3 major advantages the Arizona Cardinals have over the Saints
Although the Arizona Cardinals haven’t been able to contribute much in the points for category, they still have a few advantages over the Saints.
The Arizona Cardinals have not won at home in a year, and they have never won when wearing their Color Rush uniforms. But maybe the new black helmet will change the Cardinals luck, right? Hey, if that’s the case, then I wouldn’t mind the Cardinals switching to the all-black look full-time, though the uniform combo they wore against Philadelphia in Week 5 was also pretty sharp.
Uniforms aside, the Cardinals do have three legitimate advantages over the New Orleans Saints. Their high-profile defense can stop even the finest offensive teams. And while their offense has been stuck in the doldrums, receiver DeAndre Hopkins might just save the situation in the early going. Let’s look closer.
1 – Arizona Cardinals defense has stifled high-profile offenses
The Arizona Cardinals defense is slowly creeping up the rankings into one of the NFL’s finest. The Saints currently rank fifth in total offense, but that means little, as the Cardinals defense allowed just 39 combined points against the NFL’s second-ranked offense (Philadelphia Eagles) and 10th-ranked offense (Seattle Seahawks).
Further, the Eagles and Seahawks rank third and sixth in points for, respectively, and the Saints aren’t far behind, ranking ninth. Therefore, the Cardinals should have no issues stifling a surprisingly decent Saints offense.
2 – DeAndre Hopkins’ return
As bad as things have looked for the Cardinals offense in recent weeks, they were a different breed with DeAndre Hopkins on the field, routinely scoring 30-plus and scoring high-profile wins. With Hopkins returning, the offense just got a major boost and perhaps they can finally resemble something close to what they looked like last season.
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury has taken a lot of heat lately, and I have been one of his critics, regarding the offense’s stagnation. And while one player should not make so much of a difference, Hopkins’ presence has always kept the Cardinals looking sharp, and has likewise bailed out Kingsbury.
3 – Cardinals pass rush vs. Saints offensive line
The Arizona Cardinals pass rush was one bright spot in their 19-9 loss to Seattle last Sunday. Now they are facing an offensive line that has given up 2.5 sacks per game, which is tied for being the ninth-highest total in the league.
With the Cardinals hosting a pass rush that appears to be growing more dominant by the game, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if they enjoyed a repeat performance on Thursday night. Hopefully this time, the offense will capitalize on its defense’s dominance.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)