What We Saw: Week 11

Good football is back just in time for the holiday season

Cardinals @ SeahawksΒ 

Final Score: Cardinals 23, Seahawks 13

Writer: Benjamin Haller (@benjaminhaller1 on Twitter)


The Arizona Cardinals became the first team in the NFL to guarantee themselves a winning season after a gritty 23-13 road win in Seattle thanks to a dominant defensive performance and another useful display from back up quarterback Colt McCoy. A late James Conner score from a yard out thwarted a second half comeback from the Seahawks, who struggled to find any rhythm on offense as a subdued Russell Wilson once again disappointed in his second game back from a surgically repaired finger issue.

Without Kyler Murray for a third-straight game, Kliff Kingsbury would have been delighted with McCoy, who managed the offense nicely, averaging 7.5 yards per attempt while relying on veteran tight end Zach Ertz in the red zone – the former Eagle catching two touchdowns inside the 5-yard line to secure the win over their NFC West divisional rivals.

A miserable season in Seattle continues with Wilson looking a shadow of the quarterback we are used to seeing on the big stage. D.K. Metcalf was held to just four catches on eight targets for 31 yards while the Seahawks run game was once again non-existent – their four running backs combined for just 84 yards on 17 carries, another putrid effort.

The Seahawks went 1-of-5 on third downs in each half as they simply failed to move the chains and give themselves a chance to win. The Cardinals dominated the time of possession, doubling the Seahawks time on the field and finishing the game with ball for 40 minutes and 22 seconds compared to Seattle’s measly 19 minutes and 38 seconds. Grim!

The final word must go to the Cardinals defense, however, who were phenomenal throughout. Chandler Jones and Markus Golden combined for three big sacks of Wilson, and the secondary constantly stymied the Seahawks through the air on third down. Budda Baker and Isaiah Simmons were all over the field making plays. An elite unit that keeps getting better.



Arizona Cardinals




Colt McCoy: 35/44, 328 yards, 2 TD, 2 sacks | 6 carries, 18 yards


Colt McCoy has now knocked off division rivals the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks in relief of injured franchise quarterback Kyler Murray, and his performance at Lumin Field was by far his most complete of the season. McCoy peppered his receivers with short-to-intermediate throws, converting 6-of-8 third-down situations in the first half. A beautifully engineered 16-play, 82-yard first drive resulted in a touchdown flip to tight end Zach Ertz in what was a masterful play call by Kingsbury.



McCoy then extended the Cardinals lead with a 13-play, 92-yard touchdown drive that included a beautiful deep throw to A.J. Green, who rolled back the years with a fantastic grab over the cornerback, resulting in a 31-yard gain.



McCoy did turn the ball over in the third quarter but the play was reviewed and to the surprise of both teams they determined that Seahawks cornerback Sidney Jones did not have complete control of the ball when it hit the ground. A lucky break for the Cardinals in what could have been a momentum-shifter.




On the other hand, McCoy could have had his first three-touchdown game of the season but a late throw to Christian Kirk, that was initially called a touchdown on the field, was called back for the same reason – the receiver failing to catch and maintain possession. It mattered little as the Seahawks committed a pass interference penalty on the next play and James Conner ran in to settle the game.




Running Back


James Conner: 21 carries, 62 yards, TD | 6 targets, 5 receptions, 37 yards

Eno Benjamin: 6 carries, 15 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards


Another workhorse performance from James Conner, who carried the ball 21 times and saw six looks in the passing game to fall just short of the 100-yard mark in what continues to be a stellar season for the free-agent pickup from Pittsburgh. His late fourth-quarter score salvaged his day from a fantasy perspective after he was denied at the one-yard line in the first half prior to Ertz’s first score of the day. He made no mistake with his next opportunity, even though he had to wait a long while.



Connor now has seven touchdowns in the last five games. Chase Edmonds is eligible to return from the injury in Week 14 against the Rams, however, his role is entrenched and he showed today that once again he can be relied upon to not only carry a full workload but can also punch one in given a couple of chances.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Zach Ertz: 9 targets, 8 receptions, 88 yards, 2 TD

A.J. Green: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 78 yards

Rondale Moore: 11 targets, 11 receptions, 51 yards

Antone Wesley: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 44 yards

Christian Kirk: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 22 yards

Darrell Daniels: 1 target


DeAndre Hopkins was once again ruled out with a hamstring injury so A.J. Green assumed the No.1 receiver role for the Cardinals. He marshaled the outside routes but the Seahawks limited him from making splash plays. His one key contribution did spur Arizona’s second touchdown drive and this angle of the grab shows how Green kept his eye on the football and expertly maneuvered his body to haul in the pass from McCoy.



The star of the show in the passing game was undoubtedly newly-acquired veteran tight end Zach Ertz, who scored his third touchdown as a Cardinal, and his contribution since coming over from Philadelphia has already been worth the cost. After a bumbled snap, McCoy did brilliantly adjust and fire a dart to Ertz for the second Arizona touchdown of the day. Ertz makes a lovely move off the outside after the play-fake, tunneling inside to make the grab for six.



Rookie Rondale Moore had an eventful afternoon – primarily working from the slot and in short-yardage passing plays, Moore hauled in all 11 of his targets but only amassed 51 yards. Saying that he was used perfectly in executing the game plan, effectively occupying Bobby Wagner in the middle of the field so the Cardinals could operate around him. If you started him as a flex-flier in deeper PPR leagues, nice job!

A quick shout out to Moore forΒ doing a great job to stretch the ball out of his own end zone after a suicidal toss from McCoy, which Jamaal Adams read like a book. A nice safety-saving play.



Seattle Seahawks




Russell Wilson: 14/26, 207 yards, 4 sacks | 2 carries, 2 yards


This is not the Russell Wilson we know. The Seahawks could muster a threat without the playmaking abilities of Wilson through the air and on the ground. His back-to-back single-digit fantasy scores point to the injury being a significant factor but from what we saw today this offense is broken, starting with the offensive line. Every time the Cardinals brought pressure on third down, the line crumbled and left Wilson exposed. He was sacked four times.



By the end of the third quarter, it got to the stage that he simply had to throw to his first read or he would be immediately be faced with an impending tackle. Chandler Jones in particular was a menace from all angles.



Wilson’s only bright spark was his connection with his favorite target Tyler Lockett. Twice they linked up for big chunk plays but it was too little and not as often as the Seahawks needed. Even on this play you see Wilson scrambling away from pressure and making a sensational throw on the run to try get something going.



Wilson ran the ball just twice and presumably, the Seahawks do not want to expose him to further injury. Not ideal for fantasy purposes but also not ideal because of Seattle’s insipid rushing attack.


Running Back


Alex Collins: 10 carries, 36 yards

Deejay Dallas: 4 carries, 25 yards, TD | 2 targets, 1 reception, 2 yards

Rashad Penny: 2 carries, 19 yards

Travis Homer: 1 carry, 4 yards


In the absence of Chris Carson, this backfield is reeling. Alex Collins once again got the start today but only notched 3.6 yards per carry in another dismal display. Collins has rushed for fewer than 44 yards in four straight games leading the attack with no trips to the end zone. It was no surprise that the Seahawks finally let Deejay Dallas have an opportunity.

After Wilson found Lockett for a 48-yard gain in the fourth quarter, Dallas saw four straight touches. His final touch was to punch the ball in from two yards out.



Unfortunately, the Cardinals responded with their own touchdown drive to restore a 10-point lead and leave the Seahawks needing to throw the ball to force a score. Dallas ran the ball on the last meaningless play of the game but after his brief cameo, he could be one to watch if the Seahawks choose to shake things up next week.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Tyler Lockett: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 115 yards

Gerald Everett: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 37 yards

D.K. Metcalf: 8 targets, 4 receptions, 31 yards

Will Dissly: 3 targets, 1 reception, 16 yards

Colby Parkinson: 1 target, 1 reception, 6 yards

Penny Hart: 1 target

Freddie Swain:1 target


The two-dimensional Seahawks passing attack turned one-dimensional in this crucial game against the Cardinals with D.K. Metcalf being locked up by the Arizona secondary, completely taking away the big play down the sidelines. However, the impressive Metcalf should have done better with a first-half red zone target that he bobbled and failed to haul in for the touchdown. It was a difficult opportunity but one the big receiver has usually executed previously. In the two weeks since the bye, Metcalf has just seven catches for a measly 57 yards.




It was up to Tyler Lockett to provide the spark. This 48-yard grab was Lockett’s best play of the night, creating separation and using his speed to outrun defenders and make plays down the field. Twice a game is nowhere near enough, though. And, to make matters worse, Lockett has been held without a touchdown since Week 2. That doesn’t really look like changing and he didn’t see a red zone look today. Worrying times for this receiving duo with Wilson looking so poor and clearly impeded by his finger.



This muddled and crowded tight end room saw three players combine for just 59 yards on 5 catches. Gerald Everett continues to be a non-existent fantasy asset. Yuck!


Benjamin Haller (@benjaminhaller1 on Twitter)

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