The Cardinals haven’t played the Chiefs in four years, but only need to rewind the clock six weeks for a taste of their offensive scheme.
Former Kansas City offensive coordinator Matt Nagy took the Bears’ job in January and has instituted many of the concepts he learned under Chiefs coach Andy Reid.
The Cardinals lost to the Bears, 16-14, in Week 3, but the defense held up nicely. Chicago gained 316 yards in the contest and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was 24-of-35 for 220 yards and an interception. The Cardinals sacked Trubisky three times and handled Nagy’s misdirection plays.
The Chiefs are more explosive – they lead the league in scoring – but the Cardinals at least have a blueprint with which to work.
“You can draw off of those experiences,” defensive coordinator Al Holcomb said. “You can look at the game tape from the Chicago game and see where we can improve and do some things a little bit better, because there are some similar concepts.”
While the Bears weren’t considered an offensive juggernaut heading into that Week 3 affair, in retrospect, the Cardinals’ performance looks impressive. Chicago has scored 34.4 points per game in its five subsequent games and is fifth in the NFL in scoring.
Slowing down the Chiefs is still going to be a monumental challenge, but the familiarity could be a boost.