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Good INTentions When Dobbs Throws, And Friday Before The 49ers

Joshua Dobbs knows he can't fumble twice in a close game.

"If we just didn't turn over the ball twice that game outcome could have been a little bit different," Dobbs said of the Washington game in Week 1.

But since then, Dobbs hasn't turned it over. And he has yet to throw an interception in three games, a big reason the Cardinals have been so competitive.

(And before anyone writes me, no I don't believe in jinxes and yes, a defense as good as the 49ers could very well get an interception this Sunday. It will have nothing to do with this article.)

"I just try to take care of the football," Dobbs said. "I try to go where my reads tell me. As you (media) have probably seen, it's not like we're out there playing scared. We're letting it rip. We're playing good football. I understand turnovers are part of the game, but my job as quarterback is to keep those as low as possible and none if possible."

The Cardinals are a plus-three in turnovers this season, going a plus-one in each game. That will help teams to victories more often than not. Interceptions can be a QB stat, but there are a lot that go into them – Thursday night, for example, Green Bay's Jordan Love threw a pick right to a Detroit defender when his receiver broke off his route and improvised, and Love threw the ball where the receiver was supposed to be. Tipped balls happen too.

But Dobbs is off to a good start because he has made the right decisions when throwing. The offense – and the Cardinals – have benefitted, and they need to do the same against the powerhouse 49ers.

"The ball is so important," Dobbs said. "It holds your dreams, your goals, your aspirations of not only me as a player, but literally every single person in this organization. We take care of the football, the people that make our lunch, they keep their jobs."

OK, maybe a little dramatic. But point taken.

-- The Cardinals are off to a solid start this season but a team is only going to be able to overcome so many key injuries. And here they are yet again dealing with some rough stuff. Defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter won't play Sunday with a finger injury, meaning the team's top four defensive linemen will now all have missed at least one of the first four games this season (and L.J. Collier and Carlos Watkins, on IR, are going to miss many, many more.)

Hollywood Brown hurt his thumb in practice Thursday, but he was back at practice Friday and while his thumb was wrapped seemed to be going through normal work in the open portion. Officially he's questionable but the Cardinals have to be hopeful he'll play. Backup running back Keontay Ingram did not practice with a neck issue and while he's also questionable, there is a logical fix in he can't go, moving veteran Corey Clement – who had a good preseason – up from the practice squad.

-- Kicker Matt Prater continues to impress even in his 17th season. He's made 8-of-9 field goals, and he now has two 62-yard field goals in his three seasons with the Cardinals. In franchise history, there have only been two other kickers to make a 60-yard field goal: Chandler Catanzaro (60 yards in 2016 at Buffalo) and Jay Feely (61 in 2012 at home against Buffalo).

-- Dobbs had a 69-yard pass and a 44-yard rush last week against the Cowboys. Dating back to 1940, the only other Cardinal to have a 60-yard pass and 40-yard run in a game was M.C. Reynolds in 1958.

-- Rookie wide receiver Michael Wilson has only seven catches, but he has 161 yards, thanks to that 69-yarder against the Cowboys. That's 23 yards a catch. And at this early stage he has more receiving yardage than DeAndre Hopkins does in Tennessee.

-- The Cardinals have already had eight rushing plays that have gained at least 20 yards this season, most in the NFL. They only had nine such rushing attempts all last season. On the other side, the 49ers have given up just 53 yards a game rushing on average.

-- The Cardinals, for the first time in a regular-season game, will wear their white-on-white uniform combo.

-- The all-red uniform – plus cleats – of running back James Conner that he wore in the win over the Cowboys, is currently on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton in part to show off the team's new threads.

-- The explosive plays, which the Cardinals have used to a major advantage thus far, are hard to come by against the Niners. In three games, they have only allowed two running plays to gain at least 10 yards. They have only given up three pass plays of at least 20 yards.

-- I do not know what is going on with Chandler Jones, but I enjoyed covering him as a player and person and hope he gets the help he needs.

-- Every year Conner Orr at Sports Illustrated puts together a list of assistant coaches that seem to be trending as potential head coaches someday. The list is long – 36 names – but when most staffs have 20 or so coaches these days, it still is notable. Perhaps more notable for the Cardinals is that even with the relative inexperience of the staff, Orr named five Arizona assistants has being possible head coaches at some point. The list:

  • Offensive coordinator Drew Petzing
  • Defensive coordinator Nick Rallis
  • Offensive line coach Klayton Adams
  • Wide receivers coach/pass game coordinator Drew Terrell
  • Pass game specialist Spencer Whipple

-- Finally, with Kyler Murray eligible to come off the PUP list for the first time on Monday, GM Monti Ossenfort was asked about Murray's timetable during an appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7.

"We're getting closer to that time when he's going to be able to go out there and join his teammates in practice," Ossenfort said. "When he's ready to do that, we won't hesitate to do that.

"We can see a light where we're heading. I don't think we're quite ready to announce when that's going to be but we are very pleased with Kyler's progress."

See you Sunday.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Joshua Dobbs (9) during the Week 3 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Sep 24, 2023 in Glendale, AZ.