The Arizona Cardinals could very well earn their first victory of the season when they meet the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday
In case you haven’t noticed, the Arizona Cardinals are not a very good football team this season. Our favorite franchise has yet to win a game, despite the fact that three of their first four matchups have been played at home. The Cards came close in week one when they tied the Detroit Lions, but three straight defeats have followed that opening-day effort.
With one quarter of the current campaign now in the books, Arizona may be on the verge of a much-needed victory. This Sunday’s opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals are also winless thus far in 2019. Could this be the week that new head coach Kliff Kingsbury finally gets his Gatorade bath?
Their are some fairly solid reasons to believe that the Cardinals will find success on the road this coming weekend. Not many clubs around the league appear to be in worse shape than the group that Kingsbury is going to battle with. Fortunately, the Bengals appear to be one of a select few that are lower than the Cards on the NFL’s current totem pole.
Like Arizona, Cincinnati also has a first-year coach. Zac Taylor, at 36 years of age, is even younger than the youthful Kingsbury. The former Los Angeles Rams assistant is directing a scoring attack that is ranked 27th in the league, an unimpressive number for the offensive-minded Taylor.
Quarterback Andy Dalton, who’s in his ninth campaign with the Bengals, has compiled a mediocre 82.2 passer rating in his four starts thus far. Running back Joe Mixon has compiled just 149 yards on the ground, and is averaging an ugly 3.2 yards per carry. Part of the offense’s struggles can be blamed on Cincinnati’s offensive line, which may actually be less talented than the Cardinals struggling blocking unit.
The Bengals’ receiving corps has been ravaged by injuries. Seven-time Pro Bowler A.J. Green has yet to play this season thanks to a bum ankle. Fellow starting wide receiver John Ross hurt his shoulder this past Monday night, and has since been placed on the injured-reserve list.
Cincinnati has struggled on defense as well. Their defenders rank 24th in the NFL in yards per game, and are surrendering a whopping 27.5 points per matchup. Linebacker Preston Brown and safety Shawn Williams‘ 31 tackles apiece lead the team, while star defensive tackle Geno Atkins has contributed 15 stops and a sack.
The Cardinals are finding out the first victory is the hardest one to record. With the way they are playing, none will come easy for Kingsbury’s crew. Beating the Bengals, however, should not be too tough of a task for the current configuration of the Cards.