Arizona Cardinals 3 Keys to Succeed over Tampa Bay
The Arizona Cardinals will have a reunion with former head coach Bruce Arians. The Cardinals are going up against a Buccaneers defense that is 31st in Passing Yards allowed, but 1st in containing the run. The Buccaneers offense is more averaged out as 7th in passing yards, 19th in rushing yards, and 4th in points scored. The Cardinals will need to find a rhythm, establish a run game, and apply consistent defensive pressure to stay competitive.
1. Establish Rhythm. The Cardinals do not seem to have a problem establishing a rhythm early on. They do find a balanced offensive approach, but they cannot keep it. Kenyan Drake should be able to help find that balance. He had an explosive game last week against the 49ers and hopefully, he can produce numbers close to that again this week. David Johnson should return from injury and that gives the Cardinals a powerful backfield. Kliff started to utilize two-back sets with Edmonds and Johnson in the backfield. Those sets alleviate so much pressure from Kyler Murray. It gives him more options in the passing and a reliable run option if he chooses. Todd Bowles is an excellent defensive coordinator and Bruce Arians helped develop David Johnson, but hopefully, Drake remains a question mark for the Buccaneers defense. The Cardinals establishing a run against the number one rush defense would be a powerful statement.
2. RedZone Offense. The Cardinals offense needs to produce in the RedZone. Every week, the offense underutilizes Larry Fitzgerald. He can be the key to success in the RedZone that this offense desperately needs. Kliff cannot keep relying on quick cuts and tricks. The RedZone windows are too tight and the Cardinals end up settling for field goals more often than not. He needs to scheme towards the back of the endzone, throw the ball up, and trust his receivers to come down with it. Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson are the two players that would be most likely come down with the ball. Relying on RAC to make it into the endzone has not worked so far. It has produced one of the worst RedZone offenses in the league. It is time for a scheme change and to rely on the personnel that have proven themselves.
3. Apply Pressure Along the Line. The defense should focus on applying pressure over coverage. Mike Evans will be locked down if Peterson shows up to play. Jameis Winston does not have many offensive weapons. The pressure that Chandler Jones should be able to apply will result in sacks or interceptions thrown. Jameis Winston has thrown 12 interceptions so far and if there is a game that Peterson needs to be the ball hawk that he used to be, this is the game.
Keeping the rhythm, Redzone offense, and defensive pressure should give the Cardinals the best chance to come out with a win. Kenyan Drake's ability alongside David Johnson will help everything on the offensive side of the ball. As long as Vance Joseph keeps the pressure consistent along the line the game should stay competitive.