3 bold predictions for the Arizona Cardinals in Week 9: Defense makes a statement

The Arizona Cardinals head into Week 9 vs. the Cleveland Browns with injuries to a pair of sound rookie contributors on offense.
Baltimore Ravens v Arizona Cardinals
Baltimore Ravens v Arizona Cardinals / Norm Hall/GettyImages
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The Arizona Cardinals are 1-7, but ironically, they may be getting their best offensive player back this week. If that’s not the case, they will at least see a new, eager face at quarterback raring to show us he can handle the demands of a real NFL game. 

The last time we saw Clayton Tune see extended playing time was during the final week of the preseason against the Minnesota Vikings, and he finished the outing strongly. But, Tune also had some accuracy issues throughout August, despite showing off a strong arm, poise, and athleticism. 

We haven’t seen Murray play in nearly a year, and the worst season of his pro career hit rock bottom when he tore his ACL. But, Murray is also looking to show us that he’s worth the money the Cards are dishing out to him, so expect some moxie from the first snap if he’s the guy. 

Regardless of who starts, it doesn’t hurt to concoct some bold predictions for the upcoming game. Here are the three boldest. 

Marquise Brown
Baltimore Ravens v Arizona Cardinals / Norm Hall/GettyImages

3 bold predictions for the Arizona Cardinals in Week 9

1 - Cardinals convert two red zone opportunities into touchdowns

The Arizona Cardinals red zone offense has been stagnant since Week 5, and they have through eight weeks converted just 52.4 percent of their chances so far in 2023 into touchdowns. That changes course in Week 9 since, despite the Browns boasting a solid defense, they have also allowed touchdowns in the red zone 66.7 percent of the time. 

This creates a recipe for success for either Clayton Tune or Kyler Murray, and they only need to get the Redbirds offense there. Sure, possibly rolling without two young contributors will hurt, but the Browns will have little on Tune film-wise, even if the offense may look somewhat familiar under Drew Petzing. 

Regardless, it still doesn’t take away from the fact the Browns have the fourth-worst red zone defense when it comes to allowing opponents into the end zone. The Cards offense may still be out of sync against this strong Browns defense, but it’s not like Cleveland doesn’t have a weak spot.