Thursday Night Football: 5 takeaways from the Seahawks' Week 11 win over the Cardinals
Kyler Murray found himself in a familiar situation this week. Just days after topping the Buffalo Bills on a last second Hail Mary, Murray was driving against the Seattle Seahawks with another game on the line.
But on fourth down in Seattle territory, Murray had to scramble in the backfield and was dropped to the ground, ending the comeback attempt and moving the Seahawks to 7-3 on the season while the Cardinals fell to 6-4.
5. Seahawks' pass defense shows up
At the end of the first quarter, the Cardinals had four yards of passing offense. Yes, Kyler Murray and the Cardinals offense looked disconnected and ineffective, but for once, the Seahawks pass defense looked ... competent.
Coming into “Thursday Night Football,” Seattle had given up 43 more passing yards per game than any other team in the league. The Seahawks' 353.3 passing yards allowed per game was more than 13 NFL teams' total yards allowed per game. Against the Cardinals, the Seahawks held Arizona to 260 passing yards, one of their best performances of the season against one of the league's most potent passing attacks with Murray and receivers DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.
4. DK Metcalf bounces back somewhat
At the end of the Seahawks' opening drive, DK Metcalf was already one catch away from matching his Week 10 total.
Metcalf, who cemented himself as one of the best wide receivers in the league with a brilliant first half of 2020, extended plays all evening. The second-year WR finished with three catches on five targets and a touchdown, and could've had more if not for two costly drops.
Thursday night’s performance came just a week after one of the worst games of Metcalf’s young career. He caught two passes on four targets for just 28 yards against the Los Angeles Rams, thanks in large part to blanket coverage from Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
“When DK is playing well, the offense is hard to stop,” Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson said heading into the game.
3. Kyler Murray contained on the ground
On the last play of last week's shocking win over Buffalo, Kyler Murray kept the play alive with his feet. He shook off pass-rushers and ran to the sideline before chucking up a game-winner.
On Thursday, however, he was contained. Carlos Dunlap and the Seahawks defensive line kept Murray largely in the pocket. Despite coming into the game averaging almost 70 rushing yards per game, Murray finished with 15 yards on five carries (3.0 YPC) Thursday.
2. Sloppy play from both sides
Arizona came into Thursday’s game averaging the most penalties per game in the league. The Seahawks, however, are the league’s 5th-most disciplined team.
On “Thursday Night Football,” tensions and sloppy mistakes were the story. The two clubs combined for 18 penalties, including 10 from Arizona. The penalties included false starts from entire offensive lines and tensions even culminated in a near-fist fight.
1. Russell Wilson does enough
Russell Wilson, like the Seahawks, has had a strange season. Wilson started 2020 looking like a lock for league MVP, but after losing momentum and some key games to the Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams, the field was muddied.
On Week 11's "Thursday Night Football," Wilson did just enough.
Enough for his team to win by a touchdown, and enough to stay in the MVP conversation. Wilson finished Thursday's game with two touchdowns, throwing for an efficient 23 of 28. With a stretch of weak opponents — the Eagles, Giants and Jets — coming up for the Seahawks, Wilson will have an opportunity to strengthen his claim on 2020 MVP and help the Seahawks secure a playoff bye.