Arizona Cardinals could emerge victorious against their Week 1 opponent

The Arizona Cardinals may possess just enough talent to record an upset victory over an unimposing Washington Commanders squad.
Baltimore Ravens v Washington Commanders
Baltimore Ravens v Washington Commanders / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

The 2023 NFL campaign has the potential to be an extremely long one for the Arizona Cardinals. General manager Monti Ossenfort spent most of the offseason peppering the roster with a plethora of backup-caliber players. The actions of the front office led many to believe that the Redbirds have very little interest in getting to the playoffs this coming season.

Despite Ossenfort's best efforts to sabotage the Cardinals, there's always a possibility that the squad could perform beyond it's talent level. Optimistic fans will tell you that the team could win more games than expected. In fact, it's not completely unrealistic to think that Arizona could walk away with a victory on opening weekend.

The Washington Commanders, the Cards' Week 1 opponent, aren't exactly world-beaters. Head coach Ron Rivera's group amassed a mediocre 8-8-1 record last year. Washington certainly possesses a top-flight defensive unit, but offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy's crew is far from formidable.

Arizona Cardinals defense will have a chance to shine in the nation's capital this coming Sunday

The Commanders' scoring attack is led by Sam Howell, the franchise's second-year quarterback. The 22-year-old is woefully inexperienced, having attempted just 19 passes as a rookie in 2022. In comparison to Howell, the Cardinals wouldn't seem to be at that much of a disadvantage with either Josh Dobbs or Clayton Tune under center versus Washington.

Arizona would be getting a huge break this week if wide receiver Terry McLaurin misses the contest because of a toe injury. The speedy pass-catcher is considered day-to-day, and his status for Sunday's clash is totally up in the air. Additional offensive weapons such as Brian Robinson Jr., Jahan Dotson, Antonio Gibson, and Curtis Samuel are solid contributors, but at the same time are nothing to be afraid of.

On the other hand, there's no denying that the Commanders have an outstanding defense. Coordinator Jack Del Rio has flat-out studs like Chase Young, Daron Payne, Jamin Davis, Kendall Fuller, Montez Sweat, and Jonathan Allen at his disposal. Drew Petzing, the Cards' first-year offensive coordinator, will undoubtedly have his hands full with such a ferocious contingent.

Nevertheless, there's a feeling in the air that says that "Big Red" is going to be ready to play. Petzing's group won't put a whole lot of points on the board, but they may not need to. The Cardinals open the Jonathan Gannon era with a low-scoring,16-14 triumph over Washington.


(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)