Monday High 5: Cardinals Enjoy the Bittersweet Sensation of Beating the Jets

Matthew JohnsonOctober 12, 2020
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The Week 5 matchup for the Arizona Cardinals came at the perfect time for a team that had lost two straight games with listless performances. Acting like a vulture circling Met Life Stadium, the Cards picked a win off the dead carcass that is the New York Jets football team. Let’s swoop and dive into our biggest takeaways from Sunday’s 30-10 win.

Chandler Jones is likely out for the season.

Most of the takeaways from the Cardinals win over the Jets have to start with the base level knowledge that New York is the worst team in the NFL and very easily could go winless this season. However, that doesn’t make the injury to pass rusher Chandler Jones any more less real. Jones suffered a possible season-ending biceps injury and was replaced at outside linebacker by Dennis Gardeck – who played a monster game and recorded two sacks.

Big Takeaway: While Jones’ injury is a blow to the Cardinals defense, the unit has struggled to rush the passer all season despite Jones drawing double-teams. Opposing offensive coordinators will likely not need to reinvent the wheel unless Gardeck proves to be too much to handle. If he is, we look forward to seeing more of this sack dance!

Cardinals learn to trust their offensive line.

Kenyan Drake, Chase Edmonds and Kyler Murray chewed up 127 yards on the ground, often running up the middle or off the tackle instead of the wide sweeping style of plays we’ve seen in recent weeks. The trio also combined for three rushing touchdowns, including a 29-yard scamper for Edmonds, his fourth career TD at MetLife Stadium.

Big Takeaway: It’s amazing what happens when you trust your offensive line. The group helped the Cardinals set franchise records for average yards per rush in 2019 and the offense should continue to lean on it for good results in 2020.

DeAndre Hopkins can do it all.

Hopkins was a bit quiet in the Week 4 loss at Carolina, but he busted back out in a big way against the Jets – 6 catches for 131 yards and a stunning 45-yard touchdown catch he made one-handed. That play showed how much of a deep threat he can be, and not simply a possession receiver who runs short routes.

Big Takeaway: Simply throw it up to Hopkins. Go short, go middle, go long, whatever you throw near him, he’s going to catch it. It’s probably a trust thing right now, and Murray is learning to trust his superstar receiver more.

Kyler Murray partially unleashed.

The Cardinals second-year quarterback threw for a career-high 380 passing yards and had a few designed runs that proved to be effective, including a goal-line touchdown run. It was quietly a dominant performance, but it can still be improved upon.

Big Takeaway: The biggest aggravation I have right now is watching Murray sit in the pocket too long.  He needs to make opposing defenses nervous with the threat of his legs by running more and using his speed to roll out of the pocket instead of sitting in it.

Lakers win a tournament.

I’m sure there’s plenty of things to say about the Los Angeles Lakers winning their 17th NBA championship, but no one here in Phoenix wants to hear about it. Maybe its jealousy, anger, fandom or a combination of everything – but it feels gross to see LeBron James win a title with a third team.

Big Takeaway: There wasn’t much doubt about who would win the NBA Finals once the season started, so it was largely a year-long predicable outcome, which isn’t fun for anyone outside of L.A.

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