The time for Arizona Cardinals football is here, and thus that means every publication will give their two cents on who will win and why.
If you thought we would be any different: you're wrong.
Five of our finest football minds have individually brainstormed what may transpire on Sunday, with all but one staff writer believing the Kansas City Chiefs will walk away victorious.
Here's how the game played out in our heads. We'll start with the only one confident in Arizona to pull off the upset.
Andrew Harbaugh: Cardinals 31, Chiefs 21
I see this game being less exciting than people may be expecting. The Chiefs come into it with something to prove after being upset in the playoffs and seeing Tyreek Hill leave in the offseason. More notable in my opinion is the boulder that Kyler Murray has on his shoulder. All the talk this offseason wasn't that he deserved the payday, it was around his study habits. I think Murray gets the job done since Call of Duty comes out in late October and despite missing Hopkins and now Rondale Moore. Sprinkle in the x-factor that is James Conner and this is enough of a mess that the slow starting Chiefs struggle in.
Kyler Burd: Chiefs 38, Cardinals 32
An over/under of 53.5 seems low for a matchup of two teams with the offensive potential of Kansas City and Arizona. Mahomes will be missing his favorite weapon in Tyreek Hill, but Kyler Murray will also be Hopkins-less. The additional injury of Rondale Moore complicated things for the Cardinals but they still have talented pass catchers in Brown, Green, and (hopefully) Ertz and a talented running back group that will provide enough firepower to compete. Unfortunately, it probably won’t be enough to stop an AFC juggernaut like the Chiefs.
Richie Bradshaw: Chiefs 34, Cardinals 28
Even with a drastically different wide receiving room for Kansas City, Patrick Mahomes remains the quarterback. I love the Cardinals safeties, but can Byron Murphy and the rest of their corners slow down the speed the the Chiefs have outside. Meanwhile, the Chiefs added some intriguing young weapons on defense including George Karlaftis to its front seven. This defense could be sneaky good in 2022, but newly paid Kyler Murray could have revenge on his mind after a horrific playoff game.
I don’t love either team to blow out the other, but I’ll take the better coaches and more talented team to win, even on the road.
Ryan Sanudo: Chiefs 31, Cardinals 24
With new faces on each side of the ball, there will be growing pains for the Cardinals — even more so with injuries that continue to mount. Patrick Mahomes, who’s 11-2 in the month of September for his career, will find ways in completing passes to a bevy of players with Tyreek Hill out of the picture. Arizona will also have to stop Travis Kelce, which is never an easy task.
Donnie Druin: Chiefs 30, Cardinals 20
If Arizona’s secondary steps up, it will be one of the most heroic efforts we’ve seen in modern NFL history with Patrick Mahomes across the line. Arizona’s offense, even in spite of Hopkins/Moore, should still be able to move the ball well enough to stay in the race, but KC is just too talented to keep up with when the Cards aren’t at full strength.
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