CARDINALS AT TITANS
- 10 a.m. Sunday
- Nissan Stadium, Nashville
- Line: Cardinals +3 (For more details see BetMGM.com)
The three biggest things to watch for Sunday when the Cardinals play the Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville:
An Overthrow Of King Henry
The Cardinals are going to have to make it work with their cornerback situation against the Titans' titanic receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones. But they have to find a way to slow running back Derrick Henry too, the man who Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph said is the key to slowing the Titans' offense. Henry, at 6-foot-3 and 238 pounds, is a mountain of a man that requires team tackling. The last thing the Cardinals want to face is the Titans in a ton of third-and-2, third-and-3, third-and-4 situations, where they can turn to the battering ram that is Henry or go to a dangerous play-action game.
Kyler's 10th Play And Beyond
The less-than-impressive nine snaps with the first-unit offense and quarterback Kyler Murray in the preseason have been a topic of conversation. Murray was not concerned, knowing he will be ready for the opener. But his performance in Nashville will dictate the storylines – if Murray indeed plays well, he will have earned the right to stand on his process. If he struggles, the preseason plan will be brought up again. Murray did improve as camp progressed. He is proven as a Pro Bowl quarterback. The Titans, who have made some improvements, are not a great defense. It's a big year for Murray, and he has the tools to make it great. Now is when he shows that.
Zaven And Isaiah – And Hicks
Since the day he was drafted, the Cardinals tabbed Zaven Collins to start at inside linebacker, alongside second-year man Isaiah Simmons. Jordan Hicks was sent to second-string. Drama ensued. But months later, the first game looms, and Hicks remains an important part of the defense – especially this week, when extra size (and Simmons' versatility) might be crucial against an offense with Henry. Yet, it'll be the play of Collins and Simmons that will dictate how the defense is viewed this week. Can they stay disciplined enough to slow the running game and not get killed in play-action? Mistakes will be made. The Cards just can't have too many.