Fri Nov 20 3:58pm ET
By DAVID BRANDT
AP Sports Writer
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, right, looks toward the scoreboard during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Arizona's playoff hopes took a hit during Thursday night's 28-21 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Maybe more important for the Cardinals, so did quarterback Kyler Murray's throwing shoulder.
Arizona's stay at the top of the NFC West lasted just five days after Thursday's loss. The Cardinals (6-4) are now a game behind the Seahawks for the division lead and trail the Los Angeles Rams by a half-game.
They're still right in the middle of the playoff race in the NFC if they can play well during the final six weeks. Murray's health is obviously of paramount importance if the Cardinals want to be a factor. He fell on the shoulder early in the game against Seattle and TV shots showed the second-year quarterback grimacing on the sideline.
''I'm not sure about the extent of it,'' Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury said Friday. ''But like we talked about last night he landed on it on that play, but that's about all I know.''
Murray still finished with a solid game, completing 29 of 42 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns. He ran for a season-low 15 yards. He'll have a few extra days to rest before the Cardinals travel to face the New England Patriots on Nov. 29.
''I thought he competed well throughout the game,'' Kingsbury said. ''I'll have to sit down, when we watch the film together, and talk through that. But I thought he played tough, played physical. You could tell he was hurting a bit, but he pushed through it and gave us a chance to win at the end, which says a lot about his character and mental toughness.''
Other than Murray, the biggest problem for the Cardinals against the Seahawks was an avalanche of penalties. The Cardinals earned 10 yellow flags for 115 yards.
Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick's taunting penalty in the third quarter was particularly costly. It gave the Seahawks an automatic first down instead of fourth-and-2 and Seattle ended up scoring a touchdown on the drive.
''It's something we have to be better at, there's no question,'' Kingsbury said. ''Some are effort, there's a hold or a face mask when someone's trying to make a tackle, things like that come up during a game. But pre-snap penalties, personal foul penalties, you can't have those and expect to win week in and week out, and we have way too many of that variety.''
Even with a sore shoulder, Murray and the Cardinals had a nice game through the air on a chilly night. One reason Arizona is so effective passing is it has more options than star receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Veteran Larry Fitzgerald caught a team-high eight passes for 62 yards. Tight end Dan Arnold had a nice grab on a 4-yard TD pass. Running back Chase Edmonds continues to be effective out of the backfield with four catches for 36 yards and a TD.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
For the first time in a while, the running game looked very ordinary. The Cardinals came into the game with the NFL's No. 1 rushing offense but managed just 57 yards on the ground. The Seahawks had a good plan to keep Murray from making big plays and you can bet that other teams will be studying the film to copy their approach.
Rookie linebacker Isaiah Simmons started the season as a role player, but the No. 8 overall pick is quickly emerging as one of the team's most important defensive players. He had a team-high 10 tackles vs. the Seahawks and Kingsbury said his role will continue to evolve over the season's final six weeks.
Kirkpatrick has been a solid starter since being signed during preseason camp but his taunting penalty against the Seahawks was a backbreaker. The veteran's verbal spat with receiver D.K. Metcalf extended a Seattle drive that led to a TD and was a turning point in the game.
Kingsbury said starting safety Jalen Thompson aggravated an ankle injury that kept him out of several games earlier this season.
4 - The Cardinals' last four games have all been decided by a touchdown or less. They have a 2-2 record over that span.
The Cardinals need to make sure Murray's healthy and clean up the penalty issues before they travel to face the Patriots on Nov. 29.
Five Fantasy Takeaways from Week 11
Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick had a team-high five receptions on eight targets for a team-high 119 receiving yards in the 20-13 win over the Dolphins in Week 11. His eight targets were also tied for the team lead on Sunday. It marked the third time this season that Patrick has gone over 100 yards receiving after doing it in back-to-back weeks in Weeks 4 and 6 against the Jets and Patriots. The 27-year-old has been targeted seven-plus times in each of the last three weeks, and he should continue to see a steady diet of targets in Week 12 against the Saints. New Orleans defense has been much more vulnerable through the air, and Denver will likely need to throw to stay in the game. Patrick will be a WR3/flex with some upside in Week 12.
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay had a team-high 16 carries for 82 yards (5.1 yards per carry) in the Week 12 victory over the visiting Dolphins. Denver's rushing attack was the story in this game, as Lindsay and Melvin Gordon combined for 166 yards on the ground to control the clock. Lindsay had one more carry than Gordon, but Gordon managed to find the end zone twice. Still, it was a positive development for Lindsay. The 26-year-old saw his second-highest carry total of the season on Sunday after rushing the ball just 12 times in the previous two games combined. He'll be a low-upside RB3/flex next week against the Saints, though, as they've allowed a league-low three rushing scores all season. Plus, Lindsay hasn't been a factor in the passing attack with just two catches in seven games.
Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III was the offensive star of the game for Denver in the 20-13 Week 11 upset win over the Dolphins. The Broncos won with their rushing attack and their defense, and Gordon was a big part of that, rushing 15 times for 84 yards (5.6 yards per carry) and both of the team's touchdowns. The 27-year-old saw just 50 percent of the offensive snaps, but he made the most of his chances while still splitting time pretty evenly with teammate Phillip Lindsay. It was a great showing for Gordon, especially since he hadn't given his fantasy managers a touchdown since Week 7 against the Chiefs. But he'll go back to being a low-end RB2/high-end RB3/flex in Week 12 against a Saints Defense that has allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs in 2020.
Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock was 18-for-30 for 270 yards passing, no touchdowns and one interception in the Week 11 win over the Dolphins. He added two carries for 23 yards on the ground. The Broncos played with positive game script all day, meaning that Lock didn't need to attempt 40-plus passes for the first time since Week 6 against the Patriots. The second-year signal-caller threw an interception for the sixth straight week and has 11 interceptions and seven touchdowns through eight games. The 24-year-old will probably have to throw more often in a Week 12 meeting with the Saints, but Lock will still be a turnover-prone, low-end QB2 option for fantasy managers in superflex leagues.
Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hamstring) left in the second quarter of the Week 11 game due to a hamstring injury and missed most of the game. He'll have tests Monday, Nov. 23, to assess the injury.
Fantasy Spin: Jones has been hamstrung all season due to his limbs, and he's the WR27 in PPR formats - albeit in eight games. This is what you're going to have to deal with if you own him in his aging state. Check back later to see if we can get a clearer picture on his status.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was mostly absent in a Week 11 matchup against the Chiefs, catching one pass on his only target for five yards and getting one rushing attempt that went for 12 yards. Ruggs played in over half the team's snaps, but Derek Carr clearly did not look his way for the majority of the game. Ruggs has seen five targets in just one game this season, and he has failed to catch more than three passes in any game. He takes on a bad Falcons secondary next week, but he is mostly off the fantasy radar at this time.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow caught just two passes for 37 yards in a Sunday night loss against the Chiefs. This marks three straight games where Renfrow has had only two receptions. He also played in just 34 percent of snaps, which was his lowest since Week 8. Renfrow is a solid possession receiver that can move the chains, but his fantasy ceiling is incredibly low. He is averaging just three catches for about 43 yards per game and has found the end zone just two times all year. Renfrow will take on the Falcons next week, and it is reasonable to expect a similar performance.
Cleveland Browns pass-rusher Myles Garrett will miss the Week 12 game against the Jaguars after going on the COVID-19 list, according to head coach Kevin Stefanski. Garrett was put on the COVID-19 list several days ago and also missed the Week 11 win over the Eagles. He'll now be hoping to return for a Week 13 matchup with the Titans on Dec. 6. Despite missing the game against the Eagles this past Sunday, Garrett remains No. 1 among defensive lineman in fantasy points. The 24-year-old has 31 combined tackles, seven tackles for loss, 14 QB hits, a league-high four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a league-high 9.5 sacks in nine games. Cleveland's defense will miss him again this week, but they are still a prime fantasy unit while facing Jacksonville.
Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett (illness) will miss Week 12 on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Fantasy Spin: Keep Garrett stashed as he's a top-five player at the position in IDP leagues.
The Philadelphia Eagles officially signed running back Jordan Howard to their practice squad on Monday. Howard was cut by the Dolphins last week after he rushed for 33 yards and four touchdowns on just 28 carries in five games for Miami after signing a one-year deal last offseason. He'll return to Philadelphia where he had 119 carries for 525 yards and six touchdowns in 10 games during the 2019 campaign. The 26-year-old has familiarity with the Eagles offense and will provide depth behind Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, rookie Jason Huntley, Corey Clement and Elijah Holyfield. Howard is strictly a depth piece for Philly right now and can be left on fantasy waiver wires.
Updating a previous report, free-agent RB Jordan Howard (Dolphins) signed with the Philadelphia Eagles' practice squad Monday, Nov. 23.
Green Bay Packers LB Christian Kirksey was credited with 11 tackles (six solo) and an interception against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Nov. 22. He also initially looked to have returned a fumble for a touchdown, but the play was changed to an incomplete pass upon further review.
Green Bay Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling had three catches for 55 yards against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Nov. 22. He also lost a fumble.
Fantasy Spin: Valdes-Scantling made two big plays: 1) drawing a lengthy pass interference just before halftime that set up a Packers touchdown, and 2) a 47-yard catch to jumpstart their game-tying drive in the final minute. He also made one terrible mistake, however, as he fumbled the ball on the second play of overtime, leading to Indy's game-winning field goal. MVS' ability to work deep gives him decent upside potential from a flex slot most weeks.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Demarcus Robinson caught six of his eight targets for 44 yards in Week 11 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Fantasy Spin: The Raiders did a good job of keeping the Chiefs in front of them for the majority of the game, and Robinson was no exception. Robinson also benefited from Mecole Hardman missing some time over the last two weeks due to being placed on the COVID list and Sammy Watkins (hamstring) being ruled out. Both players figure to be more active in practice this week, meaning Robinson can probably go back on the waiver wire in the majority of leagues.
Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams had seven receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown in Week 11 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Fantasy Spin: In six games since returning from injury, Adams has posted a 51-655-8 line; if you put that production on a 16-game pace you'd get 136-1,747-21. You can flip a coin between Adams and DeAndre Hopkins as to who is the top overall fantasy WR, but Adams is a weekly WR1.
Las Vegas Raiders TE Darren Waller pulled in all seven of his targets for 88 yards and a touchdown in Week 11 versus the Kansas City Chiefs.
Fantasy Spin: Waller needs to average five catches per game over the last six contests to match last year's total of 90. He has enjoyed positive touchdown regression this season, scoring for the fifth time this year in this one after posting three during last season's breakout. With George Kittle out indefinitely and players like Mark Andrews disappointing more often than not, Waller has emerged as the clear TE2 in fantasy behind Travis Kelce. He needs to remain in lineups in Week 12 against the Atlanta Falcons.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill tied a career high with 11 catches (on 14 targets) for 102 yards and a touchdown in Week 11 against the Las Vegas Raiders. Hill also lost two yards on a pair of carries.
Fantasy Spin: The transformation Hill has made since entering the league as a bit of a raw gadget player has been amazing. The 26-year-old lived off the short stuff in this one - his long catch was for 14 yards - and has been doing so for over a month, yet he has six touchdowns over his last four contests. Hill gets a difficult matchup in Week 12 versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he is pretty much a top 10 receiver play every week regardless of opponent.
Green Bay Packers RB Jamaal Williams carried five times for 12 yards against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11. He also caught a four-yard touchdown pass.
Fantasy Spin: Williams didn't get a lot of work Sunday, which was a byproduct of Indy controlling the clock for much of the second half. He managed to provide a modest ROI with a late second-quarter touchdown, but it was well below what owners expect from Williams in terms of yardage. Williams is a possible flex against the Bears next Sunday night.
Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones carried the ball 10 times for 41 yards and a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Nov. 22. Jones also caught four passes for 30 yards.
Fantasy Spin: The Packers continue to take the long view with Jones, who has surpassed 20 touches just once this season. It's not a great deal for fantasy owners, but it stands to reason they'll look to get Jones more involved down the stretch. He's not the steadiest RB1 available, but his week-to-week upside is among the highest at the position.
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers completed 27 of 38 passes for 311 yards, three touchdowns and an interception against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Nov. 22. He also ran for 13 yards on three rushes.
Fantasy Spin: Rodgers was dominant in the first half, leading the Packers to 28 points against one of the NFL's top defenses. It was a different story after halftime. Staked to a 14-point lead, the Packers didn't get a first down in the third quarter and two lengthy fourth-quarter drives netted them three points. Rodgers also continued his uncharacteristic turnover woes, throwing a pick and fumbling a snap. He'll face another tough defense next Sunday, though the veteran has much more history with the Bears.