Arizona Cardinals (8-2, 7-3 ATS) at Seattle Seahawks (3-6, 5-4), 4:25 p.m.
Brolley’s Cardinals Stats and Trends
Arizona is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games.
The Cardinals have played under the total in seven straight games as a road favorite.
The Cardinals have taken the long view with Kyler Murray the last two weeks, resting his injured ankle against the 49ers and Panthers. He’s trending toward playing this week against the Seahawks, but the Cardinals have the option to rest him for one more game with their bye looming in Week 12, which would give him more than a month’s worth of rest to be at 100% health for the final six games of the season. Murray had his worst fantasy performance (11.1 FP) of the season the last time we saw him against the Packers, when he picked up his ankle injury on the final drive of Week 8. If Murray is healthy enough to play, HC Kliff Kingsbury could cut down on the design run for his quarterback, who has just 26/38 rushing (1.5 YPC) in the last four games anyway. The Seahawks have held the last six quarterbacks they’ve faced to under 18 FP.
DeAndre Hopkins hasn’t seen game action in the last two weeks after he aggravated his hamstring injury on a long reception against the Packers on Thursday Night Football in Week 8. He’s going to have to practice at some point this week if he has any hopes of playing against the Seahawks in Week 11, and there’s a chance the Cardinals take the extra cautious approach and rest him again this week with their bye approaching in Week 12. With Murray spreading the rock around in this loaded offense, Hopkins is averaging eight-year lows with 4.4/60.8/.9 receiving on 6.1 targets per game through eight games.
Christian Kirk has been steady for the last six weeks, totaling 4+ catches in every contest and 10+ FP in five of his six contests in that span. He’s seen his two highest snap shares (96%, 85%) in the last two games with Nuk out of the lineup. The Seahawks are giving up the 11th-most catches per game (13.2) to WRs this season.
A.J. Green had his worst game of the season in his first try without Nuk in the lineup, managing just a four-yard catch on five targets working primarily with Colt McCoy. Green hasn’t scored more than 10 FP since Week 6 after he did it in 4-of-5 contests in Weeks 2-6. Seattle is allowing just a 58.4% catch rate to WRs this season.
Zach Ertz saw six targets and an 82% snap share last week, his best marks since joining the team in Week 7, but he fell below nine FP for the third straight week with 4/46 receiving. The Seahawks are middle of the pack across the board against TEs, allowing 5.6/48.8/.3 receiving per game to the position.
James Conner logged a season-high 82% snap share in his first game with Chase Edmonds (ankle, IR) out of the lineup. He was mostly stifled by the Panthers’ defense before he found the end zone late to finish with 10/39/1 rushing and 3/25 receiving on four targets — Eno Benjamin was a non-factor with just 6/22 rushing. A.J. Dillon rumbled for 21/66/2 rushing and 2/62 receiving in this matchup last week, while Aaron Jones had 11/86 scrimmage before he left with his injury.
Brolley’s Seahawks Stats and Trends
The Seahawks and Cardinal split their season series last season,
Seattle are a league-high 8-1 toward unders.
Russell Wilson’s first game back from finger surgery didn’t go as planned with the Seahawks getting shut out for the first time since 2011, which was the season before the Seahawks drafted Wilson. He completed just half of his passes and he averaged just 4.0 YPA against the Packers, and he’s now fallen below 165 passing yards in three straight games this season. The Seahawks are hoping he knocked the rust off since this a make-or-break game for their playoff hopes. Russ totaled 585/5 passing in two games against the Cardinals last season.
D.K. Metcalf fell below 11+ FP for the first time last week with Russ struggling in his first game back, finishing with 3/26 receiving on eight targets. Metcalf managed just 5/69/1 receiving in two matchups against the Cardinals last season when they still had Patrick Peterson to match up with him. Metcalf has eight receiving TDs this season and the Cardinals are giving up the fourth-most receiving TDs per game (1.3) to WRs this season.
Tyler Lockett also flopped in Russ’ first game back, managing just 2/23 receiving on eight targets, which is his fifth game with fewer than eight FP in his last seven contests. Lockett feasted in this matchup last season with Peterson checking Metcalf, posting 24/267/4 receiving.
Gerald Everett was happy to see Russ back in the kitchen in Week 10, posting a season-best 14.3 FP against the Packers. He caught all eight of his targets (20% share) for a team-high 63 yards in a game in which the Seahawks failed to record a point. Everett now owns double-digit FP in three of his four games played with Wilson this season. The Cardinals are allowing the fewest FPG (7.3) to TEs this season.
It’s looking more and more likely that we don’t see Chris Carson (neck, IR) again this season, which leaves Alex Collins as the top runner. He’s seen just 10 carries in each of the last two games, he hasn’t had more than one catch in four straight contests, and he’s fallen below six FP in three straight games. The Cardinals are giving up a generous 142.4 scrimmage yards per game but they’ve given up just three TDs to RBs.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 25.9 (7th)
Plays per game: 67.4 (14th)
Pass: 53.4% (30th) | Run: 46.6% (3rd)
Pace: 26.3 (10th)
Plays per game: 60.6 (32nd)
Pass: 60.5% (17th) | Run: 39.5% (16th)
All pace / play data is from the last eight weeks.
If we knew for sure that Murray and Wilson were healthy, this game would be amazing. The Cardinals put up 32.1 points per game on the board before Kyler Murray got hurt while Russell Wilson and the Seahawks were rolling in the first month (for 25.8 PPG) before Wilson went down. Obviously after Murray has missed two-straight games and Wilson looked rusty last week, it casts a shadow of doubt on this game.
Seattle came out and threw the ball much more than I expected last week as they centered their attack around Wilson and the passing game in his first game back. The Seahawks went 70% pass-heavy on early downs in Week 10, which was the second-highest rate behind only the Rams (79%). Keep in mind, L.A. was behind by multiple scores for basically the entirety of that game against San Francisco while Seattle was still down just 3-0 heading into the fourth quarter against Green Bay. Unfortunately, HC Pete Carroll was adamant after their loss to the Packers that they needed to run the ball more. Who has heard that before? The good news is that while OC Shane Waldron clearly doesn’t have autonomy calling plays, he has been allowed to play much faster if we want to hang our hats on any drip of upside in this game.
One thing OC Shane Waldron has been allowed to do is play faster offensively. Carroll might get his way with more runs, but their pace is faster than ever...#Seahawks seconds in between plays when leading / trailing:— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) November 17, 2021
Lead – 24.9 (4th-fastest)
Trail – 22.8 (3rd-fastest)
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
Arizona is playing with fire. Allowing Kyler Murray to sit Week 9 out to rest his ankle made sense. When Colt McCoy managed to steal the victory from the 49ers, HC Kliff Kingsbury should’ve counted his blessings. Endorsing another absence in Week 10 could ultimately be the reason the Cardinals head home early during the playoffs. Prior to this two-week vacation, Murray was a legitimate MVP contender. He can count those chances eliminated.
Russell Wilson played the worst game I’ve ever witnessed from him last week. Granted, the Packers pack an elite defense. Here’s hoping the finger is fully healed. I’ll be lowering expectations for all components of the Seattle passing game this week. It’s an approach I’ve nearly followed to the letter for opponents of the Cardinals.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
I’m not Kliff Kingsbury, but I do think the fact that Kyler Murray was practicing as early as Wednesday is a pretty damn good sign that Kyler is going to play this weekend against the Seahawks, with Arizona coming off a loss (he is officially a game-time decision). I just don’t think Kyler will be running around much — he has no games of 40 rushing yards this year and hasn’t scored a rushing TD since Week 3. Obviously, the ankle injury might have something to do with this, but over his last five games, Kyler has just 77 yards on 32 rushes.
From Weeks 4 through 8 (so, not even including the two games Kyler has missed), he was 12th among QBs in rushing yards. Fifteen different QBs had at least 1 rushing TD (he wasn’t one of them). And because of that, he was a mediocre 15th with 19.1 FPG over that span. The Cardinals go on bye next week, which will give Murray a little bit extra rest, but given his top WR DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) won’t play this week, I’d consider Kyler a low-end QB1.
While the Cardinals got blown out last week, sometimes guys just run hot. And that’s what RB James Conner is doing right now. Even in the midst of a complete stinker, he bailed fantasy players out last week with a late TD. Here’s Graham from Stat-Pack with more on Conner:
The Cardinals got stomped and the game quickly got out of hand so they couldn’t run the ball, but James Conner’s role was amazing. He handled 82% of the snaps and widely out-snapped Eno Benjamin on passing downs (19 routes to 7).
Once again, Benjamin was barely involved while the game was still (somewhat) in question. Four of his 7 opportunities (carries + targets) came in the fourth quarter.
If Hopkins can’t play, I expect Murray to get the ball to TE Zach Ertz. Ertz’s snaps have increased in each game he’s played with the Cardinals, with a high of 82% last week.
The Seahawks were awful in Russell Wilson’s return from finger surgery last week, the first time Seattle has been shut out in the Wilson era. And the reaction from coach Pete Carroll is exactly what you might have come to expect.
Pete Carroll keeps saying--for much of the last 4 years--"we need to run more" for #Seahawks' offense to function properly.— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) November 16, 2021
DK Metcalf said in Green Bay "we've got to get the ball to our playmakers."
The offense has layered problems. Most 3-6 teams do: https://t.co/fwfHqOBgXg
The problem is the guy who has run the ball best for Seattle since Marshawn Lynch moved on is Chris Carson, and it’s looking less and less likely like Carson (neck) will play again this season.
RB Chris Carson won’t practice today. Carroll didn’t have much of an update there but said Carson — who’s missed the last five games with a neck injury — hasn’t made the progress they hoped he would. That obviously doesn’t sound good.— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) November 17, 2021
That would open more opportunities for the Seahawks’ prodigal son bell cow, Alex Collins. Here’s Graham from Start/Sit on Collins and this run game:
“Russell Wilson was flat and the Seahawks flopped in his first game back, which I can easily excuse. Wilson missed what ended up being a little over five weeks with a badly broken finger and probably didn’t feel exactly great in below-freezing weather up in Green Bay in his first game back. Well, Wilson should be back closer to 100% after getting his return jitters out and that should lead to a much better performance for their offense as a whole. Sure, Collins hasn’t been setting the world on fire with Chris Carson out of the lineup – but this is also easily the best spot he’s had as the Seahawks starter. With Carson out again last week, Alex Collins handled 10 of the Seahawks 11 RB carries in their loss to the Packers and ran as nearly as many routes (19) as their hurry-up back Travis Homer (21). Collins’ role has been quietly solid for weeks now and this is a spot for him to finally cash in. Cardinals-Seahawks (49.5 total) has a real chance to shoot out if Kyler Murray is back and the matchup on the ground for Collins is solid. Arizona is giving up 4.68 YPC (sixth-most) and a 44.6% success rate (eighth-highest) to opposing backfields. Collins is a rock solid RB2 / FLEX.”
Of course, Collins is dealing with a groin injury of his own, though he isn’t listed on the injury report. Man, this is ugly.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks’ lack of passing-game success wasn’t for lack of opportunities. Here’s Scott Barrett from the Week 11 XFP Report on Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf:
“A somber shoutout to those of you who played Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf in DFS last week. Lockett ranked 7th in XFP (21.8), and led the position in air yards (218) and deep targets (5). Metcalf ranked 10th (18.3), earning 10 targets (one more than Lockett) and 132 air yards. Of course, Lockett was the least-efficient WR of the week (-17.5 PAR), and Metcalf ranked 3rd-worst (-12.7). Together they combined for just 9.9 fantasy points on a 40.1-point expectation… If this wasn’t easily the worst game of Russell Wilson’s career, you could have been in line for a massively profitable day. But, alas, it was the worst game of Wilson’s career, or at least the first time he was ever shut out. Perhaps his finger still isn’t quite right, or perhaps he was just rusty from the extended absence, but just know that better days surely lie ahead.”