3 competitive advantages the Arizona Cardinals have over the Commanders in Week 1

Despite the Washington Commanders boasting a stellar defense, the Arizona Cardinals have a few competitive advantages of their own heading into Sunday’s game.
Arizona Cardinals v Minnesota Vikings
Arizona Cardinals v Minnesota Vikings / David Berding/GettyImages
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The Arizona Cardinals spent all summer and all preseason hearing naysayer noise. And that’s all it is and all it ever should be: Noise. Irrelevant noise, since the people who know the Cardinals the best are those who are constantly with the team in the meeting room and on the practice field day in and day out.

But those of us who follow the team closely also know that the Redbirds aren’t some squad with expansion team talent and virtually zero upside. No, this isn’t a strong football team, but they also aren’t the 2008 Detroit Lions or the 2017 Cleveland Browns, thanks in part to the fact they may at least have an identity with a run-first offense and an aggressive, swarming defense. 

There are also a few weaknesses on the Washington Commanders that the Cards can take advantage of. And if “Big Red” recognizes these advantages, they could leave the nation’s capital with a W. 

Joshua Dobbs
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Joshua Dobbs (9) throws during practice at Cardinals Dignity Health / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY

Arizona Cardinals have three distinct advantages over the Commanders

1 - Aura of mystery at quarterback

The Commanders have a strong defense, and even if they are the weakest sister in the NFC, their D will win them a few more games than one may anticipate this year. That said, the Arizona Cardinals are playing the right game by refusing to reveal their hand as to who will start at quarterback, at least at the time of this article’s publication. 

This will force Washington to prepare for two different playing styles, from the mobile Clayton Tune to the game manager in Josh Dobbs. While it’s true neither Tune nor Dobbs will strike much fear into opponents with stellar defenses, they will still force the Commanders into making on-the-fly adjustments early in the contest once it’s revealed (hopefully on gameday) who’s starting.

Hopefully, Dobbs or Tune can add just enough variety in their game to keep the Commanders defense guessing all afternoon. Tune would likely do a better job at this since we saw him extend plays, and even run for large chunks of yardage. However, Dobbs holds the obvious advantage in terms of experience.

Update: As of Wednesday at Noon MST, the expectation is that Josh Dobbs will open the season as the starter.