Numbers to Know: Cardinals vs. Washington Football Team
In less than 24 hours, the Arizona Cardinals kick off Week 2 of the 2020 season at home against the Washington Football Team. Both squads are 1-0 looking to improve on losing seasons.
Here are five numbers to keep in mind while watching on Sunday:
Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had a loud team debut last week with 14 grabs and 151 yards. Hopkins got 46 percent of the Cardinals' targets.
The former Houston Texan needs six catches on Sunday to break the NFL record for most receptions during the first two games with a new team.
The Cardinals record is 18, accomplished by Anquan Boldin as a rookie in 2003.
The Washington Football Team has five first-round pass rushers to throw at Murray. They are: Chase Young (2020 2nd overall), Montez Sweat (2019 19th overall), Daron Payne (2018 13th overall), Jonathan Allen (2017 17th overall) and Ryan Kerrigan (2011 16th overall).
Those five accounted for 5.5 sacks last week, and will test the Cardinals offensive line along with quarterback Kyler Murray's escape ability.
The Cardinals stepped up on third downs last week against the 49ers, allowing first downs on just two of 11 chances. That was the lowest clip in the league in Week 1.
The Washington Football Team, meanwhile, was 5-for-18 on third down, 29th-best in the league. Its third-down conversion percentage was the worst in football last season. The Cardinals could handicap the Washington offense by forcing them into third-down situations.
While Young tore up the field with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble in his NFL debut, Cardinals rookie linebacker Isaiah Simmons struggled with a penalty, a couple of receiving touchdowns allowed and just 18 snaps played.
When San Francisco threatened to take the lead late in the game, he was off the field. Without a full offseason, a learning curve for Simmons does not concern the Cardinals coaching staff, who showed confidence in the youngster this week.
His 18 snaps are not a large sample size, so could he get more chances to shine against a less proven offense in Week 2?
The Washington offensive line struggled to protect its quarterback last week, allowing 17 pressures on 36 drop backs, according to the Washington Times. According to The Athletic, quarterback Dwayne Haskins was either hit or sacked the third-highest percentage of pass plays in the league.
Pro Football Focus graded the left side of the line especially harshly, giving tackle Geron Christian a league-worst 37.9 and guard Wes Martin a 38.8. If they struggle to keep edge rusher Chandler Jones away from Haskins, he could make life miserable for the young quarterback.