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X-Factors for the Arizona Cardinals season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs

Arizona Cardinals v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals open the 2022 NFL season as 6-point underdogs at home according to Draftkings Sportsbook.

Despite a 2-0-1 record in season openers and being 3-0 against the spread, no one really buys the Cardinals having a shot against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs are not just a good team, they are a great team with a likely Hall of Fame combination of coach and quarterback in Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes.

However, the Cardinals have shown they know how to start a season fast.

Here are three player(s) to watch for the game on Sunday.

Zaven Collins and Isaiah Simmons

The Cardinals will have questions with injuries and the ability to get to Patrick Mahomes, but can their young duo of linebackers cover Travis Kelce (Simmons) and shut down the Chiefs rushing attack (Collins)? That will be a key set of matchups to watch.

Marquise “Hollywood” Brown

I will use the moniker when the playmaking starts. Brown was absent all of the open portions of training camp (not surprising) and didn’t play in the preseason (smart). Now, he opens up against a secondary with a lot of questions marks of their own to answer. If Brown can be an instant impact playmaker, this offense will be tough to stop.

Matt Prater

The kicker? What about the offensive line, the corners, the pass rushers? Sure, we can put a player or position group in almost every one of these, but Prater is important and there are some lingering, nagging questions.

His preseason was not great, he has lulls of inaccuracy in his career, but when on is one of the best kickers in all of the NFL. Can he make the clutch kicks for the Arizona Cardinals in game one?