Commanders' Week 1 Opponent: Cardinals' Statistics Make Them an Ideal Matchup

The Washington Commanders will kick off their season on Sunday against a team that could potentially take the title of the NFL's most dysfunctional franchise. The Arizona Cardinals recently settled a tampering investigation and have faced accusations of cheating and harassment from a former executive. On the field, with a new general manager, coach, and a roster that has been stripped down, the Cardinals are expected to be the worst team in the NFL this season.

However, Washington Coach Ron Rivera has been trying to build up the Cardinals this week. He has praised their strong rushing attack, dynamic receivers, solid tight ends, and a formidable offensive line. Rivera also highlighted their playmakers on defense, including safety Budda Baker, whom he considers one of the best safeties in the league.

Interestingly, Rivera did not mention quarterback Josh Dobbs or fifth-round draft pick Clayton Tune. While Arizona has not officially announced their starting quarterback, it is likely to be Dobbs.

Let's take a closer look at the Cardinals' statistics to get to know them better.

Projected Wins: 4.8
According to Inpredictable, a sports betting analysis website, the Cardinals are projected to finish the season with only 4.8 wins. This is more than a full win less than the team predicted to have the second-fewest wins (Houston with 6.1). The gap between the two teams projected to have the most wins (Kansas City with 11.2 and Buffalo with 10.7) is more than double. These bleak forecasts highlight why some critics have accused the Cardinals of intentionally performing poorly.

Career Starts: 2
Josh Dobbs, the Cardinals' expected starting quarterback, has only made two starts in his six seasons in the NFL. Both of these starts came at the end of last season when he played for the Tennessee Titans. Dobbs, 28, had average performances, completing 58.8 percent of his passes for 411 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.

Dobbs does possess some mobility, but it appears that Arizona will heavily rely on their rushing attack led by running back James Conner and the playmaking abilities of receivers Marquise "Hollywood" Brown and Rondale Moore.

Due to a lack of game footage, Washington's coaches have delved into the backgrounds of the Cardinals' coordinators. They have noticed that offensive coordinator Scott Petzing has experience with run-first play-callers who favor wide-zone running schemes from his time in Minnesota and Cleveland. On the defensive side, head coach Jonathan Gannon's scheme is expected to be similar to what he implemented as the Philadelphia Eagles' defensive coordinator for the past two years. Washington offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy finds it amusing to study the same tape he watched before last year's Super Bowl while preparing for his first opponent with the Commanders.

Bieniemy also mentioned that there is some uncertainty surrounding Arizona's defensive scheme. Gannon has employed two different styles during his time in Philadelphia and Minnesota, where he learned under former coach Mike Zimmer.

"Openers are always filled with unknowns, so we should expect some un-scouted looks," said Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. "We'll react quickly, make adjustments on the sideline, and move forward."
Ahmed Hakim
By : Ahmed Hakim
Ahmed Hakim is a professional journalist since 2019, a media graduate from Iraqi University, a technology expert, a media consultant and a member of the International Organization of Journalists - a member of the fact-checking team at Meta Company. He writes in the fields of entertainment, art, science and technology, and believes that the pen can change everything
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