Seattle (-3.0) @ Arizona
Power rankings: Seattle 11, Arizona 28
Motivation: The Seahawks have a chance to make the playoff. They need to win this game and they need the Bears to beat Green Bay. Arizona has been dust for several weeks now.
Keys to the game, when Seattle has the ball:
The Seahawks offense (12th in DVOA, 8th pass, 19th run) is fairly straight forward: they have one of the worst offensive lines in football, but the skill position players propel them to relevancy. Geno Smith is 12th in PFF grades and ESPN's total QBR while DK Metcalf/Tyler Lockett remains a solid 1-2 punch at reciever, with rookie/slot name Jaxon Smith-Njigba chipping in. Despite missing 2 games, RB Kenneth Walker III is 8th in missed tackles forced (50).
Arizona's defense is dead last in DVOA (31st both passing and rush defense DVOA). They're 31st in pressure rate, 25th in pass rush win rate, 28th in run stop win rate, and 30th in PFF's coverage grades. Dennis Gardeck and Zaven Collins have had some success individually as pass rushers, but it clearly isn't translating to a defense that is capable of getting after the quarterback, even against this offensive line. They do not have anybody in the secondary capable of covering Metcalf/Lockett. I award them no points, and may God have mercy on their soul.
When Arizona has the ball:
The Cardinals offense is 22nd in DVOA (25th pass, 8th run). They have a below average offensive line that may be without one of thier better players, LT DJ Humphries (knee). Humphries left in the third quarter last week and was replaced by Kelvin Beachum, who earned a 49.1 grade from PFF (albiet against a very good Eagles defensive line). Humphries didn't practice either Wednesday or Thursday, putting serious doubt to his game status. Outside of TE Trey McBride, the receiving core has been severaly lacking, especially with Hollywood Brown (heel) out. Kyler Murray is playing at about the same below-average level as he was prior to tearing his ACL in 2022, ranking 26th in PFF grades. Murray has done an excellent job taking care of the football, but his efficiency numberse (64.7% completion, 6.5 yards per attempt) leave a lot to be desired. The running game is saved by James Connor, who has been one of the better running backs in football this season when healthy.
The Seahawks defense is 24th in DVOA (25th pass, 23rd run). They've had some success getting to the quarterback, ranking 10th in pressure rate (despite only ranking 16th in blitz rate) and earning a 90 PFF pass rush grade. They are likely without DT Jarran Reed (knee), who is 3rd on the team in pressures, but they still should be able to get home against the Cardinals offensive line. The seconday has a 92.4 coverage grade from PFF, good for 3rd best in the league, thanks to rookie CB Devon Witherspoon, CB Tariq Woolen, CB Michael Jackson, and S Julian Love. LB Bobby Wagner also remains one of the better linebackers in football. To me, this team is far underperforming given the talent level on defense. I'll leave you to decide if that means positive regression is coming or if the coaches are just that bad, but either way it should be enough against the Cardinals.