Following the opening week to forget for the Cardinals, next up is the Las Vegas Raiders. Kyler and his team will be hoping for a positive response and bounce back from last week’s defeat by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Week Two sees the Las Vegas Raiders host the Arizona Cardinals, with both teams hoping to rebound from suffering Week One losses. The Cardinals suffered a Week One loss to the Chiefs, 44-21. Not only was the score an issue, but so was the overall performance. But hopefully the taste of defeat has shown where the Cardinals need to tighten up and improve, and hopefully demonstrate this against the Raiders.
The Cardinals head into Week Two continuing to deal with a lengthy injury list, a factor when trying to improve confidence and performance around a team. It seems like the calf injury to star defensive lineman, J.J. Watt, is being treated as day to day, and Kliff Kingsbury is still not willing to confirm the players availability status for Sunday’s game with the Raiders. It’s my view that Sunday’s game has come around slightly to early, and Watt will be rested for a hopeful return in Week Three, but with the Cardinals struggling, who knows, he may be rushed back into the lineup.
Kingsbury has confirmed similar views regarding returning timeframes for wide receiver, Rondale Moore (hamstring) and cornerbacks, Marco Wilson (leg and Trayvon Mullen (toe). Both Wilson and Mullen have been out on the training field but so far doing very little, but they seem like they are heading in the right direction and may see some action on Sunday. With Rondale Moore, I think it will depend on how the remainder of the week goes and if he manages to get much practice under his belt. If he does manage to get out on the training field for some snaps, I think he will suit up for Sunday, even if on a snap count of sorts.
Zach Ertz did not practice yesterday (Wednesday) due to a calf injury which I think caused concern for some Cardinals fans. But this seems to have been more precautionary and more of a sore/strain than anything more serious, and Ertz is expected to be back practicing in full today, which will be a huge boost for everyone. Ertz could be a touchdown outlet for Murray if the Cardinals continue to struggle at wide receiver, especially around the goal line, so his presence on the field could be valuable come Sunday.
How To Get Back On Track
I think one of the key issues which needs to be cleaned up is the wide receiver position without Hopkins, who is still serving his suspension for breaking the leagues performance enhancing drug policy. I still believe that Marquise Brown could be the key to unlocking this offense’s potential and start giving Kyler Murray and the Cardinals an outlet down field. The more that Marquise Brown can demonstrate his speed and threat to defenses, hopefully this would allow more time and space for Kyler Murray to demonstrate his strengths in the running game. There are not many quarterbacks that can do what Kyler Murray can do when running with the football. If the Cardinals can find a way of utilizing both the passing game with Marquise Brown leading the way, as well as the run game from Kyler Murray and James Conner, they should be a handful for any defense in the league.
If Kyler Murray and the Cardinals can pull everything together, and keep out the threat of Derek Carr and Davante Adams, a Week Two win could easily be on the cards.