Arizona @ Houston (-4.0)
Power rankings: Arizona 29, Houston 17
Keys to the game: The Cardinals finally got back Kyler Murray last week, who led Arizona to a thrilling win further away from the number 1 overall draft pick. Murray showed that his mobility is still very much present via an impressive scramble that had him 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage before picking up 10 yards. That said, Arizona is still understandably easing Murray the runner into things - he had just 2 designed runs and 2 scrambles last week. Through the air he completed 59.4% of his passes for 7.8 yards per attempt, earning a 65.6 PFF grade. A win is a win, but Murray still clearly has a long way to go. The supporting cast likely won't do him many favors - the Cardinals are 27th in offensive DVOA, have a bad offensive line, and a below-average group of skill position players. TE Trey McBride has been a bright spot, totally 21 catches for 248 yards and a touchdown in 3 games since Zach Ertz went down. Houston's defense is 17th in DVOA, equally bad against the pass (18th in DVOA) and the run (20th). Their defensive line has played well, currently sitting at 2nd in both ESPN's pass rush win rate and run stop win rate metrics, with both rookie Will Anderson Jr and Jonathan Greenard playing well. They have had issues in the secondary, save for veteran CB Steve Nelson.
The Texans are 9th in DVOA going up against a Cardinals defense that ranks 31st in DVOA. CJ Stroud has had an impressive rookie season, ranking 10th in both PFF grades and DVOA. The offensive line is solid enough, while Tank Dell and Nico Collins have proved to be an excellent 1-2 punch at receiver. I have nothing nice to say about the Cardinals defense - they're 28th in pass rush win rate, 29th in run stop win rate, and 25th in PFF coverage grades.
Tampa Bay (+11.5) @ San Francisco
Power rankings: Tampa 20, San Francisco 2
The Bucs offense is 21st in DVOA going up against a 49ers defense that ranks 10th. Baker Mayfield is 18th in PFF grades and 14th in ESPN's total QBR, playing behind an offensive line that is strong at the tackle positions but weak at the interior. LT Tristian Wirfs is one of the better tackles in all of football. Chris Godwin and Mike Evans provide a solid 1-2 punch, but there hasn't been much production behind them. The 49ers added Chase Young at the trade deadline, paring him with Nick Bosa to make one of the better edge rushing tandems in football. As mentioned, Bosa and Young won't have an easy matchup, but tackles Arik Armstead and Javon Hargrave should easily win against the Bucs interior. The weakness of the 49ers defense has been their corner room, but they have a decent combination at safety between Tashaun Gipson and Talanoa Hufanga. Evans and Godwin need to win their matchups when left 1 on 1.
The 49ers offense is 1st in offensive DVOA going up against the Bucs defense that ranks 11th. The 49ers excel due to the strongest group of skill position players in football (Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Christian McCaffrey), as well as the Shannahan system, and the a quarterback who surgically operates the system. Their offensive line is the weak point, with only LT Trent Williams playing well. The Bucs defensive line hasn't been great this season, ranking 25th in pass rush win rate and run stop win rate, but they do have two solid players in edge rusher Shaq Barrett and tackle Vita Vea. Vea will have an edge against whoever he's lining up against while Barrett will do well if he lines up against RT Colton McKivitz. Their secondary has not performed well - corners Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis are both having down years - making Barrett and Vea's impact that much more important considering the skill position players of the 49ers.
Seattle @ LA Rams (+1.0)
Power rankings: Seattle 13, Rams 19
The Seahawks offense is 11th in DVOA going up against the Rams defense that ranks 24th. Geno Smith ranks 16th in PFF grades and 17th in ESPN's total QBR. The offensive line has struggled, but Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf have provided an excellent 1-2 punch at receiver while Kenneth Walker has excelled in the run game. Lockett has been battling a hamstring injury for quite some time and effective playing through it, but this week he did not practice all week. In previous weeks, Lockett had been getting in limited and full sessions, raising a question if he did something to tweak it. The Rams defensive line features Aaron Donald - who is still playing at an all pro level - along with a number of younger prospects. Rookie DT Kobie Turner has had some success against the run, while rookie DE Byron Young has been decent as a pass rusher, but it's still a relatively weak unit. That said, given the matchup, they should be able to generate their fair share of pressure while making things difficult in the run game. The Rams have a poor secondary, making Lockett's potential hamstring tweak that much more important.
The Rams are 15th in DVOA going up against the Seahawks defense that ranks 20th. 15 likely underrates the Rams as they've only had 4 games with Matt Stafford and Cooper Kupp both fully healthy. Stafford missed week 9 with a thumb injury, then had a bye last week to rest up. He practiced in full all week and is in line to start on Sunday. The offensive line has had issues - particularly on the left side - but the combination of Kupp, Nauca, and Tutu Atwell will more than make up for it. The Seahawks defense, despite having any big names along the line, rank 9th in pass rush win rate and 11th in pressure rate. Bobby Wagner continues to be one of the better linebackers in the league, while rookie CB Devon Witherspoon and CB Tre Brown make for a solid 1-2 punch at corner. Their struggles on defense don't match up with the individual players performances, while points to a potential scheme/coaching issue. Either way, I like the Rams offense in this matchup.