Game Overview ::
By mjohnson86 >>
- These teams are very different now than they were a couple months ago when Arizona beat Seattle 23-13 on the road.
- This game may quietly have the most offensive upside of any game on the slate.
- Both teams are playing at a fast pace and throwing often recently.
- Motivation is there on both sides, as Arizona has a lot to play for and Pete Carroll would love to play spoiler.
How seattle Will Try To Win ::
Despite some inconsistent results, these are not the Seahawks that the public often perceives as a team that pounds the ball and plays at a slow pace. Seattle is 10th in the league in situation-neutral pace this year, increasing their no-huddle rate and general offensive tempo significantly from past years. Also of note, the Seahawks ranked 6th in the league in situation-neutral pass rate from Weeks 10 through 16. Week 9 was the Seahawks bye week and Russell Wilson returned after that, while in Week 17, the Seahawks went to a run-heavy approach as they throttled an overmatched Lions defense in a home game with sloppy weather. Other than that, Russ has been letting it rip a bit, with the added caveat being that they have had some tough matchups and some health issues that have kept them from truly being explosive or effective at many times.
There has been a lot of talk about the Seahawks possibly parting ways with Pete Carroll after this season. This means this could be the final game of a historic run in Seattle for Carroll. On the other hand, this is a chance for the Seahawks to make a statement win to end the season and build into next year, perhaps mending the relationship with Russell Wilson and becoming the offense they should/could have been the last couple of years. I would expect a highly aggressive approach to this game from Seattle in a “nothing to lose, everything to gain” spot. The Cardinals have a very formidable defense against both the run and the pass but have been beatable of late, giving up 25 points per game over the past four weeks. Rashaad Penny has finally emerged as the talented lead back the Seahawks envisioned when they drafted him, and his efficiency of late has unsurprisingly coincided with the Seahawks being more aggressive through the air. Russell Wilson has had some big games in Arizona over the years, and after playing in bad weather the last two weeks, a dome game will be a welcome sight as Russ and the boys look to get cooking one last time to end the season.
How arizona Will Try To Win ::
Arizona leads the league in no-huddle rate and plays at the 7th fastest situation-neutral pace in the league. Also of note, the Cardinals lead the league in situation-neutral pass rate over the last four weeks. The loss of DeAndre Hopkins took a noticeable toll on this offense for a couple of weeks as everyone was forced into new roles. However, the Cardinals seem to have found themselves a bit in a huge win at Dallas last week. Also of note is the return of Kyler Murray’s dual-threat ability, as he has been dynamic as a runner since returning from their Week 12 bye after dealing with ankle and shoulder injuries earlier this season.
The Seahawks defense has given up 27 points per game the last two weeks against the Bears and Lions. Now they face a Cardinals team that is getting its groove back and has a lot on the line. I would expect Arizona to play at a very fast pace and spread out this talent deficient Seattle defense with an aggressive attack. The Seahawks actually have a solid run defense, but run defense metrics don’t necessarily account for having to deal with a dual-threat quarterback like Murray. The Cardinals backfield is beat up right now, with James Conner missing the last two games (he has been back at practice in a limited capacity this week) and Chase Edmonds failing to practice so far this week after handling heavy workloads in Conner’s absence. The Cardinals are likely to put the ball in Kyler’s hands often against a Seattle pass defense that ranks 30th in PFF pass-rush grade and 26th in coverage grade, while also grading poorly in both DVOA and yards per pass attempt. Any way you slice it, the Seattle defense is attacked most effectively through the air and with speed, which fits the Cardinals just right.
Likeliest Game Flow ::
The first time these teams played Colt McCoy was the Cardinals QB, the game was outdoors in Seattle, Rashaad Penny played a very small role, and both defenses were healthier and playing at a higher level. This game is likely to be highly competitive and may have the most upside of any game on the slate, in my humble opinion. Arizona is the most likely team to take control of this game, but it would not surprise me if Seattle is able to find some explosive plays early against a familiar opponent.
Due to the quarterbacks involved, if either team falls behind we can expect them to aggressively try to get back in the game. Arizona is likely to put the game in Kyler Murray’s hands, due to the nature of the matchup and the state of their backfield. Seattle is likely to put the ball in Russell Wilson’s hands, as they have been doing the second half of the year, and they have a chance to play spoiler and make themselves relevant in an otherwise irrelevant season. The prospects of a game between these teams with the ball in the hands of two dynamic players like Kyler and Russell Wilson is extremely exciting. Let’s not forget the game between these two teams in Arizona last year, when the teams combined for 71 points and almost 1,100 yards of total offense. That was early in the year before Kyler got hurt and the Seahawks offense went into a shell. While an output like that may be a pipe dream, something that far exceeds current market perception and expectations is very much in play.
- Arizona can win the division if they win and the Rams lose.
- Winning the division would result in at least one home playoff game, as the Cardinals would be either the 2-seed or 3-seed, depending on the outcome of the Bucs game.
- Arizona has locked up a playoff spot and is currently the 5-seed in the NFC.
- Arizona can’t drop any lower than their current seed.
- Seattle has been eliminated from the playoffs for several weeks.
TOP PLAYS OF THE WEEKEND
SORTABLE GREEN ZONE TOUCHES
TEAM & PLAYER DK POINTS
DFS+ Interpretation ::
By LexMiraglia10 >>
- ARI can jump from the 5 seed to 3 seed with a win & LAR loss to SF
- SEA can “spoil” that chance for ARI, but a loss doesn’t affect ARI with a win by LAR
- 11/16 QBs have thrown for 240+ yds vs SEA (5 of 300+)
- Kyler has thrown for 240+ yds in 10/13 games (3 of 300+)
- Kyler since losing Hopkins: 257:1:1 // 245:1, 74 // 263:2, 44
- QB rushing vs SEA: Wentz (23) // Tanny (27) // Lance (41) // Winston (40)
- SEA ranks 27th in def pass DVOA
- Kyler’s history vs Carroll’s SEA D: 241:0:1, 27:1 // 360:3:1, 67:1 // 269:2, 15
- Final scores of those games: 10-27 // 37-34 // 21-28
- ARI beat SEA 23-13 in W11 with McCoy throwing for 328:2:0
- ARI WRs in games Hopkins has missed::
- Kirk: 91 // 58 // 25 // 94:1 // 48 // 79
- Green: – // 4 // 78 // 64 // 33 // 74
- Wesley: 62 // 0 // 44 // 19 // 29:1 // 30:2
- Moore: 25 // 11 // 51 // 9 // – // –
- Targets in those games: Kirk (49) // Green (29) // Wesley (21) // Moore (23)
- Kirk’s games of 20+ DK pts: 5:70:2 // 8:104 // 9:94:1
- The only game Kirk didn’t predominantly play slot WR was when Hopkins & Green both missed
- Per Majesstik, ARI has the 3rd best slot WR rec pts matchup of the week
- SEA has allowed the 9th most WR yds on the 4th most WR tg faced
- Only three teams have allowed fewer WR TDs than SEA (10)
- Ertz without Hopkins: 3:27 // 4:46 // 8:88:2 // 6:74 // 8:54 // 7:41
- The 8:88:2 game came against SEA
- SEA has allowed the 2nd highest success rate to TEs
- TEs with 40+ yds vs SEA: Pruitt (43) // Conklin (70:1) // Kittle (40) // Freiermuth (58) // Arnold (68) // Ertz (88:2) // Kittle (181:2) // Kmet (49)
- Edmonds is out and Conner has only practiced in limited capacity so far this week
- Jonathan Ward & Eno Benjamin are the others to touch the ball this season for ARI
- SEA has allowed the 2nd most RB DK pts/g (30.1)
- SEA has allowed just the 13th most RB rush yds, but the most RB rec yds by 161 yds
- SEA has allowed 13 RB rush TDs and 3 RB rec TDs
- SEA ranks 8th in def rush DVOA
- SEA has allowed the highest success rate on RB tg
- Russ’s first big game since returning came last week vs DET (236:4)
- Russ has the highest average intended air yds among QBs
- DET faces the highest aDOT and has allowed the 3rd highest yds/att
- ARI has faced the 4th lowest aDOT
- ARI ranks 6th in def pass DVOA
- ARI has allowed the 8th fewest pass yds (213.5 yds/g)
- Russ vs Vance Joseph ARI D: 240:1 // 169:1 // 388:3:3, 84 // 197:2, 42 // 207:0
- Russ pass att in those games: 28 // 31 // 50 // 28 // 26
- Russ has been sacked 18 times in those 5 games
- ARI has allowed the 2nd fewest YAC despite the 4th lowest faced aDOT
- ARI has allowed the 7th most WR DK pts/g (38.2) despite the 12th fewest WR yds
- ARI’s problem has been TDs, allowing the most WR TDs by far (24)
- Lockett has four scores of 29+ DK pts: 29 // 34.8 // 29.2 // 30.2
- Lockett has seven scores of sub-11 DK pts: 7.1 // 6.4 // 10.7 // 5.5 // 3.2 // 4.3 // 6
- Lockett vs Joseph ARI D: 4:51 (4 tg) // 1:12 (7) // 15:200:3 (20) // 9:67:1 (9) // 4:115 (5)
- Metcalf vs Joseph ARI D: 1:6 (4 tg) // 0:0 (1) // 2:23 (5) // 3:46:1 (5) // 4:31 (8)
- Metcalf’s games of 20+ DK pts this year: 6:107:1 (9) // 5:98:2 (5) // 6:43:2 (6) // 6:63:3 (9)
- Metcalf has scored 8 of his 12 TDs in those four games
- Since Russ returned in W10 (8 g), Metcalf has averaged 3.9 : 41.1 : 0.5 on 7.8 tg/g
- Penny since W13: 10:35 // 16:137:2 // 11:39 // 17:135:1 // 25:170:2
- Def rush DVOA ranks of those teams: 2nd // 24th // 4th // 23rd // 31st
- ARI ranks 8th in def rush DVOA
- ARI has allowed the fewest RB TDs (5 rush, 1 rec)
- ARI has allowed the 6th fewest RB DK pts/g (21.5)