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Other Week 16 Game Recaps

Week 16 Game Recap: Arizona Cardinals 27, Seattle Seahawks 13

What you need to know

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona played spoiler with the impressive road win over playoff-bound Seattle despite Kyler Murray missing a chunk of the game with a hamstring injury. Brett Hundley showed well in relief as Arizona maintained a lead as Hundley’s mobility mirrored that of Murray within the structure of the offense as he converted situational throws to complement his rushing impact. Kenyan Drake’s hot streak continued with an 80-yard touchdown run and more than 180 total yards as the driving force of an Arizona offense which generally struggled through the air.

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks looked great in the early going, especially their ground game, which featured a heavy dose of Chris Carson. But then Carson got injured, along with backfield mate C.J. Prosise, and the wheels fell off. With a relentless pass rush that resulted in a 4-sack day for LB Chandler Jones, Russell Wilson was hard pressed to make up for it. He made some good passes into coverage that were dropped or tipped, and tried to force the ball to Tyler Lockett late in the game, but it was not enough to turn the tide.

Arizona Cardinals

QB Kyler Murray, 37 offensive snaps, Pass: 11 - 18 - 118 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 6 - 40 - 0
Murray played the first half before a hamstring injury put him to the sideline for the rest of the game. Murray was impactful as a runner with a throwback from Pharoh Cooper for a rush of more than 15 yards and a scramble for a chunk gain and later a flip to Larry Fitzgerald for a red zone touchdown among his highlight moments. The downfield passing game eluded the Cardinals (and Murray) overall and Murray nearly had a second score with a highlight back-shoulder goal line touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald, but the play was questionably overturned by booth review.

QB Brett Hundley, 32 offensive snaps, Pass: 4 - 9 - 49 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 6 - 35 - 0
Hundley played the second half in Arizona’s road win over Seattle as Kyler Murray injured his hamstring. Hundley’s mobility was on display with several impact plays as a runner, including breaking a tackle for a chunk red zone run and converting two other first downs with his legs. Hundley extended a play and hit Maxx Williams down the sideline for his biggest impact as a passer with a downfield connection to Christian Kirk overturned by replay.

RB Kenyan Drake, 56 offensive snaps, Rush: 24 - 166 - 2, Rec: 3 - 18 - 0 (4 targets)
Drake hit a high note early in the road win over Seattle with a cut to the perimeter and showing his speed in the open field for an 80-yard touchdown run. Drake sustained the offense throughout with 27 touches and a wide variety of gains from quality cuts to speed to power running. Drake broke multiple tackles to run out the clock in the closing minutes and converted a goal line touchdown on another occasion. Drake has ceded none of his workload to David Johnson since Johnson has returned from injury to Arizona’s backfield.

RB David Johnson, 15 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 3 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets)
Johnson sparsely played against Seattle as Kenyan Drake continued to produce well as the team’s unquestioned starter. Johnson broke a tackle on a red zone reception of note but was otherwise held in check on his limited touches. Johnson has a massive (and uncuttable by dead cap) contract for next season despite his slide to the secondary role down the stretch.

WR Larry Fitzgerald, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 48 - 1 (7 targets)
Fitzgerald led Arizona in targets and receiving yards against Seattle, finding the end zone for the first time since Week 1. Fitzgerald corralled a flip from Kyler Murray on a broken play in the red zone before navigating to the end zone after the catch. Fitzgerald hauled in an impressive goal line back shoulder touchdown as well, before a review questionably reversed the call.

WR Christian Kirk, 65 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 9 - 0 (5 targets)
Kirk played without restriction after being a game-time decision entering Sunday. Kirk had two near-impressive plays with a close sideline reception and later a 25+ yard reception of impressive nature challenged and overturned with replay. Kirk had an ugly third-down drop before getting in the box score with a positive play of a reverse rush for nearly 10 yards.

Seattle Seahawks

QB Russell Wilson, 57 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 31 - 169 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 2 - 0
On the day that Wilson became the Seahawks all-time leading passer, the team stumbled as a whole, and Wilson himself couldn’t catch a break. On the second drive of the game, he marched the team 89 yards for the score. This included a big play to TE Jacob Hollister and WR Malik Turner, and finishing it off with a rare short toss to FB Nick Bellore for the score. He also suffered the first of five sacks on the day (four to Chandler Jones), which set the stage for what was about to come. It was truly a combination of injuries, dropped passes, pass rush, and good coverage in the secondary, that all converged to make this a slow, painful ride for Wilson. In quick succession, both starting running backs were out of the game, and the Cardinals defense began to focus on shutting down the wide receiver duo of Lockett and Metcalf. This left Wilson struggling to find secondary targets like Malik Turner and David Moore, with occasional success, but not consistently enough to move the chains. He didn’t target Metcalf until the second half, and when he did it was dropped. Late in the game, Wilson did his best to go vertical, targeting Lockett a number of times on deep routes. Wilson threw accurately but the magic was just not there this time, as the receiver could just not shake his coverage completely. Wilson had some success targeting the tight end, Hollister, but did not call his number nearly often enough to make a difference.

RB Travis Homer, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 16 - 0, Rec: 6 - 26 - 0 (8 targets)
Homer was the last man standing after Carson and Prosise went down, and is currently the only RB on the Seahawks active roster. When Homer entered the game, he brought some energy and a first down run right out of the gates. But after that, he was far from efficient on the ground. His saving grace was that he caught 6-of-8 targets, so despite the fact the Seahawks will likely be bringing in reinforcements, Homer may be in line for a meaningful role in week 17, and perhaps even into the playoffs.

RB Chris Carson, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 40 - 0, Rec: 1 - 20 - 0 (1 targets)
Carson was a beast in the opening quarter, but he then went down with a fractured hip, which unfortunately ends his season.

WR Tyler Lockett, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (8 targets)
Lockett was simply shut down. He caught only 1-of-8 targets thrown his way. His route running was strong, and Russell Wilson basically force fed him on deep routes in the fourth quarter, but nothing was going right for them. On one in particular, Wilson threw a bomb to him in double coverage near the goal line – really, as perfect a throw as you’ll get in that situation, and Lockett was in perfect position – but the defense was right there, too. The rapport is still there, so it’s hard to see Lockett not finding his groove again, after putting this dud behind him.

WR DK Metcalf, 56 offensive snaps (1 targets)
Metcalf put up a goose egg, and dropped his only target, a well thrown pass that would otherwise have been a first down.

TE Jacob Hollister, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 64 - 0 (6 targets)
Hollister may arguably have been the best receiving option against the Cardinals, and if so, was grossly under-used. He made a big play on the early scoring drive, catching a high pass for a first down. He then recovered his own fumble at the end of the play. His overall line was efficient, but with the woes the wide receivers were having, it’s surprising that he wasn’t targeted even more. With both Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise out for the season, this could go one of two ways for Hollister. He could end up being utilized more in the short passing game as a result, which would likely boost his production; or he could end up being called on to block more often for their replacements, which would hurt his production.