4 key matchups for Arizona Cardinals Week 1 matchup vs. Commanders

There are many matchups that will determine the outcome of this game. Let's take a look at some of them for the Arizona Cardinals Week 1 showdown.
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The secondary was a weak spot on the Arizona Cardinals defense last season as they allowed the third most completions and ranked 24th in passing yards allowed and also allowed the second most TD passes in the NFL. The secondary's overall performance was far from ideal and it's a task new defensive coordinator Nick Rallis has to make a priority if the Cardinals are going to be competitive.

Cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. left via free agency, and despite the atrocious numbers from that unit last year, Murphy Jr. was an integral piece on the defense and his presence will be missed. Taking his place will be Kei'Trel Clark and Antonio Hamilton should also get an opportunity to contribute early.

Kei'Trel Clark
Arizona Cardinals cornerback Kei'Trel Clark (13) during voluntary Organized Team Activities at the / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY

Four key matchups between the Arizona Cardinals and Washington Commanders

The Cardinals Secondary vs. Commanders WR's

Marco Wilson will line up on the opposite side and will try to build off of a solid year. Wilson was targeted more than any other defensive back on the team, he defended 10 passes and had three interceptions.

Pro Bowl safety Budda Baker returns and is the best player on the Cardinals defense and serves as the heart and soul of this team. Commanders QB Sam Howell would be wise to keep his eyes on Baker at all times and avoid throwing in his direction.

Expect wilson to line up against the Commanders best wide receiver and that is Terry McLaurin, who is going to be a game time decision. But either way the Cardinals secondary have their hands full with the likes of WR's Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, Byron Pringle and tight end Logan Thomas.

Expect Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy to draw up plays for Howell that will allow him to get the ball out quickly and try and distribute the ball amongst his playmakers. The coverage will have to be air tight in order for the Cardinals pass rushers to generate pressure. Baker and free safety Jalen Thompson must stay on their toes