The Kansas City Chiefs and the Arizona Cardinals should normally have all the makings for a game-of-the-year matchup. However, it may not be this year.
Football season is here, and in a short time, we will all be sitting on our couches, eating delicious food, and watching 11 straight hours of America’s best sport. The Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams may have had an ugly blowout on opening night, but the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals are set to have a much better game.
The first seven weeks of the Chiefs’ 2022 season will be rough, with matchups against elite teams like the Los Angeles Chargers, the Indianapolis Colts, the San Francisco 49ers, and Buffalo Bills. The Chiefs need to scrap and get some wins in this stretch of the season if they plan on landing top seeding in the playoffs again this season.
Kansas City starts this stretch against the Cardinals. Kliff Kingsbury’s explosive offense will be a huge test for the fresh and untested Chiefs’ defense built largely out of rookies and fresh faces. The Chiefs’ offense will get to flex a bit against a below-average defense in Arizona. The game plan for this game is very important to get the Chiefs out of Glendale with a win.
Chiefs’ Offense vs. Cardinals’ Defense
It is not going to be a good day for the Cardinals’ defense this Sunday. It is as simple as that.
The Chiefs’ offense is built on the pass, with a ton of hands to catch the ball in 2022. Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Juju Smith-Schuster, Skyy Moore, Travis Kelce, Mecole Hardman, Justin Watson, and multiple pass-catching backs out of the backfield. This sounds like a nightmare for most teams, but especially for the Arizona Cardinals who are likely going to be without a starting corner in Byron Murphy Jr. Murphy’s backup, Trayvon Mullen Jr., is already ruled out for Sunday’s game, meaning a slot corner may have to rotate to fill the hole.
This is especially problematic when the Cardinals could be without their premier pass rusher, JJ Watt. Watt did not practice all week long, dealing with a calf injury. The Cardinals lost Chandler Jones in the offseason, so the only high-level player left in the front seven if Watt were to sit would be Marcus Golden, who also saw limited practice reps due to a toe injury (Golden was a full participant in Friday’s practice after missing Wednesday practice and being limited in practice on Thursday.
The Cardinals still have some notable names in the defense to keep this from becoming a cakewalk for Kansas City. Zaven Collins, Budda Baker, and Jalen Thompson all come in at a mid to high 60s grade on PFF, but that does not feel high enough to stop a Kansas City Chiefs offense that did whatever they wanted all preseason long.
The Cardinals’ defense did not make any notable additions over the summer to help their passing defense, which allowed the eighth most passing touchdowns in 2021.