Arizona Cardinals vs Kansas City Chiefs: Preview, prediction

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The Arizona Cardinals kick off the 2015 season by taking on the visiting Kansas City Chiefs in the preseason opener.

The Kansas City Chiefs will travel to Glendale, Arizona for a preseason match up against the Arizona Cardinals. The Chiefs finished the 2014 season at 9-7, good for second in the AFC West, but did not qualify for the playoffs. On the other hand, the Arizona Cardinals finished last season at 11-5 and made the playoffs as a wild card team.

History: The Cardinals and Chiefs have faced each other 12 times in the regular season, with the Cardinals playing 5 of these games as the St. Louis Cardinals. The Arizona Cardinals have an all time 3-8-1 record against the Kansas City Chiefs. The latest win against the Chiefs came just this past season when the Cardinals won by a score of 17-14 thanks to 11 unanswered second half points. This was also the game with the infamous Travis Kelce fumble.

What: Arizona Cardinals vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

When: 6:00 PM Arizona Time (9:00 PM EST)

TV: ABC 15

Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM

Keys to victory:

Starting quarterback Carson Palmer will only play for one series, hopefully he looks comfortable and most important of all; healthy. A majority of the success that the Cardinals have this season will depend solely on Carson Palmer’s performance and how well he has recovered from his second knee surgery. If Palmer can lead the offense on a scoring drive against the Chiefs’ fearsome first string defense, then things should look alright.

Back up Drew Stanton will play the rest of the first quarter. Logan Thomas will play the second and third quarters, followed by Philip Sims who will play in the fourth. A competition you should keep a close eye on is that for center between A.Q. Shipley and Lyle Sendlein. There’s no better way to test these two players than against the formidable Chiefs defense.

With tight ends Jermaine Gresham and Troy Niklas are both hurt, look for current first string tight end  Ifeanyi Momah to make plays. Sooner rather than later the Cardinals will need production from the tight end position, hopefully Momah will be able to provide some for the time being.

Rookie J.J. Nelson has also made a splash during training camp, and has been playing nicely alongside John Brown. Nelson has been getting reps with the first team with Michael Floyd’s injury, look for him to make plays in 3 wide receiver sets. With not much help expected to come from the Cardinals’ running backs for now, the quarterbacks will need to be able to consistently move the offense down the field if they want to win this game.