The Arizona Cardinals head into Foxborough this Sunday to face the New England Patriots.
And while the Patriots have stumbled to a 4-6 record, they are a team you can never sleep on given the presence of legendary coach, Bill Belichick. So expect a hard-fought game from the Arizona Cardinals amidst Belichick’s usual tactics. Most of which continue to make him a force among NFL head coaches.
How do the Cardinals keep pace with one of the league’s most dangerous football teams? The obvious answer is to keep Kyler Murray upright and to get the ball to top playmaker DeAndre Hopkins. However, Belichick loves to make life rough for elite receivers. That said, Murray must get other players involved early.
The Cardinals pass rush has remained among the league’s most dangerous in 2020, even without Chandler Jones. However, they face one of their toughest tests of the season in Cam Newton. Newton’s best days are behind him, but his ability to move the ball on the ground remains. Can the Cardinals stop one of the NFL’s greatest dual-threat quarterbacks?
As mentioned above, Murray must find ways to get other playmakers involved. But Hopkins must separate himself from the sure double coverage he will face all game long from Belichick’s defense. The Murray-Hopkins combo is one of the hottest in the NFL, and no one knows it better than Belichick. The more Murray can utilize other playmakers, the more things will open for Hopkins later in the game as the Patriots defense is forced to adjust.
Let’s look closer at the Cardinals three keys to victory in week twelve. Keys that include finding options in the passing game not named DeAndre Hopkins early, containing Newton, and opening things up for Hopkins later.