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5 Questions with Revenge Of The Birds: Are the Cardinals pretenders at 2-0?

Getting to know the Lions’ Week 3 opponents.

NFL: Washington Football Team at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I am terrified of this team. I’m sure you are too, Detroit Lions fans. It’s been a rough first two weeks for Detroit. They’ve blown double digit leads in both games and ate a forty burger against the Packers last weekend. My guess is that this Sunday’s outing against the Cardinals isn’t going to be much different. It’s going to be a long season.

But are the Cardinals the real deal? They’ve certainly looked good in the first two weeks with wins over the 49ers and the Washington Football Team. While Washington is not very good and the 49ers are struggling, the Cardinals still have looked better than last year. We needed to know more. So we brought in our pal Seth Cox from Revenge Of The Birds to give us the low down on the team from the desert. here’s what he had to say.

1. Is it safe to say that Kyler Murray is Russell Wilson Jr?

“Man, what Kyler is doing is so good, but at the same time putting him on the same field as Russell Wilson is unfair. I think in terms of progression in their career at the same point, Kyler is slightly ahead.

However, few players have put together a career like Wilson and have grown as a player as much as Wilson. What Kyler does is put things on the field that no one else can do, but it is about stringing together those things into a consistent product. Kyler’s projected stats are 4100 yards and 16 touchdowns passing to go along with 1,264 yards rushing and 24 rushing touchdowns.

I don’t think anyone is expecting the rushing numbers to continue that way, especially the touchdowns, but I think it’s reasonable to expect around 4,500 total yards and 32 total touchdowns. That would be elite company for a second-year player and give the Cardinals and their fans something to be excited about moving into 2021 and beyond.

Hopefully he reaches the same ceiling as Russ, but I have too much respect for Wilson to say Kyler is there.”

2. What are the strengths of this team?

“I think the strengths through two games has been their ability to run the ball consistently, and play good defense.

The Cardinals are averaging 170 rushing yards per game, bolstered by Kyler Murray’s 158 yards rushing (ninth in the NFL). The defense has been surprisingly stout, while we acknowledge they have played a hobbled San Francisco 49ers offense and a terrible Washington Football Team offense.

However, if you get hurting or bad offensive teams you need to take advantage and the defense has done that.

The addition of De’Vondre Campbell and Devon Kennard have really helped the linebacker play through two games. Their defensive line has been good enough and they do a ton of rotating of those players to keep them fresh for four quarters.They haven’t been tested much in the secondary, which I expect to see this weekend.

Offensively, they are really just missing plays in both the running game and passing game. They are missing throws, routes, holes and just missing becoming a really good offense instead of a good offense.”

3. What are the weaknesses?

“Consistency. Like I said above, they miss opportunities too often and instead of burying a team, will give them a chance.

They have done enough to protect Kyler Murray but pass protection is not a strength, while the passing game has been a bit inconsistent outside of DeAndre Hopkins and Larry Fitzgerald.

On defense, they haven’t faced any real threats yet in the passing game at wide receiver, so I cannot say whether or not that is a strength or weakness, but if Kenny Golladay is back, I’m excited to find out for sure.”

4. How well is DeAndre Hopkins fitting in with the Cardinals?

“Amazingly. I think it was one of those situations in Houston where it was so broken that Hopkins getting out changed his whole demeanor and he’s feeling refreshed.

22 catches in two games is just a stupid amount but that is Kyler and Kliff Kingsbury getting him involved and showing him he’s going to be a major focus of this offense. Nuk has responded and is loving the attention, his new team and new system.

It’s still a bit surreal that the trade even happened if I’m being honest.”

5. Who’s winning this thing?

“I think it’s a good game, and I’m not completely comfortable buying in to the Arizona Cardinals being a good team, but I think this is a good matchup where they can continue to improve on offense. I think we’ll see the first signs of struggles on defense, with Golladay back, this Detroit offense is so talented, but I don’t think the Lions defense is something that will stop the Cardinals offense enough.

Cards 35
Lions 28”