The Arizona Cardinals are still looking to defy those who doubted them earlier in the year, so they need to step up and play smart football for the final three weeks of the season. If the Cards can win just one more game, they will have gone further than a significant contingent of experts initially projected, and another two wins would be ideal.
Luckily, the Chicago Bears are right there with the Cardinals, as they currently boast their own top-five pick for 2024 at the moment, along with the first pick thanks to last season’s trade with the Carolina Panthers.
So what must the Cardinals do if they want to maximize their chances of beating the Bears tomorrow? Here are three keys to victory the Redbirds must turn to unlock a win.
Keys to victory for the Arizona Cardinals in Week 16
1 - Blitz Justin Fields
If the Arizona Cardinals pass rush is lamenting about having not sacked an opposing quarterback in a while, then they’re in luck. Few quarterbacks are more sack-prone than Justin Fields, who opponents have taken down 35 times this season across his 10 starts.
While Fields’ overall sack percentage is at a career-low, it’s still sitting at a whopping 10.6 percent, and he has lost roughly 6.5 yards every time opponents have gotten to him. Going after Fields often will also make him uncomfortable, and it could even take away some of his favorite running lanes, which would also play into the Cardinals hands.
The last thing defensive coordinator Nick Rallis needs is to let Fields sit back and seek out his best pass-catchers like D.J. Moore and Cole Kmet if the latter, currently listed as Questionable, plays. We also know how good Fields is when he calls his own number, so he will make the Cardinals pay by making plays with his legs if they allow it.