Odds and Ends

The Cardinals are extremely undervalued on Sunday in Seattle

by Kenny Ducey
Updated On: November 19, 2021, 10:08 am ET

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The Cardinals were a laughing stock last Sunday, falling 34-10 at the hands of the Panthers, a team which had looked dead in the water. Kyler Murray or no Kyler Murray, I think Arizona is a prime bounce-back candidate in Week 11 and the line its game against Seattle is a wild overreaction.

Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (-2.5) Total: 48

Murray seems more likely than not to play in Week 11. He's missed the past two games due to an ankle issue, but was able to practice this week on a limited basis. Kliff Kingsbury remarked this week that Murray was moving well, and the quarterback discussed how pleased he was with his rapid recovery.

With Murray, the 2.5 points the Cardinals are hanging against the Seahawks at PointsBet would be a joke. Even without him, this is a game Arizona should win running away.

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Colt McCoy may have struggled against the Carolina secondary, but he proved himself a week prior by cutting up the fifth-best secondary judging by DVOA when he beat the San Francisco 49ers. And, while getting suffocated by Carolina seems bad on the surface, let's remember here that the Panthers sit atop the league with a 9.5% adjusted sack rate. They've allowed plenty of yards, but they're also elite at getting to the quarterback, and one might blame the Cardinals line a bit for having an underwhelming game.

The Seahawks are fourth-to-last in adjusted sack rate, and 25th in DVOA against the pass. This is one of the very worst secondaries I've ever seen going on a couple of years now, and their inability to get to the quarterback means there is no one redeeming quality that would lead you to believe it can rise above its poor numbers and slow whoever is throwing the ball for Arizona.

I do believe that it'll be Murray throwing the ball, but I needed to explain my rationale in the event he's not active on Sunday. If you can see a way for the Cardinals to score points here, you see a way they win this game by double digits.

That's because this Cardinals defense is elite — sitting in the top five in yards and points allowed per game. They've limited their opposition to just six yards per pass and 0.6 rushing touchdowns per game. However you slice it, it's very difficult to score on this team, and Russell Wilson and the 16th-ranked offense by DVOA should have nothing for Arizona.

The biggest secret about this Seahawks team is that it wasn't very good before Wilson went down. We're romanticizing this team based on its history, and not paying enough attention to the very concerning numbers that would point to the fact that this team is on a steep decline. Take the Cardinals and don't look back.

Edge: Cardinals -2.5

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Kenny Ducey

Kenny Ducey is a former member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, writing and editing for Sports Illustrated and Baseball Prospectus. His work also appears at DraftKings and The Action Network. Follow him on Twitter @KennyDucey.