The Arizona Cardinals snuck past the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6 by a final score of 34-33. This moved their record on the season to 2-3-1.
Now the Cardinals face off with the 2-4 New York Giants in a matchup between first-round quarterbacks.
Obviously, Kyler Murray was the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, while Daniel Jones was selected sixth. With both starting, this game should generate a lot of interest.
Who will win though? With neither team looking particularly strong or weak at this point, it’s anyone’s game. If the Cardinals are to pull it out, here are four reasons they will do so.
4. Kyler Murray
Murray has been solid all year for the Cardinals. Now he’s coming off easily his best game in the NFL. In Week 6 against the Falcons, Murray completed a career-high 73% of his passes (27-for-37) for 340 yards (second-most he’s thrown for in an NFL game) and a career-best three touchdowns.
Now he’s going up against the second-worst passing defense in the NFL in the Giants. A passing defense that allows 285 yards per game.
Murray should be able to put together a really strong performance. He had his first no-turnover game in Week 6 and should be riding high off the phenomenal day.
Expect to see him give the Cardinals fits with his arm while sneaking around to get some big gains with his legs as well.
It’s incredible how much better Arizona’s offense has looked with Murray at quarterback this year as opposed to last season. Now they get to face off with one of the worst defenses in the NFL. That’s definitely something that’s going to serve them well.
A strong game for Murray definitely puts Arizona in a position to win. Against a 2-4 team, that’s very much the case this week.
3. Daniel Jones
Okay, I’m going to say something and I don’t want Giants fans to hate me. And to start off I want to say, Jones got the short end of the stick after being drafted. Everyone saw it as a reach and that made them act like the quarterback was absolutely miserable.
He isn’t miserable, far from it. That being said, he’s not good either (at least not yet). I personally think a lot of people in the media feel bad for ripping the Giants and him so hard after the draft. Due to that, I think they’re starting to overhype him a little bit too much.
His first was great. Jones threw for two touchdowns (and no interceptions) and ran for two more against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, he did lose two fumbles.
Then the next week he threw one touchdown and two interceptions against a Washington Redskins defense that hasn’t looked good basically all year.
Following that, Jones threw for under 200 yards and had one touchdown and one interception again, this time against the Minnesota Vikings.
Finally, Week 6 saw Jones go up against the New England Patriots. In his defense, they make everyone look bad. Still, he threw for 161 yards and one touchdown (it was a gorgeous pass) and three interceptions.
For those keeping track, that’s five touchdowns, six interceptions and three fumbles (he briefly appeared in Week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys and fumbled).
Jones is turnover prone. That’s becoming obvious. He’s yet to have a game without one, even when he barely appeared in it. Even worse, he’s had more multi-turnover games than single-turnover games.
Arizona’s defense has been bad this year, so that might be a problem for them. However, Patrick Peterson is back and that could make a massive difference.
2. Patrick Peterson
Speaking of Peterson, this was an obvious one. The defense has been dreadful for Arizona. However, they’re getting one of the best cornerbacks in football back this week.
I’ll keep this one short and simple. Peterson’s going to be hungry. The defense is going to be hungry. They’re going up against a team with a turnover-prone quarterback. Yes, Saquon Barkley’s back but who knows how big of a workload he’ll actually get.
Peterson is going to clean up the secondary at least somewhat, and make life much much harder for Jones.
That makes things easier for the Cardinals, and could help lead them to victory.
1. Pass Rushing Duo
I know I said the Arizona defense has been bad (and it has been), but not everything is miserable.
The biggest standout has been the pass-rushing duo of Chandler Jones and Terrell Suggs. Two veterans who have very much established themselves in the NFL are reminding everyone just how good they still are.
Jones is still just 29, and has a lot of football left. Still, it doesn’t hurt to remind people that you’re great at what you do. He has 4.5 sacks to lead the team. Jones also has two pass deflections, one tackle for loss and a ridiculous three forced fumbles.
Meanwhile, Suggs is 37 and definitely coming towards the end of his career. He’s still got a lot of juice left though. He’s right behind Jones with four sacks on the season. While Suggs doesn’t have any pass deflections he does have four tackles for loss and another three forced fumbles himself.
Those two should be able to get to the quarterback a few times. This could cause the turnover-prone Jones to make a few errant passes (or fumble on a sack). The duo could definitely make some big plays that lead to victory for Arizona.