The three biggest things to watch for Sunday when the Cardinals play the Bills at State Farm Stadium:
My QB Is Better Than Your QB
Kyler Murray, in Year 2, is setting himself up to be part of the MVP race – something that had been discussed as a possibility all offseason. Murray is playing excellent football. But the Cards now face Josh Allen, the Bills QB who had already been part of the MVP discussion and who shredded the Seahawks a week ago. The way this is all trending, the Cardinals are going to have the edge in quarterback in many of the games they play. But it's fair to consider this one a toss-up. Murray can't play much better than he did last game and the Cardinals still fell, emphasizing how much of a team game this really is. But the Cards need Murray to outplay Allen to get them in position to have a chance.
No Secondary Concerns
Remember that five-man secondary the Cardinals were happy to have coming out of training camp? Patrick Peterson, Dre Kirkpatrick and Byron Murphy at cornerback, Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson at safety? Save for the first two defensive plays of the season, the five haven't played in a game together until – fingers crossed – Sunday against the Bills. Yes, Baker has a groin issue and Kirkpatrick a thigh. But this is the group the Cards have been waiting for, and it's at a good time. The Bills go four receivers deep and can kill a team through the air. After last week, when Kirkpatrick and Murphy were out and the coverage holes were apparent, the Cardinals' defense needs a bounce-back game. Having the right personnel is a step in the correct direction.
From Worst (Feeling) To First (Place Opponent)
Kyler Murray said he doesn't want the Cardinals to "get used to this cycle of losing, then being underdogs and being hyped," only to fall short against a good team again. There is no question the Dolphins game was one that got away. But now the Cards face the first-place Bills, and it won't take the 4,200 fans to rev them up. This is the front end of a difficult two-fer, facing the Bills and then traveling to Seattle for a Thursday night game. The last time the Cards were this upset, they had lost to the Panthers and bounced back with a decisive win in Dallas. Of course, the Bills are definitely not the Cowboys. This is the kind of game that can define a season.