Before Sunday's game, I wanted to roll out three keys to success against the Bucs. It's difficult to pinpoint why the Cardinals have appeared so poorly at times this season. A rookie quarterback will have a lot to do with it but the roster is filled with veterans that know what to do with the football. Let's hope Sunday's game is one that the Cardinals surprise us.
Begin the game strong - Right now a quick start to Sunday's game at home is what the doctor ordered for the struggling Arizona Cardinals. The offense snoozed out of the gate against the Seattle Seahawks last week and the result was a rough away game for the young Max Hall. In front of a home crowd, Ken Whisenhunt must orchestrate an opening drive that defines the game. The Bucs are a young team that can be taken out of their element if they fall behind quickly. Scoring early will alleviate some tension away from the defense as well.
Rattle Josh Freeman - Freeman is still a young quarterback, and although he's experienced success this season, forcing him into ill-advised passes on the road will improve the Cardinals chances of success. The Bucs have rode on Freeman's shoulders so far this season. In the Bucs only two losses, Freeman's quarterback rating was below 80. It should also be no coincidence that 5 of the 12 sacks allowed this season came in both of the Buccaneers' losses as well. The Cardinals' defense needs to play smart, but also not be afraid to get after Freeman.
Move the ball on offense - Perhaps the Cardinals biggest downfall so far this season has been the productivity on offense. They're dead last in passing yards and 28th in rushing. They also have the 30th worst third down completion rating -- standing at a mere 27.4%. It's no wonder that fans have become upset. With players like Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston at receiver, there's little excuse to why they've failed to convert downs. Whisenhunt would be wise to run the ball more against the Bucs young defense and let Hall get into a rhythm.
What are your keys to success?