Seattle Seahawks (5-1) at Arizona Cardinals (3-3)
Thursday, 8:25 p.m. ET, at University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz. - TV: NFL Network
*TV announcers: Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock, Alex Flanagan
*Keys to the game: The traveling team for Thursday night games has traditionally struggled, although road teams are a respectable 2-3 on short weeks this season. Even Cardinals coach Bruce Arians conceded it will be more of a "mental" practice week despite being at home. While saying "we love him," Arians also has to be concerned about QB Carson Palmer, who has thrown nine interceptions in the past four games. Seattle won't be concerned with the Cardinals' pedestrian ground game and will ratchet up pressure on Palmer with its front four, dropping as many defenders back on third-and-long as possible in an attempt to create turnovers. Arizona's defense was worn down by an 18-play drive in San Francisco on Sunday, but remains an extremely strong unit boasting the league's fifth-ranked run defense. The Seahawks' offense runs through RB Marshawn Lynch and if the Cardinals can contain him, Seattle's offensive line is struggling in protection minus both starting tackles. The Seahawks' biggest concerns are their 32-percent conversion rate on third down and 50 percent touchdown rate inside the red zone.
*Matchup to watch - Seahawks CB Richard Sherman vs. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald continues to be bothered by a hamstring injury, but is also coming off a season-high 117 receiving yards at San Francisco - although he had a critical fumble as well. Expect Sherman to shadow him. Sherman typically plays on the left side of Seattle's defense, but Brandon Browner was beat over the top multiple times last week and benched for a few series in favor of Byron Maxwell.
*Player spotlight - Cardinals DT Alameda Ta'amu: Arians praised Ta'amu for seizing the opportunity for more playing time with Dan Williams coping with the death of his father. They will work against Seahawks C Max Unger in a critical battle in keeping ILB Daryl Washington clean to track down Lynch.
*Fast facts: The Seahawks expect WR Percy Harvin (hip) to be available in Week 8 with 10 days between games. ... Opposing tight ends have caught 24 passes for 455 yards and six touchdowns against Arizona.
WHO WILL WIN AND WHY
The Seahawks have just one loss, but their offense continues to struggle on third downs, in the red zone and then added four fumbles to the mix last week. Arizona will be physical and a tough out on the road, but Seattle comes prepared on the strength of its defense to take on a key divisional opponent.
*Our pick: Seahawks 20-16