By: Emily Musella
Kyler Murray and Co. win epic thriller against the Bills
Football fans, we have reached Week 10 of the NFL season! Sunday afternoon will showcase two exciting quarterbacks with Kyler Murray and the Cardinals taking on Josh Allen and the visiting Bills. The Cardinals found themselves in a shootout against the Dolphins last week, ultimately taking the L 34-31. On the flip side, the Bills and Josh Allen significantly outperformed the Seahawks with a 44-34 W. Who has the edge this Sunday? Will the Cardinals defend their home and claw their way to victory, or will the Bills spoil with a Buffalo charged offense? You know what time it is, the breakdown shakedown!
Odds: ARI -2.5, BUF +2.5
Over/Under: Over 55
Kickoff: 4:05 p.m. EST, State Farm Stadium
Josh Allen put on an absolute show for his Bills team by posting 31/38 completions for 415 yards, 3 TD’s, and most importantly, ZERO interceptions. Speaking of dominance, two key wide receivers Stefon Diggs and John Brown, combined for 217 yards against Seattle. However, the run game was nonexistent with a total of 34 yards. As the Bills head to Arizona, they will face a 14th ranked run D, so I would expect more carries from Devin Singletary and even the escape abilities of Josh Allen to take place.
Offensively, the Buffalo Bills boast an impressive 7th spot for passing yards in the league with an average 277 yards per game. The ground-game on the other hand has been irrelevant for the most part, ranking 24th in the league. News broke Saturday that four players tested positive for COVID-19 and will be unavailable today against the Cardinals. Those players are TE Tyler Kroft, Safety Dean Marlowe, Cornerback Levi Wallace, and Cornerback Josh Norman. The biggest blow out of the four is Kroft who already has 119 yards and 3 TD’s on the season. Look for Allen to heavily favor Diggs, Brown, and Beasley today. The air-game will face a 7th ranked passing defense.
Defensively, the Bills rank 17th in passing defense and 22nd in run defense. As for upfront, Tremaine Edmunds, A.J. Klein, and Mario Addison will be asked to rush and pressure Cardinals QB Kyler Murray. So far this season, Kyler leads the ground game in the league with 7.1 yards per carry. The only player who has experience up against Kyler is former Panthers defensive end Mario Addison. Perhaps Addison will offer up some necessary tips and tricks on how to stop the versatile and speedy Kyler Murray. In the air, the Bills D will need to defend the ultimate trio of Larry Fitzgerald, DeAndre Hopkins, and Christian Kirk. On the ground, defending Chase Edmonds and Kyler Murray will be a daunting task with a subpar Bills run D. Ultimately, the Bills would be better off not blitzing Kyler because of his scrambling tactics, in fact, he’s only been sacked 10 times this season. The big opportunity for the Bills defense will be to attack the ball when Kyler is running, as he already has two fumbles this season while running.
The Cardinals will look to knockoff an AFC juggernaut Bills squad who previously picked apart the Seattle Seahawks one week ago. The Cards are coming off a shootout loss against rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa. Though they took an L, Kyler played amazing with 283 yards and 3 TD’s on the day. Also, he ran for 106 yards and found himself in the end zone for a TD. One could say, the Cards will be ready to play today with one goal in mind, securing a W at home against the Bills.
Offensively, the run-game has been stellar behind the duo of Chase Edmonds and Kyler Murray. They will look to exploit a rather dismal and weak Bills run D today. I see Edmonds rushing for over 95 yards and Murray finding the end zone once again this week. Not to mention that Kyler ranks 10th in the league with a QBR of 77.0. As for the aerial attack, the receivers of Christian Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald, and DeAndre Hopkins are perhaps one of the most difficult top trios to defend in the league. Therefore, I see this being a high-scoring game where it’s a duel between two elite QB’s.
Defensively, Patrick Peterson, and De’Vondre Campbell will look to force Bills QB Josh Allen to make costly overthrows and get to him in the backfield as he already has 20 sacks this season. Besides keeping Allen in check by not letting him run for first downs, the Cardinals will need to defend against Diggs, Brown, Davis, and Beasley. I would not be too concerned about the run-game since Devin Singletary will most likely not receive as many carries this week. For Josh Allen, it will be all about the aerial game and how he plans to use his own legs to the Bills advantage.
ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION
Both of these teams are offensively dominant and should easily combine for over 55 points in this game. I would say the slight edge belongs to the Cardinals because they ultimately have the stronger run-game if the pass-game does not work out for them early-on. I do not anticipate a blowout, but rather a game that will come down to the final possession for each team and how they capitalize on it or not. I have more confidence in Kyler Murray and his receiving group based on the fact that all of them have found a dynamite connection so far this season. Josh Allen will throw for over 300 yards, and Kyler Murray will throw for over 350 yards. Both QB’s find themselves with a rushing TD but the Cardinals pick off Allen in the 4th quarter with a game-changing momentum swing. Final score: Cardinals 34, Bills 30. Football fans, this game is primed to be a high-scoring and exciting matchup, welcome to Week 10 of the NFL.