Well, it happened again. Tom Brady earns title number 7, and Bruce Arians helped guide the ship. Seeing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dominate the Kansas City Chiefs just may have altered the Arizona Cardinals strategy in the draft.
Arguably the biggest difference last night was in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Kansas City was missing 3 starters on their offensive line and their depth hurt them bad as Patrick Mahomes ran for almost 500 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Both tackles suffered all night, and there were a handful of “ole’! blocks” where the defensive ends ran right by them. The Buccaneers only brought four rushers for most of the game and were able to get pressure.
Now a team can’t always prevent injuries, but a team can do it’s best with putting the right players on the field and sign depth to ensure as little change as possible. This is why the Arizona Cardinals strategy must change to have more emphasis on both sides of the trenches.
Offensive line and run game coordinator Sean Kugler might just have a real offseason to figure this out. Drafting someone like Rashawn Slater, or even Creed Humphrey (who was Kyler Murray’s center at Oklahoma) would go miles in the development of this offense.
Defensively, the unit without Chandler Jones did pretty good last year. Finishing 10th in the league in sacks, this is an exciting thing to watch come next season. The development of Leki Fotu and veteran Angelo Blackson will only help the linebackers and secondary. Being able to get pressure from inside of the guards is almost a lost art these days, as most sacks come from uber-athletic defensive ends off the edge. Maybe Steve Keim takes a look at the duo of rushers from Miami.
So maybe the Arizona Cardinals strategy in the draft stays on the cornerback position and succeeding Patrick Peterson. I totally understand that. However adding a solid lineman on either side of the ball can really change so much. Maybe Murray won’t have to scramble all the time and be able to get some clean, pressure-free looks.