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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Zaven Collins
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Richie James (17) carries the ball against Arizona Cardinals / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY

2 - Cardinals pass rush vs. the Commanders offensive line

The Commanders had one of the worst offensive lines last season, having allowed a 33.7% pressure rate in 2022. And there is still some turbulence in the unit heading into 2023. While the Arizona Cardinals have an unproven EDGE and outside linebacker unit, you can’t help but get excited over it following their outstanding performances in the preseason. 

Whether it was Dennis Gardeck, Zaven Collins, or Jesse Luketa, most in the rotation seemed to find the quarterback. Cameron Thomas was especially effective, and he will be one player to watch this Sunday assuming he stays healthy all week. 

Like the Cardinals, Washington’s line will also face the tall task of keeping a young and unproven quarterback in Sam Howell upright. The major difference? The Cards line is at least a rung above the Commanders on paper.

Look for the Cards to bring the heat all afternoon from several angles, which should overwhelm Howell early. If the defensive line can also get a push like they occasionally did in the preseason, Arizona will keep this game close.