3 Arizona Cardinals who MUST step up in Week 2 vs. the Giants

The Arizona Cardinals could, and probably should have flown back to the desert with a win over the Washington Commanders last Sunday.

Arizona Cardinals v Washington Commanders
Arizona Cardinals v Washington Commanders / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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The Arizona Cardinals had a few players who experienced a rough outing in their Week 1 loss to the Washington Commanders. However, one week shouldn’t define anyone’s season, not even quarterback Josh Dobbs’, who is nonetheless listed as one of three Cards who must step up this week. 

Other names include a player who comprises one-third of the Redbirds safety trio, and another is a linebacker looking to solidify himself as either a starter or as a role player. Overall, thanks to a pitiful outing from the offense in Week 1, you may think that I would list more than just Dobbs. But the Cardinals, even with a weaker team, are already forging an identity that they will win games on defense, so the pressure is on them to perform better against the New York Giants. 

Keep reading to discover which two defensive players made the list, and what they must do if they want to give the Redbirds better returns this week. 

Jalen Thompson
Arizona Cardinals v Washington Commanders / Michael Owens/GettyImages

3 Arizona Cardinals who MUST step up in Week 2

1 - Jalen Thompson

The Arizona Cardinals have the potential to boast the NFL’s best duo (or trio) at safety, but Jalen Thompson couldn’t have toiled through a worse performance in Week 1. He earned a PFF grade of just 50.8, ranking him 63rd out of 75 qualifying players, and he also allowed three completions on four targets for 36 yards. 

This gave quarterback Sam Howell a 102.1 quarterback rating when targeting Thompson. On the flip side, however, the 25-year-old was still his usual self as a sure tackler, racking up five on the day. 

Overall, Thompson has got to get better in coverage if he wants to be considered one of the league’s best safeties. Opposing quarterbacks scored a 113.1 rating against him last season, and he also allowed 13.5 yards per target in 2022. Going against a weaker quarterback like Daniel Jones should provide the perfect opportunity for Thompson to enjoy some redemption.