Skip to main content

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

Five To Watch: #TBvsAZ

A look at the top storylines for Sunday's game


Five things to watch for in the Cardinals-Buccaneers game Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium:

A new running game, All Day long

The important numbers are these: 2.6 and 32. The Cardinals are averaging, as a team, 2.6 yards a carry this season through five games, last in the NFL. The hope is that running back Adrian Peterson – 32 years old – still has enough to make a dent in that problem. Peterson arrives with not much production himself in limited carries with the Saints this season, but he still has plenty of confidence he'll produce if given the carries. The Cardinals need something to spark the offense. It will help if the offensive line gets some pieces back, but all eyes will be on All Day.

More line, less offensive

Again, the hope is that the Cardinals will have a chance to have left tackle D.J. Humphries in the lineup, and left guard Alex Boone. There's a chance the Cards make a move at right guard, after Evan Boehm started there the first five games. It's on to whatever Bruce Arians can do to adjust an offensive line that has not played well thus far. It's not just the running game that needs something more stout up front; the Cardinals are still in search of better protection for quarterback Carson Palmer.

Third-down lockdown

The Cardinals had their issues defending third downs last week in Philadelphia, and it became a fatal flaw. On the year, the Cards are 22nd in the league in third-down defense, allowing 42.1 percent conversions. Only two teams have allowed more than the 32 the Cardinals have given up. And it's not just that teams convert on third downs, it's that they are doing it much too often in long situations, situations that should heavily favor the Cardinals. The offense needs to do more to keep the defense off the field, but the Cardinals' defense could help themselves in that area with more consistent third-down stops.

Getting to Winston

The NFL is year-to-year, so last year's 40-7 stomping of the Bucs at University of Phoenix Stadium doesn't mean much for Sunday – but it's hard not to notice the problems the Cards gave Tampa quarterback Jameis Winston last season. The Cardinals intercepted Winston four times and sacked him three times, a defensive showing the Cards have yet to have this season. The turnovers especially have been slow to come, but Winston is a risk-taker. The Cardinals need to use that to their advantage.

A walkoff before London

The Cardinals are about to go to London, in fact Monday evening. It'll be a long week as the team must get acclimated to a new time eight hours ahead prior to a crucial NFC West game against the Rams. Heading over the pond for the week will be much easier sporting a .500 record and life within the division rather than 2-4. A home game against an NFC team was important anyway, but jump-starting the week would be nice.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content