The NFL has a doubleheader on the schedule for Christmas Day. The Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers get us started at Lambeau Field, kick off at 4:30 p.m. EST, and then the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals will follow at 8:15 p.m. EST.
Both matchups should be entertaining games, so I’m looking forward to both of these. They certainly have big implications when it comes to the playoffs. Remember that only the top seed is getting a bye in the first round.
Some SERIOUS talent in Indy. ?
— NFL (@NFL) December 24, 2021
It was typically No. 1 and No. 2, but finishing at the top of the NFC and AFC is required if a team wants the week off and an auto-invite to the Divisional Round. The Packers and Cardinals are both in the race for the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
The Packers are currently up at 11-3, with the Cowboys, Cardinals, and Buccaneers all at 10 wins going into Week 16. This could be a big Christmas for the Cardinals if they win and the Packers lose.
That would be a nice present in the desert after a disaster against the Detroit Lions last week. The Cards are coming off a horrid attempt versus the Lions in a 30-12 final at Ford Field.
They will be asked to slow down Jonathan Taylor, who is running wild on the rest of the NFL. Head below for our best Colts vs. Cardinals prop bets on December 25, 2021.
Jonathan Taylor Total Receiving Yards
This season, Jonathan Taylor is running away to an MVP award. He’s been a bowling ball with 1,518 yards and 17 touchdowns on 5.6 yards per carry.
Taylor is coming off another gaudy performance, as he gained 170 yards and a touchdown on 5.9 yards per carry.
The Patriots did a fine job holding him up until busting off a long touchdown run to put the game out of reach. That’s all it can take for Taylor to pile up yards in a hurry.
Having said all that, Taylor will be without some of his favorite offensive linemen on Christmas. Covid has caught up to the Colts, and it’s impacting their offensive line.
That doesn’t mean the Colts will stray away from Taylor, though. If anything, they may try to get him out in his space if the line is having trouble.
Taylor is a fine receiver, as he has 36 receptions for 336 yards and 2 touchdowns on 9.6 yards per carry. The Colts didn’t use him as a receiver the last two weeks, but again, the offensive line woes may provoke them to get him involved in the passing game.
A.J. Green Total Receiving Yards
The Arizona Cardinals will be without DeAndre Hopkins again this week. Kyler Murray hates that news, as he depends on Hopkins helping deliver a big play or two.
Murray isn’t bad by any means, but let’s be clear, he isn’t going to look like a top-tier quarterback without a top-tier wide receiver. At least A.J Green has something left in the tank.
Green is on the backstretch of his career but is still a terrific route runner. He doesn’t have the speed he used to have, though he still can shake free and get open in the secondary.
He is going into Week 16 with 718 yards and 3 touchdowns on 15.6 yards per reception. Green has been in good form recently, with 7 receptions and 102 yards versus the Rams, and then 4 receptions for 64 yards.
Green’s hauled in at least 64 yards in three of his last four games. After an embarrassing showing last week, there should be some fight at home for the Cardinals. Green should play a role.
Kyler Murray Total Passing Yards
If Kyler Murray and the Cardinals have any pride, they’re going to come out on Christmas and deliver a much better performance for the home crowd. It doesn’t mean I can say they’re going to win, but this will be a much more competitive brand of football than in Detroit.
Murray enters Week 16 with 3,039 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He’s not as dangerous without DeAndre Hopkins running around in the secondary, but Murray will still take his chances.
Through his last four games, Murray has passed for an average of 259.3 yards per game. There was one attempt versus the Bears that skewed his numbers. He passed for just 123 yards because the Cardinals didn’t need him.
Expect a 270 to 280-yard performance from Murray tonight. I think they’re going to need more of him with a hot Colts team in the building on Christmas.