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The NFC West takes center stage to kick off the Week 11 NFL slate as the 6-3 Arizona Cardinals are in Seattle for a critical showdown with the 6-3 Seahawks on Thursday night inside CenturyLink Field. This is the second primetime meeting between the two divisional rivals this season, with the first ending in overtime after the Cardinals clawed back from a double-digit deficit to knock Seattle off their undefeated pedestal in a thriller in the desert.
Three teams in the NFC West now sit with 6-3 records but by virtue of that Week 7 win, the Cards are at the top and in third in the NFC.
Put Your Cards on the Table
The Cardinals have now been involved in the top two play-of-the-year candidates, with the first coming in the aforementioned tilt with the Seahawks. DK Metcalf chased down Cardinals defensive back Budda Baker after the latter picked off Russell Wilson at the goal line and looked for a pick-six the other way.
For three weeks, that play had no peers. But after this past Sunday, there is an argument to be made. After the Bills took the lead with less than a minute left on a Stefon Diggs touchdown, DeAndre Hopkins hauled in a hail mary from Kyler Murray, surrounded by three Buffalo defenders, to win it for Arizona.
The Cardinals are going in the right direction, winning four out of their last five.
Struggles in Seattle
We've made references to the NFC West logjam, but it wasn't always this way this season. Seattle had the upper hand at 5-0 (the last remaining undefeated team in the NFC) and 6-1, but now it has dropped two in a row for the first time since Weeks 16 and 17 last year.
Two weeks ago, the Seahawks weren't able to keep up with the Bills' high-octane offense, and on Sunday, the Rams defense stifled the league's top-scoring offense. Wilson has turned the ball over seven times over the last two weeks, as the once lopsided MVP race has tightened considerably with the likes of Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers and even Murray joining the party.
Keep an eye on Metcalf again in this one, as even though he made that incredible tackle on Baker, he barely made a dent in the boxscore offensively in the first meeting. In fact, when shadowed by Patrick Peterson in the first meeting, and then Jalen Ramsey on Sunday, Metcalf combined for only four receptions and 51 yards.
Betting Line and Pick
Despite the obvious opposite directions these teams are apparently headed, Seattle is still laying 3.5 points at home with an over/under of 57.5. It's a nearly identical line to the first meeting when the Cardinals covered and won outright, with the game going over the total with a combined 71 points.
If the Cardinals are able to quickly put Sunday's miracle behind them to focus on Seattle and this quick turnaround, the Seahawks could be in trouble. But if they understandably relish in the "Hail Murray," they could be in for a rude awakening when they face a motivated Wilson and company. Bank on the home team with the edge in experience in these situations.
Pick: Seahawks -3.5