The three biggest things to watch for Sunday when the Cardinals play the Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.:
Taking Offense To The Jets
The Cardinals are trying to find their consistent footing on offense. Kyler Murray isn't concerned that the loss in Carolina was anything but a hiccup. The Cards, save for tight end Maxx Williams, are healthy on offense and due for a big day. Murray this week talked about having the offense and defense complement one another during games, but if that groove could be found within the offense itself – either Kenyan Drake or Chase Edmonds causing a ruckus in the run game, balancing Murray's passing and occasional own QB keepers – it would echo back to what the Cards seem to find at the end of last season and even earlier in this one. The unit has too much talent to ever look discombobulated, especially in a season where offenses rule the NFL.
The last time Chandler Jones was at MetLife Stadium, he piled up four sacks against the Giants. Different team, same venue. And perhaps an opening. The Jets have offensive line injuries and issues, and everyone has been waiting for Jones to get untracked. Flacco, save for a brief appearance last week, hasn't played in a game since Oct. 27, 2019. He was never known as a master of pocket manipulation anyway, and the Jets' receiving corps has been crushed by injury. If Jones or any of the other pass rushers can do just what they had done up until the Carolina trip, they can do some damage.
Tempo N Energy (And COVID?)
Friday morning's news that the coronavirus could impact the Cards' road trip is just another curveball into a long journey that the Cards didn't handle well last week in a Friday-departure trip to Carolina. Overall, the Cards have had two games in a row where they have talked about the need to generate more of their own energy, something that was vividly apparent early in their game against the Panthers. They have to travel even further cross country now and play an opponent who is reeling from injury and poor play. Finding that adrenaline on their own is crucial. If the Cardinals can get a big play or two early, and translate that into tempo – getting the Jets on their heels – it will be easier to build each.