The Arizona Cardinals will take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the season’s first game. It is a game that will reunite Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Mahomes played for Kingsbury at Texas Tech.
Both teams made the playoffs last season, the Cardinals will come in with Kyler Murray at quarterback, and he will need to play well for Arizona to win. The Cardinals have won two straight season openers under Kingsbury’s supervision.
When you play against the Chiefs, you must get pressure on Mahomes. In addition, J.J Watt and Markus Golden are questionable for Sunday’s game; if both players can not play, it will hurt the Cardinals’ chances to win. It could be up to rookies Myjai Sanders and Cameron Thomas to step up if Arizona’s star pass rusher can’t play. No matter who plays, they will need constant pressure on Mahomes.
Control The Ball
The Cardinals’ offense can score many points, but in this game, they should try to control the ball a little more to keep Mahomes on the bench. They can do this by throwing shot passes and running the ball effectively. In addition, Arizona has a nice stable of running backs with James Conner, Eno Benjamin, and Darrel Williams. Running the ball will eat up the clock and open up the play-action passing game, which could be dangerous with Murray at quarterback.
Score Touchdowns In the Red Zone
Kansas City does not have Tyreek Hill anymore, but it still could be dangerous with Andy Reid play calling and Mahomes at the helm. So when the Cardinals get in the red zone, they must punch it in for touchdowns and not settle for field goals.
Slow Down Travis Kelce
With Hill no longer there, Travis Kelce will be Mahomes’ No.1 option. The Cardinals need to double-team and bracket coverage Kelce to keep his production down. In addition, Arizona must trust their defensive backs to cover JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Mecole Hardman one-on-one.
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LaMarr Fields is a WNBA Insider, Sports Insider, and breaking news
reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on Twitter via @lburncitysports