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Ari @ Was-Sporting News Ultimate Match Ups PART 2


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When the Cardinals Have the Ball

The Redskins defense finished in the bottom half of the league in run defense last year, but free-agent acquisitions Daryl Gardener at defensive tackle and linebackers, Jeremiah Trotter and Jessie Armstead should make it very difficult for running back Thomas Jones. Jones, who lacks great size but does a good job of picking up yards after contact, has had a solid preseason and he appears ready to assume the starting responsibilities.

With the loss of right tackle Anthony Clement for the season to a torn triceps muscle, Arizona coaches are shifting massive guard Leonard Davis outside. The Cardinals should run behind Davis and left guard Pete Kendall. Both players are excellent run blockers, and Gardener is nursing a bad back. With fullback Joes Makovica leading the way, Jones should have some success between the tackles.

While wide receiver David Boston is a dominant No. 1 receiver, No. 2 wide receiver Frank Sanders should struggle against cornerback Champ Bailey. Bailey arguable is the best cover corner in the league and he should be able to take Sanders out of the game without any help from the safeties. New coordinator Marvin Lewis’ line stunts and constant blitzing also will make it difficult for quarterback Jake Plummer to go through his progressions.

With the Redskins pressure and Sanders likely struggling to produce, new tight end Freddie Jones will have to be a factor over the middle. Jones is coming off of a 2001 season in San Diego marred by injuries, but hi is capable of making big plays. This is an improved Arizona passing attack with Jones in the lineup.

When the Redskins Have the Ball

Although new coach Steve Spurrier’s offense will be a far cry from the one Marty Schottenheimer ran a year ago, RB Stephen Davis will still be an important part of this team. Spurrier will spread the field with multiple-receiver sets to create running lanes for Davis.

Third-year SS Adrian Wilson is an emerging superstar and a force against the run. But with the Redskins spreading the field, defensive coordinator Larry Marmie will have a tough time walking Wilson up to the line of scrimmage. And although, MLB Ronald McKinnon shows great range against the run, he does not have ideal strength and Stephen Davis does a good job of breaking tackles in the open field.

In addition, the Cardinals have failed to sign first-round draft pick Wendell Bryant, further weakening this run defense. While Stephen Davis might not get as many carries in this offense, he should be very effective against Arizona.

Although Arizona has made improvements in its secondary and is a well-coached team, Spurrier will have an excellent opportunity to show the league what his offense can do. The Redskins multiple-receiver sets will expose the Cardinal’s lack of depth in the secondary—rookie seventh-round pick Renaldo Hill will be the team’s nickel back.

With FS Kwamie Lassiter and Wilson patrolling the middle of the field, Spurrier won’t take many chances deep; especially since both QB Shane Matthews and Danny Wuerffel have a tendency to let their deep passes sail. Instead, the Redskins will look to get the ball to their receivers quickly and then allow them to make something happen after the catch.

One thing Spurrier shouldn’t have to worry about is the Cardinal’s pressure. With the Cardinal’s lack of depth in the secondary, Marmie likely won’t blitz often, and LT Chris Samuels should neutralize the Cardinals’ best pass-rushing threat in DE Kyle Vanden Bosch.

PART 3—Individual Match Ups and Game Prediction


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Can't help but think the Cardinals inability to sign those rookies isn't going to come back and bite them squarely on the.... If this game even comes close to how this article says it will, then it will do so right out of the gate. S.S. has to like the idea of a 7th rounder playing nickle back. Cards go tho that formation I'm standing up! :D The lack of pressure by the defense could mean a good day for Shane and company. It would also appear that their strength against the running game is questionable. Could be we see 2 questions answered tomorow. can the kins oline run block and can S.S. and Mathews pass in this league. Thanks for the effort blondie. :cheers:

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Why is this guy's assumption that the WR-CB matchups when we're playing defense will be Boston-Smoot and Sanders-Bailey? Frankly, if history is any guide, Bailey-Boston will be the way the pairing goes.

Besides, I thought I read an article saying that Lewis wasn't going to reveal whether he'd match our guys up on a given WR all game long, or whether he'd assign them to one-half of the field.

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Originally posted by TXfbluvr

Third-year SS Adrian Wilson is an emerging superstar and a force against the run. But with the Redskins spreading the field, defensive coordinator Larry Marmie will have a tough time walking Wilson up to the line of scrimmage.

You missed a paragraph:


Marmie may have a tough time walking Wilson onto the field at all, due to the fact that Wilson will be in street clothes on the sideline, thanks to an injured shoulder. "That's one of the toughest aspects of working Wilson into our gameplan," admitted Marmie.


Way to go, Sporting News.

Cardinals | Wilson Sits - from KFFL (http://nfl.kffl.com)

September 2, 2002 19:07:36 PT AzCardinals.com reports Arizona Cardinals S Adrian Wilson (shoulder) missed practice Monday. He is probably still 2-4 weeks away from a return to the team.

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