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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Zaven Collins
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) is tackled by Arizona Cardinals linebackers Isaiah / Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY

Cardinals LB Zaven Collins vs. Commanders QB Sam Howell

Zaven Collins will enter his third season in the desert, and as he gets adjusted to a new system and a new coordinator, big things are expected from him as he assumes a leadership role. It was said that they are moving Collins to outside linebacker as he will most likely be the Cardinals best rusher coming off the edge.

The Cardinals really need Collins to emerge and become the leader of this defense as analysts have predicted the Cardinals to lose a lot of games. If Collins can become what the coaching staff envisions, then maybe the Cardinals could pull off a couple of upsets.

That could be the case in Week 1 against the Commanders, but Collins must be able to put pressure on Commanders QB Sam Howell and make him uncomfortable in the pocket. Collins also has to try and get his hands on Howell in order to shake him up to see if he can disrupt plays with his physicality. Howell lacks experience and that's something Collins and the rest of the Cardinals defense can use to their advantage.

He shined during the preseason as he threw for a total of 265 yards with a 76 percent completion rate and three touchdowns. His most impressive stat: zero interceptions. Howell has displayed great awareness and has the arm talent to get the ball to his playmakers but Collins will have to be a factor in this game if the Cardinals are going to have any success.