The Arizona Cardinals need their defense to keep doing what they are doing, but offensively, they must bounce back. The Redbirds never abandoned the run, but for an offense that was supposed to take a smashmouth approach, they didn’t run the ball enough.
Defensively, the Cardinals played a near-flawless game, considering the circumstances surrounding the unit. However, one major drawback is that they allowed 67 yards worth of penalties on the Washington Commanders first touchdown drive, and that needs to stop this week.
Quarterback Josh Dobbs looked as though he were playing scared, even if the adjective “poised” is often synonymous with his playing style. If Dobbs were that poised, he’d have taken more chances downfield, and it didn’t happen last Sunday.
Nobody wants to fall into an 0-2 hole, not even a team slated to do nothing this year like the Cardinals. So let’s discuss three ways they can avoid losing two games in a row and emerge from their outing vs. the New York Giants with a 0.500 record.
How the Arizona Cardinals can bounce back in Week 2
1 - Commit to the run
Per Team Rankings, the Arizona Cardinals dropped back to pass on 56.9% of their offensive snaps, meaning they ran the ball just 43.1% of the time. This was supposed to be a run-first offense, but offensive coordinator Drew Petzing turned to quarterback Josh Dobbs one too many times last week, and it likely kept the Redbirds from moving downfield more effectively.
With running back James Conner averaging 4.4 yards per carry, it’s clear that he was running the ball well. This week, the Cards are facing another good defense in the Giants, and I cannot stress enough that “Big Blue’s” defense was not responsible for that 40-0 meltdown.
Averaging just 4.0 yards per carry throughout the game’s duration will help the Cards win the time of possession game. And if they remain consistent, the Redbirds offense may just find the end zone for the first time this season.