on one play but we'll give the home team the nod as Skelton finds a way to win in a hard-fought divisional contest.
Prediction: Arizona 23 Seattle 21
Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at firstname.lastname@example.org
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