Bounceback performance could be on tap for Cardinals defense in Week 3

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Vance Joseph
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Vance Joseph /

The Arizona Cardinals defensive unit could be looking to dominate an undermanned Jacksonville Jaguars offense in Week 3.

Last Sunday, a botched 37-yard field goal attempt with time running out allowed the Arizona Cardinals to triumph over the Minnesota Vikings.

The Cards defense, a group that had played so well on opening day, permitted Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins to effortlessly march his team into field-goal range. Thankfully, placekicker Greg Joseph‘s kick sailed right, and Arizona had won its second consecutive matchup in dramatic fashion.

While the Cardinals were obviously thrilled that they escaped with a win, the concern immediately following the contest centered around coordinator Vance Joseph’s defensive unit. A quick remedy for the problem, however, could be on tap when the Redbirds take the field this coming Sunday.

Arizona Cardinals defense could get well in a hurry this coming weekend

The Cards will fly east this coming weekend to take on a Jacksonville Jaguars squad that has yet to win a game this fall. Trevor Lawrence, the number-one overall pick of last April’s draft, is the leader of the Jacksonville scoring attack. Does Joseph and his Arizona defenders have anything to worry about when they travel to the “Sunshine State”?

Many experts believe that the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Lawrence will enjoy an outstanding NFL career. Nevertheless, the clash against the Cardinals will be just his professional third start. In his two appearances thus far for the Jaguars, Lawrence has compiled an ugly 50.0 completion percentage, and he has already thrown five interceptions.

The Cards have a wily crew of veterans who could feast on a youngster like Lawrence. Outside linebacker Chandler Jones registered five sacks two weeks ago, while defensive end J.J. Watt has begun to throw his weight around up front. Inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons leads the club with 17 tackles, while safety Budda Baker is right behind him with 16 stops.

Jacksonville put up 21 points (three Lawrence touchdown passes) during their week-one defeat to the Houston Texans, but they managed just one offensive score during last weekend’s loss to the Denver Broncos. Meanwhile, Arizona yielded a mere 13 points to the Tennessee Titans on opening day, but they regressed by giving up three touchdowns and two field goals to the Vikings last Sunday.

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The Cardinals have been sort of a Jekyll and Hyde on the defensive side of the ball thus far in 2021. A bounceback performance versus the Jaguars could get Joseph’s contingent back on track, and help the franchise get off to their first 3-0 start in six years.