clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cardinals vs. Redskins preview: 5 key matchups in Week 6 showdown

What are specific matchups that you should pay attention to?

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals and Washington Redskins will face off at 4:05 PM Eastern at University of Phoenix Stadium. With Ariizona at 3-1 and Washington at 1-4 and having lost 12 of their last 13 games overall, the matchup might look like an easy game for the Cardinals.

It likely won't be. Washington is a talented, physical team who has not won games. Washington gains more yards and allows less yards per game than Arizona. They score more than Arizona. But they turn the ball over and allow more points.

As you watch the game, here are some matchups that are worth paying attention to:

Kirk Cousins vs. Arizona blitz

This is an interesting stat. Kirk Cousins has a passer rating of 99.6 when not blitzed. When his is blitzed, which has occurred on 28 percent of his dropbacks, his passer rating drops to 67.8.

Arizona has blitzed opposing quarterbacks on almost 44 percent of their dropbacks. They did so more than 50 percent of the time in 2013. Expect a lot of attacking the young QB.

Alex Okafor vs. Tyler Polumbus

Okafor will get his first NFL start and he is a bit of an unknown. Praised for his ability to rush the passer, he managed only five snaps as a rookie before losing his season to injury. He missed the first three games this season with a thigh injury and played 10 snaps against Denver.

He has an ideal matchup to start with. Polumbus has struggled. he has allowed six sacks and 10 hurries in the Redskins' first five games. He has been the weak link in the Washington offensive line so far this season.

Bobby Massie vs. Ryan Kerrigan

Kerrigan has six sacks this season. Bobby Massie has been very good this season. He gave up two sacks to Von Miler last week, but, according to Pro Football Focus, that is it all season. Massie's weakness is against speed rushers. Kerrigan is stronger than he is fast.

Alfred Morris vs. Arizona front seven

Arizona is playing with a very different group this week on the front seven. They are fifth against the run this season, but when Calais Campbell left the game last week, the defense allowed 88 second half rushing yards on 4.2 yards per carry.

Morris has yet to crack 100 yards in a game this season, but he is averaging 4.1 yards per carry. Arizona hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher since Week 6 of 2013.

DeSean Jackson vs. Patrick Peterson/Antonio Cromartie

Jackson is averaging over 18 yards per catch this season. Last week, Demaryius Thomas torched the Cardinals for 226 receiving yards, much of them against Cromartie.

With the Cardinals getting very little pass rush this season, the secondary is being left vulnerable.

With Philadelphia last season, Jackson was held to three catches for 36 yards, mostly matched up against Peterson. That will probably be the matchup on Sunday again.