After starting the NFL season 7-0, the Arizona Cardinals suffered their first loss to the Green Bay Packers on October 28th. That date is the last game that Deandre Hopkins played in. The star receiver was off to a really good year with seven touchdown, but has been sidelined with a hamstring issue. Unfortunately since the injury the Cardinals are 1-1 and haven’t been quite themselves. Kyler Murray has had to miss the same amount of games as well, which is another factor.
This week in the NFL there are some interesting games across the league that specifically showcase some Clemson products.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks (-3.0)
The Cardinals are alone atop the NFC West, but things can change quickly, especially with how they have played lately. Russell Wilson is back for the Seahawks and the team is better than their 3-6 record shows. As mentioned the Cardinals offense will be limited without Hopkins’ presence.
Isaiah Simmons is a former Tiger to watch on the defensive side of the ball for Arizona. Simmons has really solidified his role in his second year and should make an impact against the Seahawks who have all kinds of weapons. Wilson is a running quarterback, something Simmons has the ability to matchup well with. Currently the second year man is third on the team in tackles with 66.
San Francisco 49ers (-6.5) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Last week the Jaguars suffered a loss after having a chance to win, a feeling that was a bit better for the rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Jacksonville’s defense has played pretty well lately, good enough to win specifically said Lawrence.
The 49ers have been hit or miss this season, but when they are on they are on. For example the 49ers took it to the Los Angeles Rams last week and spiked Odell Beckham Jr. debut 31-10.
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There will be no easy going for Lawrence today against the 49ers. If he wants to get back on track he will have to do it against one of the better passing defenses in football. Currently on the season the rookie has passed for 1,983 yards, eight touchdowns and has thrown nine interceptions. The rookie is operating with a 58% completion percentage, a number he will want to be higher.
Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5) vs. Las Vegas Raiders
The off week could not come at a better time for the Bengals who lost back to back games. Cincinnati will have to get back on track in a cross-country trip to Nevada in what will be an AFC battle. Both teams are at 5-4 on the season and have wildcard aspirations at worst and still are alive for their division at best.
This game will feature a pair of former Clemson standouts going at it. Tee Higgins is the Bengals’ second leading receiver and seems to be a chain mover specialist. Joe Burrow has been comfortable with Higgins all season and it has showed. Last time out the second year wideout had six grabs for 78 yards against the Cleveland Browns. On the year Higgins has 431 yards and two scores.
Hunter Renfrow has scored each of the last two weeks with Henry Ruggs III no longer a part of the Raiders team. Unfortunately the Raiders have lost both of those games following the off week and are in danger of folding this season. A home win against the Bengals could be just what they need.
Renfrow has 494 yards on the season, which is tied with stud tight end Darren Waller for the team lead. Derek Carr has not been at his best these last few week, so if he gets back on track it very well could be on a connection with Renfrow.
Perhaps the Raiders will look to assert their running game. If they choose to do that they will have to account for defensive tackle D.J. Reader, the former Tiger is a true plug in the middle of the line. On the season Reader has 28 tackles and a sack.
The Raiders currently hold the worst odds of winning their division at +4000, according to FanDuel.