On Sunday the Kansas City Chiefs face the Arizona Cardinals According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kansas City is favored to win by six points. We welcome Seth Cox of Revenge of the Birds— our sister SBNation site covering the Cardinals — for Five Questions with the Enemy.
1) Like the Chiefs, the Cardinals have a bit of a reputation as fast starters. What do you think this comes from?
I think a lot of it comes down to the team’s ability to continue to build off their offensive talent. While the Cardinals have not been able to sustain a season-long excellence like the Chiefs, their offense is similar in that it is already in mid-season form when it starts.
Add that to a dynamic, play-making quarterback and you see how they can start off the season fast like they have in previous seasons.
Now, obviously, it’ll be about continuing to build on it — and dealing with some injury issues — against the best team they’ve faced in a season opener. But hopefully it is a similar offensive display from the Cardinals.
2) The injury report doesn’t look too great for the Cardinals. Who is the one guy on the report that the Cardinals absolutely can’t be without?
There are two that really stand out.
The first is tight end Zach Ertz, as he gives the Cardinals a middle-of-the-field threat and a security blanket for quarterback Kyler Murray. It is not quite on the level of Travis Kelce, but think similarly in impact and usage.
Then of course it is J.J. Watt, who is really the only dynamic playmaker on the defensive line for the Cardinals right now. While Zach Allen and Rashard Lawrence offer upside, Watt is the only one who has done it consistently. If Watt can’t go on Sunday, the Cardinals defensive group will likely have to deal with a dynamic Chiefs offense without the best interior pass rusher on the team — and give Patrick Mahomes even more time.
3) I like the odds on Jody Fortson to score a touchdown at +550. Are there Cardinals who may be worth putting down a few dollars?
It is not quite the same juice, but I like A.J. Green at +300.
While James Conner is likely the player getting touches on the goal line, we know that Moore has big-play abilities that allow him to score from anywhere on the field.
Green, meanwhile, has some size and skill that has always played well… if he remembers to turn around.
4) When everyone is healthy, the Cardinals’ offense looks loaded. How high up in the offensive ranks do you think the team will end up?
I believe they can finish inside the top 10 — and flirt with the top five — if they stay healthy for a season.
They have talent all over the offense now — and when DeAndre Hopkins gets back, it could be one of the more dynamic offenses in the NFL. The key to everything is keeping a good (not great) offensive line healthy and making sure they keep Kyler Murray healthy for the season.
If those things happen, with the depth they have at wide receiver, they should be able to produce at a high level.
The other nagging point… they may not have a good defense with all the injuries they are dealing with, which may make their offense even better.
5) Some predictions, please?
Score prediction for Sunday: Chiefs 34 Cardinals 30
How the Cardinals season will go: 10-7 with a Wild Card win. A loss to the Packers in the Divisional round.