Arizona Cardinals: Three Things to Watch vs the Denver Broncos
Welcome, to judgment day Arizona Cardinals fans. What must happen for the coaching staff to not be on the chopping block? It’s going to take a lot more than just a win to save the jobs of the coaches. Here are the three things to watch for in their Thursday night primetime game against the Denver Broncos.
First things first: Offensive Production:
Sharpen your pitchforks, the first thing that has to occur during this game to save jobs is a major showing of offensive production. Currently, the Arizona Cardinals rank dead last in yards per game and rushing yards. With a dynamic back like David Johnson. This team should not be ranked dead last and part of the reason is that of some mental errors on his part with a small piece of blame towards the offensive line.
However, the main reason is uncreative and predictable play calling straight from the offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. This is his game to prove that his stats aren’t overinflated because of legendary Quarterbacks Phillip Rivers and Peyton Manning. During his time in Denver, Peyton Manning would call an audible on every single play it seemed, yelling “Omaha” and other things. With that, people assume that was mainly McCoy that got the Broncos all those yards that season.
If that was the case, then his first season back as the Broncos OC with a younger quarterback, he would not have been fired six games into the season. What he has to do to save this job is to try to dominate the time of possession to keep the defense off the field for one. Secondly, he has to get David Johnson over 90 yards rushing by creative plays and not trying to jam it up the middle on third and long. Especially because on that line, the one with the least amount of experience is the center, so why not try to go to one of the other sides to get some yards. no?
Second: Josh Rosen to Christian Kirk
This is a combination that has been a huge bright spot in this teams offense. Although, it’s been quietly understated because of the lack of production in the offensive unit as a whole. This season, Christian Kirk in two games has had 162 yards on just nine targets including a touchdown. Look for the Cardinals to try to capitalize on this combination against a Broncos defense that is an absolute shell of what it once was, no matter what Von Miller says. The Broncos currently have the 27th ranked defense in the NFL. Part of that is because they have allowed 1455 pass yards. On top of that, they have the highest amount of rush yards allowed at 968. The high amount of rush yards allowed means the ability to establish the run. Once you do that, you can run the table.
Third: Defensive pass rush
Chandler Jones and Hassan Reddick are two players that have been getting more into the backfield the deeper the season goes on. Expect a big night out of the Arizona Cardinals defensive line. Especially against a Broncos offensive line that has allowed their quarterback to be sacked 15 times so far this season. If the Cardinals get a good amount of pressure on Case Keenum, that means hurried throws, which means more opportunities for interceptions and fewer conversions on third down.
There are two things that can happen if these three things are prevalent on Thursday night. The first will be a solid victory against the Denver Broncos, obviously. The second may mean that if these three things occur, jobs may be safe for just one more week. However, what if these things don’t happen? Expect a firing within the week directly following this game.
How do you feel about the Arizona Cardinals heading into the game with the Denver Broncos? Leave a comment below.
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