Seattle Seahawks vs. Washington Redskins
Sunday 5th November, 9:05pm (UK time)
|Seahawks vs Redskins||
The Seattle Seahawks currently sit at 5-2 and in first place in the NFC West. However, they hold that spot along with the Rams, who have proved to be a formidable opponent so far this season. Nonetheless, the Seahawks appear to be back in championship form, winning their last four games against tough opponents like Los Angles and Houston.
Despite their struggles with the ground game, they’ve managed to produce on offence thanks to the efforts of Russell Wilson, who already has 2,000 yards and 15 touchdowns on the season. Jimmy Graham had hardly shown up on the score sheet until last week, when he caught two touchdowns in Seattle’s victory over Houston. Surprisingly, Paul Richardson has surpassed Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett as Wilson’s favorite receiver, hauling in 374 yards and five touchdowns so far. In addition, Seattle’s fearsome defence is still led by the likes of Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and newly acquired Sheldon Richardson up front.
The Redskins have had a disappointing season so far, but they’re not out of the playoff race yet. Their 3-4 record places them only one game behind Dallas for second place in the NFC East. They’ve endured one of the hardest schedules in the NFL so far, and it won’t get any easier when they travel to Seattle. They’ve lost three of their last four games, and former standouts such as Terrell Pryor, Jordan Reed, and Jamison Crowder have disappeared this season. If the Redskins want to have any chance to beat Seattle on the road, they’ll have to get their passing game going early and often.
This game should be competitive, but Seattle has a clear advantage at almost every position. Neither one of these teams has a very effective run game, but the Seahawks’ pass defence is far superior to Washington’s. Expect Seattle to limit Kirk Cousins’ opportunities through the air and to win their fifth game in a row.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals
Sunday 5th November, 9:05pm (UK time)
|49ers vs. Cardinals||
Though the 49ers haven’t won a game yet this season, they’ve lost five of their eight games by an agonising three points or less. One of those narrow defeats came on the road against the Cardinals in Week 4. Since then, C.J. Beathard has replaced the incompetent Brian Hoyer and breathed new life into San Francisco’s offence. Even though he’s only been under center for three weeks, he already has 647 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers are especially impressive given the limited options he has to throw to. In addition, Carlos Hyde has racked up 453 yards and four touchdowns so far this year.
The Cardinals are 3-4 right now and have had a decent season so far, but they are looking at an uphill climb if they even want to sniff the playoffs this year. They just lost starting quarterback Carson Palmer for eight weeks due to a broken arm, and that likely puts him out for the rest of the regular season. On top of that, they’re still missing starting runningback David Johnson, who suffered a long-term injury at the beginning of the season.
Arizona hasn’t been good on the road so far, compiling a 1-2 record. Their only road win thus far came against the Colts, who they beat 16-13 in Week 2. Their defence is still formidable, but it remains to be seen whether or not QB Drew Stanton will be able to effectively use his myriad receivers.
The 49ers’ 0-8 record is frightening, but it doesn’t reflect how close they’ve come to winning so many games this year. C.J. Beathard is just figuring out how to be an NFL quarterback, and he’s looked poised and under control in the pocket. With the help of Carlos Hyde and an energetic young defense, it’s worth looking at San Francisco to upset the reeling Cardinals in Week 9.