Everyone expected a high amount of potential from the NFC West. Arguably the toughest conference in football today, the room for error in this division is null and slim. Often overlooked for almost a decade, the Arizona Cardinals were considered a doormat in the NFC West. In this division; alone, a division rival has been a representative in the Super Bowl five times in the last decade. Only one Championship has come from the success. No one can deny that the division is hard-hitting in high scoring.
Now in year three, an MVP candidate has emerged in the land of the Sun. From the desert ashes rises a roaring Phoenix, reinvigorated by a Raider rash and a boomer Sooner. No longer considered a project Kyler Murray is making a name for himself as a potential MVP candidate in the young 2021 season. Now with poise in the pocket and poisonous speed like a cobra, his presence on the field has to be respected. Armed with weapons and gifts given from various AFC rivals, the Arizona Cardinals are looking to go 3-0 in 2021, with no brakes in sight. The numbers are staggering, as only two games, seven touchdown passes, and two rushing touchdowns have been produced from the quarterback who still has baseball aspirations in his future.
The weapons are many and can’t be ignored. One must start with DeAndre Hopkins, the second-round draft trade from the Houston Texans that catches anything in sight. He has to be respected anywhere he winds up on the field. Although Larry Fitzgerald may not rejoin the team, the wide receiver room is overflowing with talent. Christian Kirk is making a name for himself as a speedster. Plus, the addition of AJ Green from the Cincinnati Bengals only levels the playing field on how safeties and corners defend this team bound for an offensive explosion. Maxx Williams has shown that he can catch the football, unlike the previous tight end, that is now, in Carolina.
Now giving a chance to produce, Chase Edmonds has accepted the role as the leading running back on the team. He is complemented by a veteran starter in James Conner, and an Arizona State product in Eno Benjamin, who will be utilized in the offense very soon. With a bend but don’t break mentality, they do the dirty work to make sure that the potential MVP stays clean in the pocket.
The road to the Super Bowl is paved with many obstacles. Not far from now, I match up between the potential Super Bowl contender in the Los Angeles Rams’ rooms internet. Down the road, a run-stricken but mostly healthy division rival from the Bay, the San Francisco 49ers must be dealt with. And although Seattle’s defense is not what it used to be, one can never turn their back or underestimate Russell Wilson. Just ask Budha Baker how deadly the wide receivers from Seattle can be.
The red-hot Cardinals enter Duval county with one mission in mind; 3-0. The seeds have grown into fruition, and now is the time for Arizona to rise from the ashes and spread their wings to display to the NFL world. Standing in their way is a young and retooled Jaguars team that is led by an infamous college coach seeking success in the pros. Although off to a rough start, Urban Meyer has accepted the task of rewriting the standard of how fans see and perceive the AFC South. The conference, overall, is off to a rough start, as the only representative with a .500 record is the Tennessee Titans, who have a matchup against the Indianapolis Colts today. One can’t worry about division rivals when a juggernaut has entered their doors and looks to claim glory on one’s land.
The expectations have not met the standard; as of yet. Jacksonville has gone 17 weeks without the taste of victory—what is now considered a full NFL season. The former quarterback from Clemson has shown how much he meant to the former ACC bullies, as the Clemson Tigers have fallen from grace, losing to an NC State team that was once viewed as beneath them. Trevor Lawrence is learning the hard way: how the NFL is much more complex than any college team he has ever faced. A man not used to losing has already been humbled by the obstacles that have bequeathed him by being the number one pick in the NFL Draft. The running back position is not much to brag about either. The former undrafted running back from Illinois state has gotten off to a slow start due to the lack of touches from days past. Under a new offensive scheme, James Robinson has not been the Thoroughbred back that we have once seen, and the lack of productivity has shown in both losses.
The wide receiver room must make the difference in today’s game. DJ Chark, Laviska Shenault, and Marvin Jones must attack the only weakness that this Cardinals team has shown to their opponents; the secondary. Tennessee didn’t put up much of a fight; the Minnesota Vikings wide receivers were able to exploit holes in the Cardinals’ defense that could be utilized for the path to victory in Sacksonville. Whether the juniors are up to the task; all depends on the play calling and the potential phenom branded with the task to deliver brighter days.
Don’t expect a defensive battle. Don’t expect a defensive struggle. Bullets in the form of pigskins will fly from every direction today. The sound of human car crashes will reverberate inside of the stadium; for all of the thirsty fans to enjoy. Corners will be beaten, linebackers will be tested, and defensive linemen will show frustration from the heat from mother nature and their opponents across from them.
Yield nothing Jaguars; fore a Phoenix looks to raise the temperature on their adversaries to another degree. Whether you stand and defend with pride or get cindered from the desert heat—depends on you.