A very tough start to the Cardinals’ season – games against the Titans on the road and Vikings at home – gets a little softer this week with a trip to Jacksonville.
Arizona Cardinals (-7)
There may be no better collection of wide receivers in the NFL, with DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, A.J. Green, and rookie Rondale Moore.
And for these wide receivers, there may be no better quarterback than Kyler Murray, who is off to an MVP-calibre start, and now weekly makes plays that make you stand up and shout, “Wow!”
The offense we were promised when Kiff Kingsbury first teamed with Murray is delivering in a big way, putting up 72 points in the first two weeks. Sure, the Tennessee defense is not good, and neither is Minnesota’s. But part of the reason those defenses are ranked so low is that they had the misfortune of facing a quarterback at the top of his game.
The Cardinals’ defense still has some cracks and was just a missed field goal away from letting the Vikings game slip away. But Arizona is for real. This offense is one of the best in the NFL.
After a second consecutive ugly loss to begin the season, Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer sent out this message to the fans:
“Hang in there with us, and we’re going to get better. The only thing about Jacksonville and the 904, go to sleep knowing there’s not going to be any group working harder to get this thing flipped.”
Really, after just two weeks, has all of the shine worn off the new toy that is Trevor Lawrence? Does the fan base really need this kind of pick-me-up? Zero people thought a team that just went 1-15 would turn things around in two weeks. But what is also true is that most people thought they would look better than they have.
Jacksonville is not good. Not in any phase of the game are they going to be competitive with a team like Arizona. But the talent Lawrence has is obvious. On the first series against the Broncos, he was 5-of-7 for 73 yards and a touchdown.
He is, however, also a rookie, and he threw two more interceptions to bring his two-week total up to five. In all of last season at Clemson, he threw five interceptions.
Lawrence will continue to have flashes of brilliance, and he will continue to look like a rookie quarterback playing for a really bad team. There will be two more turnovers on Sunday against the Cardinals, and these will help fuel the fastbreak offense of Kingsbury and Murray.
Murray will feast on a bad Jacksonville defense, and the Cardinals roll to an easy win. Take the Cardinals and lay the points.
The Cardinals are averaging 36 points per game, and there is no reason to believe that against a bad Jags defense that will change. Jacksonville, because of Lawrence, will get close enough to 20 to push this total over.