Should be a cracking game to start week 11 as the on-form Cardinals travel up to Seattle in a game which could decide the direction of the NFC West title with the Cardinals, Rams and Seahawks all sitting at 6-3, the Cardinals atop thanks to their divisional record.
The Seahawks are 4-0 at home this season while the Cardinals are 3-1 on the road.
Overall Thursday night record so far this season, it’s all fairly even. Road dogs are clearly getting the best of the deal so far though.
- Home – Road: 4-5 SU; 2-7 ATS
- Faves – Dogs: 5-4 SU, 3-6 ATS
- Over – Under: 5-4
Cardinals +3 @ Seahawks: 57
These two met three weeks back with the Cardinals tying it up with the last kick of the game and going on to win it in overtime in a 37-34 thriller. Kyler threw 3 TDs and 360 while running in for a score and 67 yards on the ground, while it was the start of the Seahawks poor run losing 3 of their last 4 including that one, Russell Wilson starting his hideous interception streak in that game too, although he did have 388 yards and 3 TDs as well.
The Cards are the hype team of the league at the moment, throwing a last second hail mary to a man who catches it surrounded by 3 opposing cornerbacks tends to draw a fair bit of attention from the twitter Cog-ni-cent-i….. And it was a hell of a way to win a game, by all rights Kyler Murray should have been sacked an unable to launch a 50 yard bomb, but he’s a mobile little fucker.
Kyler could well follow in the sophomore footsteps of Mahomes and Lamar who gained the MVP award in their second seasons as starters in the NFL. He’s mobile, he’s got a heck of an arm and he’s crazy fun to watch. His early season form wasn’t great, but the MVP is a hugely narrative based award and it’s usually judged on late-year form so he’s in with a shout. He’s thrown 17 TDs, 8 INTs and 2,300 yards 11th, 27th and 13th respectively, so not exactly amazing numbers there but there’s no QB in the league this year who can get near him on the ground, 604 yards and 10 TDs from their 9 games this season, on target for over 1,000 yards and 18 TDs. His run game is so incredibly difficult to stop, it’s fairly unique and his short yard speed is remarkable.
He’s got a few decent players to throw to and seems to have been gaining trust in people other than DeAndre Hopkins finally with Christian Kirk getting some good numbers as well, and of course ole reliable Larry Fitzgerald helping move the chains. Nuks move over the summer was judged a bargain by most and he’s proven he’s one of the best in the league with 67 for 861 yards so far this year, good for 2nd best in the league on both counts. The TD numbers are compressed a little due to Murray running so many in when it gets to the redzone. Kirk has more TDs 6 from 27 recs this year, and they’ve been some long-bombs. Larry just keeps on going, doing his stuff with an average of 7.8 yards per reception. I know the lads over @BettingFlea are keen on his longest reception being under 16.5 yards every week, he’s only topped that once this year, so it makes sense I just can’t do it against such a dismal Seahawks defense although I do expect it to land.
Outside of the big three you’ve got the likes of Andy Isabella who has had a few receptions this year and is speedy, then the tight ends. Dan Arnold was expected to have a decent season but things haven’t gone quite to plan, however I do like over on his yardage tonight, set at 15.5 on 365 he’s gone over in 5 of 7 games including the first match against the Seahawks.
It looks like Kenyan Drake will play again after injury, he’s actually been sneaky good this year without getting the scores (again, Kyler.) 8th in attempts, 7th in yards for the year. He forms a very good duo with Chase Edmonds who seems to have better games with Drake in the game as well. The surprsing thing after last year is the lack of passing targets for Drake, they’ve gone to Edmonds who’s used them well with 3 receptions in 5 of 7 games (1.55 for o2.5 receptions) and averaging 29 yards per game including 7 of 7 for 87 yards against the Seahawks, his receiving line at 21.5 seems way too low.
Defensively they’re fine. Ranked 9th according to DVOA, slightly better against the run than the pass, but the Seahawks put up tons on them last time and I don’t see that slowing too much tonight although I think a lot depends on personnel.
Russell Wilson started the year on fire making up for the deficiencies in the Seahawks defense after finally being “allowed to Cook” as most of the world wanted. He still leads the league in TD passes this year with 27 and sits second in yardage although his INT numbers have risen considerably in recent weeks (He’s thrown an INT in 6 of their 9 games this season, 3 vs the Cards) as he’s trying, and having to do too much. He was one of the original mobile QBs, something which hasn’t been used too much this year, but he’s still on 325 rushing yards with a high of 84 against the Cards in that matchup.
Russ has been hurt by the lack of a run game in recent weeks and I think that’s as much a reason for their down-turn in form as anything else as Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde have missed the last 3 games for them, leaving them with rookie DeeJay Dallas and pass catching Travis Homer before they picked up Alex Collins off the street for him to lead the backfield last week. It looks like they may have Hyde for this one which will help, otherwise I’d assume Collins gets most of the attempts and with it likely a high scoring game Homer gets quite a few targets.
The passing game has been so good mainly because DK Metcalf is a fucking beast. He has had some huge games this year but was shut down by Ramsey last week and Patrick Peterson when these teams met last time, in fact he’s had at least 92 yards in all but those two games this year and scored in all but 3 games to have 8 on the year. He and Tyler Lockett have been a great partnership, he gets the big plays while Lockett generally gets more receptions, including 15 for 200 yards and 3 TDs when these two met, so it’s a shitter that he’s questionable but likely to play hurt in this game. He’s scored 7 times this year in 3 games, so it’s fair to say he’s been a little streaky. The likes of David Moore, Freddie Swain and the tight ends chip in with a fair amount of yardage most week. Obviously I still like David Moore and love when he does stuff after he won me a fortune a year or two ago.
The tight end room is quite full in Seattle with Greg Olsen, Jacob Hollister and Will Dissly all getting snaps and targets. Olsen still leads the team in snaps while Dissly has been increasing his role week on week has had a few targets although Olsen still tends to get more yardage, they did have a similar number of snaps when these teams met last time both catching two.
And…. on to the defense, if it can be called that, they’re on target to allow the most yards of any team in history so it’s a little surprising to see that DVOA has them ranked 23rd overall and surprisingly good against the run although that could be a case of teams not needing to run on them as the passing game works so well. They’ve allowed at least 23 points to every team they’ve faced this year and obviously 37 the last time these two met.
Honestly, I’m struggling a little with this one, everything says to back the Cardinals, the line opened 4 and has dropped to 2.5 while I’ve been writing this preview so the money is clearly on the form team. The worry for me is that they’re over-hyped after the result at the weekend.
The lack of Chris Carson is a big hit to them and Tyler Lockett playing injured really won’t help them either, while the Cardinals are looking fairly healthy at the moment.
According to RJBell Russell Wilson generally has his worst game of the season when hosting the Cardinals, according to QBR his worst games in 3 of the last 5 seasons have been home to the Cards, with one of the other years being the second worst game he had all year.
So everything is leaning to the Cardinals sweeping the Seahawks and taking control of the division.
The overs is the obvious play, but it’s rather high.
- Dan Arnold o14.5 rec. yards – 1.83 (Skybet)
- Chase Edmonds o19.5 rec. yards – 1.83 (Skybet)
- Russell Wilson o0.5 Interceptions – 1.86 (365)
Good Luck with whatever you’re on, I may get up for this one as it should be a cracker!
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