Arizona Cardinals Home: The official source of the latest Cardinals headlines, news, videos, photos, tickets, rosters and game day information

Cardinals Anxious To Turn Page Against Jets

After postponement fears, game scheduled to be played on time

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk in a regular season game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, October 4, 2020.
Wide receiver Christian Kirk and the Cardinals' passing game will aim to get on track against the Jets.

Time can feel like it's moving in slow motion when things are going poorly, and indeed, it was a long week for the Cardinals after last Sunday's loss to the Panthers.

Thankfully, the chance to flip the script has not been delayed further.

A presumptive positive COVID-19 test for the Jets on Friday brought fears of a possible Week 5 postponement, but all systems seem to be a go for Sunday morning's start, which is music to coach Kliff Kingsbury's ears.

 "All of us," Kingsbury said, "want to get back on the field."

After a 2-0 start, the Cardinals are back at .500 following losses to the Lions and Panthers. While turnovers were to blame against Detroit, the Cardinals were outplayed by Carolina.

Quarterback Kyler Murray said this week that it felt like the Panthers simply wanted the victory more, and tight end Dan Arnold said it was gut-check time.

While the results won't come until Sunday, Kingsbury was encouraged by a focused week of practice.

"It felt like guys were, obviously, disappointed with the performance and how we played, and practiced more competitively," Kingsbury said. "I thought guys were into it. Great communication. We'll see if it translates, but it's a prideful group, and they know what happened last Sunday was unacceptable in a lot of areas."

The Jets come into the game 0-4, as whispers about coach Adam Gase's job security have made way to screams. To make matters worse, they will not have starting quarterback Sam Darnold, who is out with a shoulder injury.

The Jets are expected to have star running back Le'Veon Bell on the field against the Cardinals following a three-week absence because of a hamstring injury. New York is also not turning to an unproven backup quarterback, as longtime Ravens starter Joe Flacco will be under center.

"We're very aware that Joe Flacco is a real guy," defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said. "He's been a starting quarterback in this league for a long time and won a lot of games."

The Cardinals won't have outside linebacker Devon Kennard (calf) on defense, and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips (illness) is questionable, but Pro Bowl safety Budda Baker returns after a one-week absence.

The Cardinals' offense is in good health, but struggled in Week 4 as Murray averaged just 4.3 yards per pass attempt. Kingsbury would like to improve the vertical passing game and a rushing attack that has been inconsistent this season outside of Murray's dazzling exploits.

The team is also hoping to avoid a slow start like in Carolina, where it faced an early 14-0 hole.

"We have to come out and play at a high level from the get-go," cornerback Patrick Peterson said. "We can't come out feeling out the New York Jets. We have to come out playing with our hair on fire."

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald called this a “must-win” matchup, and it certainly seems like a pivotal game on the calendar.

The Jets are winless and bereft of talent in several places. The Cardinals seemed on a fantastic trajectory through two games, only to dip greatly since then.

A loss would be painful. An easy win would restore confidence.

"We still haven't played nearly where we should," Peterson said. "This is a great opportunity for us to go on the road, showcase our talents and get this thing back on a roll."

Images from the Cardinals' Friday departure to the East Coast, presented by Gila River Hotels & Casinos