The Arizona Cardinals want to join many of the league’s other teams this season and string together back-to-back wins, but a better-than-advertised Houston Texans team led by C.J. Stroud awaits. Fortunately for the Cards, they are healthier than they have been all season, with their most notable returnee being Kyler Murray.
But they need more than just Murray if they want to win in this one, given how effective Stroud and the Texans offense has been. Today, however, the Cards will at least slow down Houston’s attack, both with a resurgent rushing defense, as noted in a previous piece, and through the air.
With a relentless pass rush when called upon this season, the likes of Dennis Gardeck, BJ Ojulari, and Company should collectively make life tough for the Houston offensive line. And that may force Stroud into making mistakes.
Arizona Cardinals pass rush comes to life, forces Stroud into throwing two picks
Who gets the honor of intercepting a pair of passes? One will go to Garrett Williams, whose solid performances since debuting have him due for another big play. Williams has possessed shutdown corner potential, and he won’t miss an opportunity to seize another opportunity when the Cardinals pass rush forces Stroud into making some erratic decisions.
Budda Baker hasn’t recorded a pick yet this season, but he has been a tackling machine as usual. Baker will finally get his hands on the ball and give the Cards good field position for Murray and the offense to capitalize.
While Stroud has been outstanding in taking a talent-deprived Texans team further than most believed they would go this season, he’s still prone to making rookie mistakes. With a healthier defense possessing a sound pass rush, you will see the Arizona Cardinals force him into a few this afternoon (or late morning).
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)