It’s the most exciting week of the year for Arizona Cardinals fans everywhere, even if many believe the 2023 season will be a rough one. But, we have seen plenty of teams projected to do nothing exceeding wild expectations in the past, and maybe the Cardinals can join that exclusive club this season.
If they want to become members, there are players who must rise above the rest of the competition each week in all three phases of the game. Below, you will find one player listed on offense, one on defense, and a special teamer who must make a sound impact to put the Cards in their best position to bring a W back to the desert over the Washington Commanders.
3 Arizona Cardinals who must bring their A-Game
1 - Trey McBride, TE
Trey McBride could see himself in a dual role this week with Zach Ertz likely taking the top spot at tight end. Regardless of whether McBride sees the bulk of his playing time in the backfield, at tight end, or if he splits his time evenly, he will be a centerpiece in so many aspects.
Look for McBride to be called upon as a lead blocker for running backs James Conner and Keaontay Ingram, and expect him to be a go-to for quarterback Josh Dobbs or Clayton Tune. We know from his preseason sample that Tune liked targeting tight ends, and if he ends up snagging the job over Dobbs (not likely), the rook should call McBride’s number often.
However, we also know Dobbs doesn’t have a strong arm, so he too should give the tight ends plenty of targets. We know Ertz can do damage, even if he hasn’t played in nearly a year. But McBride is supposed to be the TE1 of the future if not of the present, so it’s on him to take things up a notch this week.