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Byron Murphy, Cardinals Ready For Adams Test In Las Vegas

Pass defense will be under microscope in battle of 0-1 teams

Cornerback Byron Murphy knows the Cardinals have a tough task defending Davante Adams on Sunday in Las Vegas.
Cornerback Byron Murphy knows the Cardinals have a tough task defending Davante Adams on Sunday in Las Vegas.

Byron Murphy Jr. hears the chatter about their secondary. So does Marco Wilson.

Neither care for the outside noise. They believe in each other and say recent criticism has only made the cornerback room closer.

After the Cardinals (0-1) gave up 360 passing yards and five touchdowns to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in Week 1, they hope to bounce back against the Raiders (0-1) Sunday at Allegiant Stadium.

"We have to hone in on the details," Murphy said. "We want to be the best DB group in the NFL and have another opportunity on Sunday. As a group, we can do it, we just have to put our minds together and play our game."

"The fix is on us," Wilson added. "We just need to execute. That will lead to a successful game."

The Raiders have an impressive pass offense similar to the Chiefs. Derek Carr isn't Mahomes, but he is still a talented quarterback. They also have Davante Adams, arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL.

Adams had 10 catches for 141 receiving yards on 17 targets, third-most in his career and highest of any receiver for Week 1, in his Raiders debut. That's just a small sample size for the five-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro.

Dating back to 2016, Adams has accomplished the following: more touchdown receptions (70) than any other player in the NFL; five seasons of 10+ TD receptions, and joins Buccaneers' Julio Jones and Cardinals' DeAndre Hopkins as the only NFL players with three seasons of 1,300+ passing yards.

Kliff Kingsbury said special wideouts like Adams require mixed coverages for better chance of success. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is looking for a focused effort.

"Outside of Stefon Diggs in Buffalo, he is probably the best route runner in the league," Joseph said. "Those kinds of guys win their one-on-ones. Having a plan to get him stopped and doubled from time to time will be critical.

"It's going to be a tough task to get him contained. And I say contained, not stopped, because you don't stop those guys, you contain them. Hopefully, we can."

The Cardinals also must deal with tight end Darren Waller and slot receiver Hunter Renfrew, two Pro Bowlers from last season as well. But slowing down Adams is the top priority.

"He's one of the best," Murphy said. "It's actually going to be my first time going against him. But my mindset is to play my game and treat him like he's another receiver."

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