Arizona Cardinals: Jalen Thompson will be the X-Factor in Week 16 against Bears

The Arizona Cardinals will face the Chicago Bears in under 24 hours, and Jalen Thompson is one player who MUST bring a complete game.
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

While it’s true the Chicago Bears aren’t anywhere near the best team out there offensively, it also doesn’t mean that they have nobody worth mentioning. Justin Fields, despite his struggles, has enjoyed some big games this season, and his dual-threat ability could hinder the Arizona Cardinals tomorrow. 

They also have D.J. Moore and potentially Cole Kmet ready to roll, so Fields will have at least one playmaker ready to go. He will often look to get the ball into his best players’ hands, and even if the Cardinals have everyone covered, it doesn’t mean Fields won’t do some damage by running the ball. 

Therefore, the best player on the Cardinals defense, Jalen Thompson, should figure to find himself all over the field tomorrow. Thompson has shown multiple times this season how good he is in the passing game, evidenced by three picks and five pass deflections. He’s also been arguably the team’s surest tackler, racking up 68 total this season plus a career-high four behind the line. 

Arizona Cardinals safety needs a huge game tomorrow

Thompson needs to be that one player tasked with keeping an eye on Fields and where the third-year quarterback is looking to go with the football. On downs when it appears Fields will need to seek out D.J. Moore, Thompson should be providing deep coverage. 

When the ball is in Fields’ hands and it’s not an obvious down when he’s looking for Moore, Thompson better be reading the quarterback’s eyes the entire time, because it’s often when Fields will have a chance to tuck the ball and run. 

Overall, to give the Arizona Cardinals the best possible chance to win, Jalen Thompson must put his best game forward. He’s done it a few times across the 12 contests, especially in Week 11 against Houston, in which he’s played, and that A-game must once again show up to limit Fields’ efficacy and chemistry with his favorite targets. 


(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)