3 most favorable matchups for the Cardinals in Week 1 vs. the Titans

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Zaven Collins
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Zaven Collins /
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Arizona Cardinals
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Zaven Collins /

Cardinals run defense vs. Derrick Henry

Derrick Henry is one of the best backs in the NFL and he may actually be the league’s best back after winning the rushing title twice. However, Henry is also wildly inconsistent early in the season.

In 2020, he averaged fewer than four yards per carry in three of the first four games of the season. He also did not score his first touchdown of the 2020 campaign until Week 3.

He played well during his first two games of 2019, but in Weeks 3 through 6, he averaged 3.9 yards per carry, and in two of those games, he averaged fewer than three yards per carry. He also scored just two rushing touchdowns during that time span.

Henry gets better as the season progresses, as he has shown over the past two years. And while he will undoubtedly contend for the rushing title again in 2021, the Cardinals may very well get a watered-down Henry in Week 1.

And to further add things to Arizona’s favor, they also have the defensive unit to do so. The linebacker trio of Isaiah Simmons, Zaven Collins, and Jordan Hicks will ensure fresh legs are on the field at all times, barring injury. And the defensive line has enough depth to rotate fresh legs in and out. So don’t be surprised if the Cardinals stuff Henry early and often on Sunday.