The Arizona Cardinals face the Cincinnati Bengals this weekend, and circumstances line up in their favor to come out with their first victory under Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury.
But history may not be on the the Redbirds side as they have a way of allowing mediocre backup players to look like all pros on the field and take unexpected losses.
So many instances that take us to times where the Cardinals should win a game because the other team is lacking major pieces, and they just couldn’t measure up to the pressure of the moment to dominate and do what was expected.
We all saw the Back up Quarterback Kyle Allen exploit the Cardinals defense, and did it without getting pressured into any mistakes throughout the game. That was a game that the defense was supposed to be able to force the 2nd year player into turnovers and poor play, but yet he looked like a seasoned vet finishing 19/26 261yards and 4 touchdowns.
Then we dig back into history where other quarterbacks that were coming in as either first time starters or very young and inexperienced have had much success as well.
2015 Micheal Vick and the Steelers were on the ropes and the Cardinals managed to get Vick out of the game due to injury, and a rookie back up Laundry Jones came in and takes over the game, and embarrassing the Cardinals defense and pulls off the improbable win.
2016 season opener against the New England Patriots at home, Patriots opened that season without the services of star quarterback Tom Brady serving a four game suspension, and back up first time playing Jimmy Geroffolo looked almost like Brady and beat the Cardinals on their home field.
2017 Carson Palmer and the Redbirds were heavy favoreds to win on the road in Houston because the talented Dashaun Watson was hurt the week before, Cardinals looking like they dodged a bullet with the Watson Injury and came into Houston and lost to a mediocre at best back up Tom Savage 31-21.
— Barry (@meet_barry) October 4, 2019
Currently this weekend coming into another game where the Arizona Cardinals should win on the road in Cincinnati, and their starting quarterback Andy Dalton will be playing but he will be without key components that would suggest a Cards victory.
Bengals come in limping heavily at the wide receiver position as star wideout A.J Green is still on the shelf with a leg injury, just this past Monday night they also lost wide receiver John Ross.
The Bengals come in with probably the worst offensive line in the league, as third string Andre Smith (former Cardinal) is at left tackle and their right guard is playing out of position, the center is a rookie and as a collective unit have giving up 19 sack of Dalton so far.
The Cardinals have to get takeaways in this game, and Chandler Jones and Terrell Suggs should easily be the ones causing these turnovers whether in the secondary with pressure or fumbles from strip sacks.
It is no secrete the Cardinals have had issues winning on the east coast playing early games, and they must not allow that to be an excuse to beat this beat up team convincingly.
Cards are also coming in limping a bit themselves as they will be missing key wide receiver Christian Kirk, but that’s not anywhere near the mash unit of the Bengals in several positions.
The Arizona Cardinals cannot take this game for granted and think it will be handed to them, the Bengals will have half a stadium filled cheering them on and they could be givien much confidence if the Redbirds do not put their foot down early.
According to the match up the Cardinals should dominate the lines of scrimmage and Kyler Murray should not be under duress and have clear throwing lanes.
The running game has to be established early so it can finish late, and Kliff Kingsbury needs to dial up power running plays in the redzone and score touchdowns rather than field goals.
One scary area of concern about the Bengals on offense, is if they get Joe Mixon going he could be hard to stop, as well as Tyler Eifert at the tight end position in which the redbirds in four games have given up 32 rec for 431 yrds 5 TD to that position alone.
To add to that, Arizona will be playing the Thompson rookies at safety in place of DJ Swearinger who was released this week due to poor performance issues, and they both have had very minimal NFL experience at the position.
The Cardinals need to be disciplined in this game, limit penalties in crucial moments like key first downs and big plays this has pleagued them so far this season.
At the end of the day it will be hard to imagine the Cardinals losing this game, but momentum and confidence can take a team a long way. If the Cards allow the Bengals to gain steam in those categories, it will be another unexpected loss that could lead to familiar territory from a 3-13 team last year.