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.
Sunday Morning Update: Week 11
Jacksonville Jaguars pass-rusher Josh Allen's (knee) injury isn't believed to be too serious based on the initial diagnosis, but he will undergo more tests on Monday, according to a source. Allen will likely miss some game time, but his injury isn't considered to be a long-term one. Don't be surprised if the seventh overall pick in the 2019 draft isn't available to play against the Browns in Week 12, but he could return by Week 13 against the Vikings. An already bad Jaguars Defense will be hurt even more if the 23-year-old edge rusher misses any games. A Pro Bowler in his rookie season, Allen has 13 tackles (seven solo), 11 QB hits and 2.5 sacks in eight games this year after recording 10.5 sacks in 2019.
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.
Las Vegas Raiders WR Nelson Agholor caught six of his nine targets for 88 yards and a touchdown in Week 11 versus the Kansas City Chiefs.
Fantasy Spin: There's a good chance Agholor got dropped in a few leagues after totaling 63 yards on three receptions over the previous three games, but he went right back to being Derek Carr's preferred receiver target in this one. It's clear this passing game revolves around Darren Waller and Agholor right now, and it's good for the 27-year-old that he is getting a chance to prove himself in 2020 after mostly disappointing in Philadelphia. He'll be a high-upside WR3 option again in Week 12 against the Atlanta Falcons.
Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce caught eight of his 10 targets for 127 yards and a touchdown in Week 11 against the Las Vegas Raiders. Kelce also completed a pass for four yards on a trick play near the end zone.
Fantasy Spin: Kelce went over the century mark for the third straight game and the fourth time this season with this effort, while the TD was a game-winner with 28 seconds left. There's really not much to say that hasn't already been said about Kelce, who is a beacon of light in the fantasy tight end wasteland. Kelce will have his hands full in Week 12 versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he's always a good bet for top-three production at his position regardless of the opponent.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton had three receptions for 36 yards against the Green Bay Packers in Week 11.
Fantasy Spin: Here's a couple interesting tidbits: 1) Hilton's last game with 100-plus receiving yards came on Dec. 23, 2018, with Andrew Luck at QB, and 2) Hilton's last touchdown was on Oct. 20, 2019, a string of 14 games. Perhaps it's time to unofficially change his name to T.Y. Travelodge. Jokes aside, he's only a flex target in deeper leagues.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Le'Veon Bell ran for 25 yards and a touchdown on seven carries and hauled in his only target for 11 yards in Week 11 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Fantasy Spin: It didn't appear as if Bell saw the field until late in the second quarter. He also didn't look like he had much spring in his step either, but he rewarded his fantasy owners with a 6-yard score on a toss play with about six minutes left in the game. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is the clear lead back in Kansas City, and the Chiefs seem committed to using Darrel Williams in certain obvious passing situations. It makes Bell a dicey flex option at best, particularly in Week 12 versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Indianapolis Colts RB Jordan Wilkins had four carries for 21 yards on Sunday, Nov. 22, against the Green Bay Packers. He also had a 15-yard catch.
Fantasy Spin: Wilkins' load has dropped from 21 touches in Week 8 to 13, eight, and now five in three subsequent games. It's pretty clear that Taylor and Hines have defined roles, and Wilkins is mostly there in case Taylor can't get going or makes a critical mistake. That's not the type of player you can stick in your lineup.
Indianapolis Colts RB Nyheim Hines carried the ball six times for two yards in a Week 11 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Hines also caught three passes (on four targets) for 31 yards.
Fantasy Spin: There was a lot of speculation that Hines would be the primary option for the Colts against the Packers on Sunday, but he couldn't get anything going on the ground, and the team made the switch to Taylor at halftime. A rematch with the Titans could be just what the doctor ordered, though, as Hines hit them for 115 yards and two scores in Week 10. Try to find a spot for him in your lineup.
Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr finished 23-of-31 for 275 yards and three touchdowns with one interception in Week 11 versus the Kansas City Chiefs. Carr added six yards rushing on three carries.
Fantasy Spin: About the only thing that limited Carr in this one was head coach Jon Gruden's desire to run a balanced offense. His interception came in the waning seconds of the contest as Las Vegas have little choice but to force the ball down the field trailing by four with about 20 seconds left. It's the aforementioned - and sometimes forced - offensive balance that keeps Carr from being a consistent QB1, but he has certainly put himself into high-end QB2 territory. He has a good shot at repeating his success from this game in Week 12 against the Atlanta Falcons.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes finished 34-of-45 for 348 yards and two touchdowns with one interception in Week 11 against the Las Vegas Raiders. Mahomes also ran for 16 yards on four carries.
Fantasy Spin: The Raiders pulled ahead by three with 1:43 remaining, but that proved to be far too much time for Mahomes, who needed 75 seconds to march the Chiefs into the end zone. Interestingly, both of the former league MVP's interceptions this season have come against Las Vegas. Mahomes has topped 300 yards passing six times and thrown for at least two scores in all but one game. He's as good as it gets in fantasy, and he needs to be started in all leagues despite facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 12.