Good morning Arizona Cardinals fans, it’s week two of the 2016 season and the 0-1 Cardinals face the 1-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While last week’s game against the New England Patriots was close, and the team started to look closer to what analysts and fans expected, the Cardinals will need to prove a lot in this week’s contest to everyone they were worthy of the offseason hype.
A few items to watch for in today’s game:
How will the Cardinals defensive scheme adjust to give Brandon Williams some top cover and not leave him on an island against the Buccaneer’s wide receivers?
Last week we saw rookie CB Brandon Williams give up essentially 14 points to the Patriots, so the film is now out there on how to confuse and abuse the rookie. Will they give him more zone help over the top?
Who will get the start at Right Guard?
With starter Evan Mathis suffering an injury in the first half, four-year pro Earl Watford, a personal favorite player of mine, took the field to protect Carson Palmer at Right Guard. Mathis was limited in practice this past week so Watford may make his 2016 debut as a starter. He was serviceable last week, not counting his late holding penalty on the drive that ended with a missed field goal attempt. Can Watford shine this week, or is an injured Mathis a better option than a healthy Watford?
Will the Cardinals offense put up points earlier than the second quarter?
We saw the Cardinals shaking off rust in the season opener and let’s all agree it was a lot of rust that needed to be shaken off. The second half was more like we’d expect to see, but by then it was too late, Bill Belicheck and has staff had orchestrated a check mate. Will the Cardinals be able to put up more points this week and show their previously high scoring offense is back this season?
Finally, how will the Cardinals contain Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston?
Last week the Cardinals had issues containing Jimmy Garoppolo. Winston will more than likely not tuck the ball and run on third-and-long situations, but stay in the pocket and deliver the ball to his wide receivers. Did last week serve as a wake up call for the Defense?
We’re all looking forward to watching today’s game, hopefully this give you a few of the keys to watch for!
Did we miss anything?