We have a pretty good matchup on tap for Thursday Night Football, as the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks meet at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. If you are tired of the same bland matchups on Thursday night, the Cardinals and Seahawks should be interesting. This is a game that has implications in the NFC West, here there are three teams tied with a record of 6-3. The Seahawks, Cardinals, and Rams are all tied. After tonight, the three-way deadlock will be broken up in Seattle. The 49ers are trying to stay within reach, but the injuries are just too much to overcome. They head into Week 11 with a record of 4-6.
The Cardinals are coming off a thrilling win over the Buffalo Bills last Sunday. On a last-second heave, Kyler Murray found DeAndre Hopkins in the end zone for a 43-yard touchdown pass with defender’s draped all over him. This was after the Bills took a 30-26 lead with 34 seconds remaining on the clock.
Everything had to go right for the Cardinals on the final drive and it did. Bad beat if you had the Cardinals -2.5, though. Instead of kicking the XP or attempting a two-point conversion, the Cardinals kneeled down to prevent a return the other way, which would have resulted in a 32-32 game. I get it, but wouldn’t have been thrilled if I had money on the Cards. The Cardinals also survived in their first meeting against the Seahawks this year. They outlasted the Seahawks by a score of 37-34 in overtime on October 25.
The Seahawks have only won one game since then. They were 44-34 losers against the Bills, and then lost in a low-scoring 23-16 game last week in Los Angeles at SoFi Stadium. After such a hot start, the Seahawks have struggled with a record of 1-3 over the last four weeks. The Seahawks’ bandwagon feels a lot lighter now, but all it could take is a solid performance on Thursday night to get public support again for the Super Bowl.
Fan reaction week-to-week in the NFL might be the best way to explain recency bias. My opinion hasn’t wavered on the Seahawks. I think they’re a good team, but will need some breaks to go their way in the playoffs to reach the Super Bowl. The defense might have held up last week, though I’m not convinced. Head below for our free Cardinals vs. Seahawks props for November 19, 2020.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 19, 2020
Kyler Murray Passing Yards
The Seattle Seahawks must find a way to improve their play in the secondary or it’s going to be incredibly tough to get to the Super Bowl. If they get by in one round, the Seahawks are eventually going to run into a team that is going to dice them up in the playoffs. The Seahawks are dead last in the NFL with 353.3 yards conceded per game through the air. They’ve gotten hammered in that regard, which includes the last four straight weeks. Opposing offenses have passed for at least 300+ yards four games in a row.
Kyler Murray was part of that fun against the Seahawks. Murray passed for 360 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception in the 37-34 win a month ago. Yes, the game went to overtime, but Murray was already clear of 287 yards. He was able to use overtime to pad his stats some more. Look for the Cardinals to try to exploit a porous pass defense again on Thursday night. Murray isn’t a guy that regularly passes for over 300 yards, but versus this Seattle secondary, he should be able to come through on this prop.
Christian Kirk Receptions
Following through with my last point, the Cardinals are likely going to head to the air often against the Seahawks on Thursday night. They did the same in their first meeting this season. Kliff Kingsbury attacked the Seahawks where they’re vulnerable and that’s through the air. Kyler Murray attempted 48 pass attempts in October. It worked out well, as Murray connected for 360 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. He located seven difference receivers, including Christian Kirk who had a productive game.
Kirk didn’t have the yardage, but he still found the end zone twice. He ended the evening with 5 receptions for 37 yards and 2 touchdowns. Murray has continued to look his way often since that outing. He was targeted 8 times against the Seahawks, then Murray followed up against the Dolphins to throw his way for 8 more targets, and 6 last week against the Bills. In the last three weeks, Kirk has caught 14 receptions for 187 yards and 3 touchdowns. I think at a minimum, Kirk should be able to have 4 receptions tonight with a good chance of reaching 5 to put his prop OVER.
Russell Wilson Rushing Yards
Russell Wilson will do whatever it takes to find yards and move the football down the field. If that means dropping back 50 times a game and doing it with his arm, fine. However, if Wilson has to use his legs to get his team into the red zone, then he’s fully capable of moving the ball running the ball Wilson has passed for yards. Wilson has gained 325 yards and 7.2 yards per carry on 45 attempts. Last season he ran for 342 yards on 4.6 yards per carry, and in 2018, Wilson gained 376 yards on 5.6 yards per carry. He’s close to surpassing both of those marks very soon.
What’s happening for Wilson is the presence of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett is forcing the defense to cover the ground in the secondary. It’s hard to creep up closer to the line and focus on containing Wilson running the ball with Metcalf and Lockett running wild in the secondary. So, when a lane opens up, Wilson has been taking off and getting what he can. Defenses are fine with him picking up some yards here and there as long as the receivers are locked down. In their first meeting against the Cardinals, Wilson ran for 84 yards on 6 carries. He went for 60 yards on 8 carries last week in the 23-16 loss to the Rams. I think 33.5 yards is a bit too low here. The OVER looks like the play.