A glance at the top storylines for the Cardinals-Buccaneers game Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium:
**Tackle. Please, just tackle
For all the issues the Cardinals' defense had in the opener, and there were a few, it's hard not to get a sense that – even if everything else stayed exactly the same, including Brandon Williams' mistake on the Hogan touchdown bomb – if the Cards had just tackled soundly, they would have won. They had opportunities, and too often there were crucial yards after contact. Players like Deone Bucannon and Tyrann Mathieu did not look like their normal selves in this regard. The Cards know they need to clean it up, and if they do, the defense will be in a much better place.
Wrassling with the Brandon Williams situation
No way to get around it: Rookie Brandon Williams will be found by opponents. As Williams said, telling him teams are going to pick on him is like telling him there is a game Sunday. It's obvious. The Cards and Williams are going to have to make it work. As fellow CB Patrick Peterson said, "He has to take the bull by the horns, and wrassle with it." Williams has the mental makeup to withstand the pressure. But the Bucs have both Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. Peterson can't cover both. Williams will be in the spotlight once again.
A receiving corps we remember
Larry Fitzgerald was outstanding in the opener and Jaron Brown was praised for a couple of key plays. But Arians was disappointed in the rest of the receiving crew, and the Cards need more from both Michael Floyd and Smokey Brown. Floyd had a nice start, but later couldn't hold on to a TD pass it looked like he might have brought in and got lost in the defense the Patriots played. Brown just looked rusty after missing almost all of camp, unable to get open. The Cards need both players to pop, because Fitzgerald is going to start drawing more and more attention as he goes.
More CJ2K, and the same David Johnson
Play David Johnson less? That's what Arians said this week. As well as the second-year running back played, however, it's tough to do. It'll be about how much he's actually touching the ball and where the game is, I'd think. But Arians also said he'd like to get Chris Johnson more work and that makes a lot of sense – CJ2K did perform well last year before he got hurt and he knows how to grind yards with his experience. One key is more sustained drives. If the Cardinals get the number of plays they should – more like 80 than 60 – there are more chances for everyone.
Understand the urgency
The math isn't good for 0-2 teams. Only about 12 percent of teams that start 0-2 reach the postseason. Now, that number usually correlates – most 0-2 teams were bad to begin with – but the Cards after their upset loss are staring that possibility in the face. The Cardinals haven't been 0-2 since 2005. In a season where so much is expected, now's not the time to break their streak.