Utilize Other Playmakers
Hitting DeAndre Hopkins early is ideal. But Belichick loves to place his second-best corner and often a safety on an opponent’s best receiver, taking them out of the equation. This leaves the best corner to go one on one with the second-best receiver, who for the Cardinals is Christian Kirk.
With two men keying on Hopkins early and the best corner on Kirk, Kyler Murray must utilize weapons like Kenyan Drake, Chase Edmonds, Larry Fitzgerald, Andy Isabella, and Dan Arnold. Each are solid but highly unspectacular players. But, they can get the job done.
Drake and Edmonds are fantastic complements and when both are healthy, they elevate one another’s level of play. When situations force them to carry the load themselves, they are liable to collapse. But both Drake and Edmonds are dynamic runners and pass catchers when part of a two-man committee. Since both are healthy, it gives the Cardinals offense an advantage.
Fitzgerald isn’t the receiver he once was, but he remains among the league’s most surehanded receivers and he doesn’t often miss passes targeted his way. Many thought the 37-year-old has become a liability. He hasn’t. And if there is one game to once again prove doubters wrong, it’s the New England game.
Both Andy Isabella and Dan Arnold have shown flashes. Neither should grace the number one position on an NFL roster, but both have come up big earlier in the season. Arnold remains a threat in the red zone, and opponents must account for Isabella’s speed every time he steps onto the field.