The Arizona Cardinals made one thing certain last week despite their loss to the Washington Commanders: It’s defense first. Ideally, this mentality should make life easier for their ailing offense, which may have been worse than advertised in their Week 1 defeat.
Luckily for the Cardinals, Josh Dobbs won’t be the starter all season, assuming quarterback Kyler Murray experiences no setbacks related to his knee. But until then, the Cardinals will lean on their defense to make their forthcoming slate of games manageable, and their Week 2 outing vs. the New York Giants is no exception.
As you will see below, each competitive advantage the Cards have going into Week 2 is on defense. And hopefully with the home crowd behind them, the offense can find the end zone a couple of times. If so, then the Cards have a legitimate chance to not only win their home opener, but to leave their recent pedestrian performances at State Farm Stadium in the dust.
3 distinct advantages the Arizona Cardinals have over the Giants
1 - Pass rush over Giants offensive line
The Arizona Cardinals won’t blitz to the same extent as they did in 2022. Last year under Vance Joseph, the Redbirds had the second-highest blitz percentage, at 34.5%, but they accrued a paltry 36 sacks for their efforts.
Last week, their first under current defensive coordinator Nick Rallis, the Cards blitzed just 25.6% of the time, which ranked 20th in the league. However, they logged six sacks, which took the silver medal in Week 1.
Since the Dallas Cowboys were the only team to muster more sacks, which ironically enough, came against the Giants, look for the Cardinals group of underrated but relentless EDGE rushers to just overwhelm the G-Men’s offensive line. I also drove this point home in my bold predictions piece, but when you look at last week’s advanced stats, maybe that projection wasn’t so bold.