The Arizona Cardinals will square off against a familiar face on Sunday when they travel to the Mojave Desert to face the Las Vegas Raiders.
Here is an interesting stat for the Arizona Cardinals offensive line: They allowed 19 hurries in Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Want more fun? In 14 games Murray started in 2021, the line allowed just 68.
The Chiefs pressured Murray on 70.3% of his dropbacks and they hit him five times. In 14 games last season, opponents hit Murray as he threw just 13 times. Clearly, the Cardinals offensive line looked miserable on Sunday.
Now, they get to face the man who currently holds more sacks in team history than any other: Chandler Jones. Oh, and the Raiders also have some kid from Eastern Michigan named Maxx Crosby. You may have heard of him, too.
Crosby posted 10 combined tackles and two quarterback hits. So perhaps a more appropriate title for this article should be: Will the Arizona Cardinals contain Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby in Week 2?
Can the Arizona Cardinals contain Jones and Crosby?
Jones received a so-so 67.5 grade via PFF. But when it comes to facing your old team on your new home’s turf, there is going to be a special type of edge to your game. And the Cardinals will hopefully hold that same edge. But if they come out and play like they did last week against the Chiefs, an elite duo like Jones and Crosby will feast all day.
So how do you contain Crosby and Jones if your line failed to pick up the complicated blitz packages Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo sent their way all afternoon? For one, they have a quick game target in Greg Dortch, who proved last week to be a reliable consolation to Rondale Moore.
Expect the Cardinals to spread out the Raiders, with Murray lining up between three and five yards behind the center. I would also expect numerous screens and flare passes out of the backfield, and even receiver screens in this one.
If there is one blessing in the loss to the Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes should have taught Murray a few things when it comes to facing a heavy pass rush. Mahomes is excellent against the blitz when he anticipates it, and he was literally dropping back and dumping the ball off to Travis Kelce, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling every time the Cardinals brought pressure from the middle.
Murray needs to anticipate Jones coming from one angle and Crosby from another. He needs a clock in his mind for all four quarters, and he must utilize the quick game in this one. In short, Murray needs an answer if his line once again struggles against what might become one of the NFL’s best pass rushing duos.
Article Source: ‘Zen master’ Chandler Jones presents tough obstacle for Arizona Cardinals by Tyler Drake
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)