Sun Dec 22 8:38pm ET
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer
Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake fends off Seattle Seahawks linebacker Mychal Kendricks, left, as he rushes during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake gets past Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker K.J. Wright, center, to rush for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) passes against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback Kyler Murray (1) stands on the sideline after leaving with an injury during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Brett Hundley, center, drops to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seattle Seahawks fans react after Arizona Cardinals middle linebacker Jordan Hicks, lower left, recovered a fumble during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, right, talks with quarterback Russell Wilson, left, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) scores a touchdown as Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson dives for the tackle during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) runs for a touchdown after a reception as Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson, left, and defensive end Rasheem Green, right, pursue during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
SEATTLE (AP) Kenyan Drake rushed for 166 yards and two touchdowns, Larry Fitzgerald added a 21-yard TD reception, and the Arizona Cardinals stymied Russell Wilson and the injury-depleted Seattle Seahawks in a 27-13 win on Sunday.
The Seahawks (11-4) saw their hopes for the No. 1 seed in the NFC potentially vanish with another late-season loss to the Cardinals. Seattle can still claim the NFC West with a win next week over San Francisco, but will need major help to earn total home-field advantage after entering the week as the top seed in the NFC.
Drake had an 80-yard TD run in the first quarter and provided the capper with a 3-yard TD with 4:18 remaining to take a 27-13 lead. Drake’s 166 yards were a season high against Seattle.
The question now is Seattle’s health going into next week. Seattle faced the Cardinals without four key starters: left tackle Duane Brown, safety Quandre Diggs, cornerback Shaquill Griffin and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. The Seahawks depth was thinned further when starting running back Chris Carson went down with a hip injury early in the second quarter and backup C.J. Prosise suffered an arm injury only a few minutes later.
Arizona (5-9-1) lost No. 1 overall draft pick Kyler Murray to a hamstring injury midway through the third quarter. Murray was tended to on the sideline after leading a drive that finished with Zane Gonzalez's 46-yard field goal that gave Arizona a 20-7 lead early in the third quarter. Murray scrambled on the final play of the drive for 4 yards and never returned.
The absence of Brown and the lack of a run game left Seattle’s offense stuck in neutral. The Seahawks gained 89 yards on their opening drive that was capped by Wilson’s 3-yard TD pass to Nick Bellore. They gained 49 total yards combined in the second and third quarters. Between the six-minute mark of the first quarter and Tyler Lockett’s 12-yard catch early in the fourth quarter, Seattle had one first down.
Wilson finished 16 of 31 for 169 yards, but was sacked five times - four by Chandler Jones, who also forced a key fumble early in the second half.
Murray was 11 of 18 for 118 yards and a touchdown before leaving. He also added 40 yards rushing. His best play was the touchdown to Fitzgerald that gave the Cardinals a 14-7 lead. Murray scrambled from the pocket, stopped before the line of scrimmage and flipped a short pass. Fitzgerald managed to corral the pass with one hand, then ran through Seattle’s K.J. Wright near the goal line for the touchdown.
Brett Hundley took over for Murray and the backup QB in Seattle last year led Arizona on a key scoring drive midway through the fourth quarter capped by Drake’s second touchdown run. Hundley had a critical 14-yard scramble on third-and-2 to get Arizona into field-goal range.
Seattle got a spark late in the third quarter when Rasheem Green blocked Gonzalez’s 45-yard field goal attempt and Marquise Blair returned it to the Arizona 16. But the Seahawks settled for Jason Myers’ 30-yard field goal and a 20-10 deficit. Myers added a 51-yard field goal on Seattle’s next possession to pull the Seahawks within 20-13 with 10:02 left. That was as close as Seattle would get.
Jones set a single-season franchise record for sacks. Jones has 19 on the season, topping the 17 he had in 2017. Jones now has 60 sacks in 63 career games since joining the Cardinals.
Fitzgerald became the second player in NFL history to top 17,000 yards receiving in a career. Fitzgerald reached the mark on his TD catch in the second quarter. Fitzgerald entered the day with 16,990 yards receiving; he trails only Jerry Rice (22,895) on the all-time list.
Wilson moved past Matt Hasselback to become Seattle’s all-time leader in yards passing. Wilson needed 103 yards to top Hasselback’s mark of 29,435 set during his 10 seasons with Seattle between 2001-10.
As expected, Seattle’s Week 17 matchup against San Francisco was flexed by the NFL to be the Sunday night game. It will be the second time Seattle has hosted the final game of the regular season with the NFC West title on the line. The previous time came in Pete Carroll’s first season when Seattle beat St. Louis 16-6 to win the NFC West.
Cardinals: travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams.
Seahawks: Seattle hosts San Francisco. Both already are in the playoffs.
Five Waiver Wire Adds: Week 8
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy doesn't intend to bench quarterback Nick Foles in favor of Mitchell Trubisky after the team's 24-10 Monday night loss to the Rams in Week 7. The Bears are 5-2 but rank 27th in points per game (19.7), 30th in yards per play (4.8), 30th in yards per run (3.8), 29th in yards per pass (5.6), 30th on third-down conversions (35.1 percent) and 29th in red-zone efficiency (47.6 percent). Foles took over for Trubisky in Week 3 and was 28-for-40 for 261 yards and two interceptions against the Rams. Foles has thrown for 1,139 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions in five appearances (four starts) this year. The Saints -- Chicago's Week 8 opponent -- allow the sixth-most fantasy points per game to signal-callers, but Foles remains a low-end QB2 in superflex leagues in Chicago's stagnant offense.
Atlanta Falcons wide receivers Julio Jones (hip) and Russell Gage (knee) were both limited in practice on Tuesday. Jones' injury is new, but the 31-year-old always seems to be fighting through some sort of injury and he should be fine for the Thursday night matchup with the Panthers. The All-Pro wideout missed the Week 5 matchup with Carolina due to an injury, but he should be fine for this one and he remains a locked-in, must-start WR1 whenever he's on the field as the team's No. 1 receiver. Jones has 16 receptions on 19 targets for 234 yards and two touchdowns in the last two weeks against the Vikings and Lions. The Panthers allow the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to wideouts, but Jones should be in all starting lineups regardless. Gage should play on Thursday, but he's been a non-factor the last five weeks and can be left to the waiver wire in shallow leagues.
The San Francisco 49ers reached an injury settlement with wide receiver Tavon Austin (knee) on Tuesday, and he is no longer on their Injured Reserve list. Austin was put on IR before the 2020 regular season started. He spent the last two years in Dallas, recording 21 catches on 37 targets for 317 yards and three touchdowns in 21 games. The eighth overall pick in the 2013 draft by the Rams, Austin had his best season in 2016, catching 58 passes for 509 yards and three touchdowns. He has just 15 touchdowns in seven NFL seasons and has essentially become a little-used gadget player in recent seasons. Don't expect Austin to resurface anywhere in 2021 as a fantasy relevant option.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said that rookie third-round safety Terrell Burgess (ankle) broke his ankle in the Monday night win over the Bears and will miss the rest of the season. The 21-year-old will finish his rookie season with eight tackles (seven solo) and one pass defensed in seven games of action. Burgess was taken with the 104th overall pick in April and has the versatility to also play nickel cornerback in the NFL. He's a smart player and anticipates routes in coverage. The former Utah Ute should have plenty of time to recover in time for training camp next summer.
Because of COVID-19 protocols, the Detroit Lions Defense will not have newly acquired defensive end Everson Griffen available to play in Week 8 against the Colts. Griffen's debut with Detroit will come on Nov. 8 against the Vikings, the team that he spent the first 10 years of his career with while earning four Pro Bowl nods. The Lions sent a sixth-round draft pick in 2021 to the Cowboys for Griffen's services on Tuesday, and he'll be a veteran present for Detroit's defensive line the rest of the season. While the 32-year-old isn't an IDP starting option at his position on a weekly basis, he should help improve their defensive line. However, the Lions defense overall is near the bottom of the league in fantasy points through seven weeks, so you should continue to avoid them everywhere.
Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee (hand) could be ready to play against the Miami Dolphins in Week 8, according to head coach Sean McVay Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Fantasy Spin: Higbee was forced to sit out Week 7 for his first missed game of the season. He has 18 catches on 21 targets for 222 yards and three touchdowns through six games and is a low-end TE1 most weeks.
Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't being shopped for a trade, according to a source with direct knowledge Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Fantasy Spin: Fitzpatrick would definitely have at least some measure of fantasy value on any one of the NFL's current QB-needy teams, but it appears he'll be staying in Miami to mentor rookie Tua Tagovailoa. It will help Tagovailoa, but it's a shame for fantasy managers in two-QB leagues.
Tennessee Titans RB D'Onta Foreman, PK Tucker McCann, QB Trevor Siemian and LB Tuzar Skipper were designated as protected practice squad players for Week 8 Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR Deon Cain, RB Trey Edmunds, LB Jayrone Elliott and RB Wendell Smallwood were named to the team's Week 8 practice squad protection list Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers PK Greg Joseph and DT Jeremiah Ledbetter were chosen as protected practice squad players for Week 8 Tuesday, Oct. 27.
New York Giants RB Alfred Morris, P Ryan Santoso, G Chad Slade and QB Clayton Thorson were named as protected practice squad players for Week 8 Tuesday, Oct. 27.
San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman (knee) could be back in the mix as soon as Sunday versus Seattle, with head coach Kyle Shanahan saying that he was hopeful that they'd have Coleman for the game. The 49ers' backfield has been a constant shuffling endeavor with Raheem Mostert (ankle) and Jeff Wilson Jr. (ankle) both now out of the mix for the foreseeable future. Coleman's return coincides with Jerick McKinnon likely moving up the depth chart, although how any share of carries would be split remains unclear. Coleman started 11 games for San Francisco last season, so despite having compiled just 30 yards across 18 carries this year, he's likely to see an increased role whenever he's officially ready to return. Check back throughout the week for updates on his status as they become available.
Los Angeles Chargers RB Kalen Ballage, RB Darius Bradwell and RB Troymaine Pope were chosen as protected practice squad players for Week 8 Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers has not been much of a season-long fantasy commodity in 2020, aside from those leagues in which two QB's are rostered. But after a three-touchdown, 371-yard passing performance last weekend, it appears that Rivers has plenty of zing left in his right arm. He gets a middle-of-the-road showdown against Detroit come Sunday, having had ample time to prepare as the Colts come off their bye week. Averaging better than an interception per game throughout his career versus the Lions, Rivers has rough waters ahead with Baltimore and Tennessee looming as potential pitfalls to his fantasy relevancy. The veteran is likely best utilized in deep season-long formats or contrarian DFS scenarios this Sunday.
Cincinnati Bengals NT Andrew Brown, G Deion Calhoun, DT Kahlil McKenzie and WR Stanley Morgan were named to the team's Week 8 practice squad protection list Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Cleveland Browns RB John Kelly, QB Kyle Lauletta, DE Cameron Malveaux and PK Matthew McCrane were protected from selection off the practice squad for Week 8 Tuesday, Oct. 27.
New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman may wind up being the bell cow out of the backfield for Monday's contest against the Buccaneers after starter Devonta Freeman (ankle) worked on the side during practice Tuesday. Freeman exited the team's game last Thursday against Philadelphia early, carrying the ball only three times. While Gallman notched his first touchdown of the season when given an increased role, he'll have a stout matchup Monday, as the Buccaneers Defense has made opposing run games obsolete in 2020. Opposing backs have combined to rush for just 66 yards per game versus Tampa Bay, the lowest mark in the league, capping Gallman's fantasy intrigue, even if he does ultimately get tabbed as the starter.
Atlanta Falcons QB Kurt Benkert, DE Austin Edwards, LB Edmond Robinson and WR Chris Rowland were designated as protected practice squad players for Week 8 Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Carolina Panthers DT Bruce Hector, G Mike Horton, DB Natrell Jamerson and WR Marken Michel were made protected practice squad players for Week 8 Tuesday, Oct. 27.