Week 11 kicked off with a divisional rematch between the Cardinals and the Seahawks fighting for first place at 6-3 each. The last time these teams faced off, we saw two high-flying offenses clash in a nail-biting overtime 37-34 win for the Cardinals.
Then and Now
In that game, QBs Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray scored 29.92 and 37.1 points respectively and WR Tyler Lockett had a monster performance with 15 receptions, 200 yards, three touchdowns, and an unbelievable 53 points in PPR. WR DeAndre Hopkins, who has been nothing short of a highlight on repeat, was also heavily involved in Week 7 with over 24 points. RB Chase Edmonds had a 20 plus point game and Carlos Hyde even performed admirably with 16.6 points.
The Cardinals totaled 519 total yards with 360 passing yards while the Seahawks racked up 572 total yards with 372 of them passing. Murray didn’t take a sack although he did fumble and throw an interception while Wilson was sacked twice and threw three interceptions.
As far as Thursday night games go, this promised to be entertaining with heavy fantasy implications if their previous meeting was any indication.
However, the matchup was a bit different compared to Week 7. You could say it was downright tame. The Seahawks were held to under 350 total yards (compared to 572) and the Cardinals only accumulated 314. Only 57 of those yards were rushing with a healthy Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds compared to their piling up 200 rushing yards in Week 7. Each team ran nearly 20 fewer plays after posting just over 80 plays apiece in their last meeting.
Wilson had a bright performance after being run into the ground in Week 10 against the Rams and did a much better job of taking care of the ball. In fact, neither team logged a turnover the entire game.
The penalties were another story entirely, especially for the Cardinals. They were flagged 10 times totaling 115 yards when they only had six for 40 yards in Week 7. The pace of the game was slower and the Seahawks did an excellent job of keeping Murray’s passing and the run game as bottled up as they could. That meant keeping a tight lid on WRs DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk who torched them a few weeks earlier.
While it wasn’t quite the shootout we may have expected, the fantasy starters gave you a solid leg-up heading into this weekend.
Murray took a big hit early in the game, which may have contributed to his lower passing volume, but he still posted 20.26 points with 29 completions on 42 attempts for 269 yards and two touchdowns. Wilson also had a good game with 20.08 points with 23 completions on 28 attempts for 197 yards and two touchdowns. As I mentioned earlier, neither QB fumbled or threw an interception.
One thing is abundantly clear. The Seahawks desperately missed a solid run game. RB Chris Carson was sidelined again, but Carlos Hyde was finally healthy and they leaned on him early and often. He rushed 14 times for 79 yards and a touchdown and even caught two receptions for 15 yards. He led the running backs from last night’s matchup with 17.5 points.
Fantasy GMs were excited to see Kenyan Drake healthy and involved in Arizona’s offense. Chase Edmonds, the thorn in Drake managers’ sides, was scarce in the first half. Alas, that wouldn’t last. Drake did rush 11 times for 29 yards and a touchdown. He also caught four receptions on five targets for 31 yards and finished with a healthy 16 points. However, Edmonds was right there on Drake’s heels with 12.9 points on only two rush attempts for 13 yards, four receptions, 36 receiving yards, and a receiving touchdown. It seems as though Drake is the primary back, based on his usage, but HC Kliff Kingsbury switched the script to make sure Edmonds got his share. This will likely continue, giving Drake managers headaches until the season is over.
The Seahawks must have listened to the long list of analysts blasting their porous defense. They held the Cardinals to only 314 total yards (257 passing and only 57 rushing) when they have been averaging around 425 yards per game before this matchup. That didn’t stop WR Larry Fitzgerald from getting involved in crucial plays, coming away with 14.2 points on 10 targets, eight receptions, and 62 yards. Oddly enough, in their previous matchup this year, Fitzgerald posted 14.2 points on eight targets, eight receptions, and 62 yards.
WRs DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk were disappointing if you had high expectations against a defense that typically bleeds fantasy points to the position. Hopkins, with no Hail Murray catch this time, finished the game with 10.1 and Kirk posted only 9 points.
Lockett, on the other hand, had another nice day after being held to 12 fantasy points or less in his last three games. He had a 100% catch rate on nine targets for 67 yards and a touchdown and finished with 21.7 points. It's a far cry from 53 points, but it's an excellent cushion for the rest of the week. His counterpart, DK Metcalf scored in the double digits with 13.6 points. However, he dropped a touchdown pass that came in too hot and another touchdown was called back on a penalty, leaving managers to lament about what could have been.
The Seahawks now lead the NFC West at 7-3 while the Cardinals fall to third at 6-4 behind the 6-3 Rams.
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Lions RB D’Andre Swift did not practice Thursday with a possible concussion. Keep an eye on his status for this week in an excellent matchup against the Panthers. WR Kenny Golladay returned to practice Thursday while dealing with a lingering hip injury. QB Matthew Stafford suffered a partially torn ligament but is expected to play this Sunday. … Saints QB Drew Brees is out at least two with fractured ribs and punctured lungs. RB Alvin Kamara missed practice Thursday with a foot issue and will need to be monitored heading into Sunday. … Packers WR Davante Adams missed practice Thursday. … Bengals RB Joe Mixon missed practice again. … Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater was limited at practice with a knee sprain suffered in Week 10 and is unlikely to play. RB Christian McCaffrey is ruled out for this week’s matchup against the Lions. … Seahawks TE Greg Olsen had to be carted to the locker room after a non-contact injury.