Game Overview ::
By hilow >>
- Cardinals are set up to dominate from start to finish in the likeliest game flow
- The most intrigue comes from Kyler Murray (naked) and Cardinals receivers that can return value with moderate volume (Rondale Moore and Christian Kirk)
- Marvin Jones, Jr. has asserted himself as the lead wide receiver for the Jaguars, a noticeable development playing on a team with the highest situation-neutral pass rate in the league over the first two weeks
- Laviska Shenault, Jr. get-right week? I’m intrigued…
- Hefty net-adjusted sack rate for the Cardinals defense keeps them squarely in play against the team with the highest situation-neutral pass rate
How arizona Will Try To Win ::
The Cardinals 58% situation-neutral pass rate in 2021 remains right in line with their 56% rate from 2020. Their pace of play also has remained sticky from a year ago, leading the league in situation-neutral pace of play at 27.14 seconds per play, and coming in second overall in pace of play at 25.06 (both of those values jockey with the Cowboys for clear tops in the league, over a full second faster than the next closest team). We’ve seen an absolutely torrid start to the season from this offense, scoring the second-most points per game over the first two weeks at 36.0, a full 10.4 points per game more than they scored in 2020 (ranked 14th in 2020). The bulk of that success has come in the form of downfield passing. While quarterback Kyler Murray holds a pedestrian 5.4 intended air yards per pass attempt value, he has attempted the third-most passes of 20+ yards and tied for the most of 30+ yards downfield to start the year, all on just the 18th most pass attempts. So, while the offense appears to operate via the same horizontally-spread principles, the addition of rookie wide receiver Rondale Moore and strong performances from Christian Kirk have this offense operating in a highly efficient manner. What this team really needs to improve upon is second half production (which was also an issue last season and should be attributed to coaching and play-calling tendencies) as the Cardinals have scored 14 and 10 points in the second half of their two games to start the year, compared to 24 points in the first half of each game.
The matchup with the Jaguars yields a moderate 4.26 net-adjusted line yards metric, but the Cardinals really operate with three extensions of the run game: a straight-ahead, power run game through Chase Edmonds and James Conner, the short passing game through DeAndre Hopkins and AJ Green, and the threat of Kyler Murray’s legs. When you then consider the heavy spread nature of the offense, you get a run game that appears highly efficient on paper. Arizona’s 4.4 average yards per rush attempt ranks 13th in the NFL to start the year behind what is, by all metrics, a poor run-blocking offensive line. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury and staff are doing a far better job at keeping defenses off balance to start the year, with a balanced 54% early-down pass rate and moderate 73% pass rate on third down. Lead back Chase Edmonds has seen opportunity counts of 16 and 13 to start the year, with James Conner checking in at 16 and eight, with both yet to find the end zone. The big picture here is that we should continue to expect a split workload (somewhere around 60/40 to 65/35) between these two backs, while Kyler Murray continues to operate as the primary red zone threat on the ground (a rushing score in consecutive weeks to start the season).
DeAndre Hopkins’ 8.9 aDOT from a year ago has bumped to 10.5 to start the season, but he is still being used primarily in a possession role as an extension of the run game. His 0.97 average air yards per snap rank in the bottom quarter of the league and his 4.0 average yards after the catch rank in the bottom 40%, indicating that not much has changed in this regard. AJ Green has garnered the starting perimeter wide receiver role opposite Nuk to start the year, playing only 14 fewer snaps over the first two weeks. His 8.7 aDOT, 3.4 average yards after the catch, 41.7% catch rate, and 0.99 average air yards per snap rank towards the bottom of the league, indicating a low upside role. The real intrigue comes in the form of the downfield and YAC threats: Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore. Kirk’s 17.1 aDOT is top 5% in the league while Moore’s 13.0 average yards after the catch value is the top mark in the league. Against a defense with a good deal of new faces and complex scheme, each can do hefty damage on moderate volume here. Tight end Maxx Williams has 74% or more of the offensive snaps each week but has seen only eight combined targets to start the year.
How jacksonville Will Try To Win ::
The Jaguars absolutely baffled me in Week 1 when they came out and allowed their rookie quarterback to sling it around all day in his first NFL game. They proceeded to attack in the same manner in Week 2, ending the week with the highest situation-neutral pass rate in the league. The team currently operates at the league’s sixth-fastest pace of play at 26.18 seconds per play and holds the league’s 29th-ranked drive success rate on the backs of an abysmal 50% completion rate from rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
The matchup on the ground yields a surprisingly high 4.62 net-adjusted line yards metric but the Jags have run the ball a league-low 16.0 times per game and execute a gross-for-fantasy 65/35 split in opportunities between James Robinson and Carlos Hyde. Really nothing to see here.
Things get a little interesting when we get to the Jaguars passing game as Lawrence has thrown the sixth-most passes over the first two weeks. When we factor in the likely fast pace of this game with the high likelihood of Jacksonville playing from behind, we are left with a clear path to upwards of 40-50 pass attempts here. Now consider the heavy 11-personnel rates, the fact that their starting tight end is on the IR, and they’ve only fed 13 of 84 combined targets to the running back position, and we’re left with an interesting case to be made for one (or more) of Marvin Jones, Jr., Laviska Shenault, Jr., or DJ Chark, Jr. to see double-digit targets against a burnable secondary.
Likeliest Game Flow ::
We’ve seen the Cardinals start games fast this season and we should expect them to do just that against an inferior opponent on both sides of the ball. A year after surrendering 30.8 points per game, the Jaguars have allowed 30.0 points per game to open the 2021 season, ceding a 70.15% completion rate and 295.5 passing yards per game along the way. Basically, the Cardinals should have no problem moving the ball against a defense allowing the 13th most yards per drive and points per drive in the NFL. The Jaguars are also one of only two teams yet to generate a turnover on defense. When we get to the Jaguars offensive side of the ball, it’s hard to envision this team being able to take advantage of a weakened secondary. Arizona’s top-rated pass rush should cause numerous disruptive plays against an offense with the league’s highest situation-neutral pass rate, creating the opportunity for turnovers and short fields. In all, this game should be dominated by the Cardinals from start to finish. Although it doesn’t warrant a full tributary breakdown, there is the chance for this game to play to a back-and-forth, shootout type contest should the Jaguars finally click on offense primarily due to their heavy pass rates, and the lightning quick combined pace of play from both teams (first and sixth overall). Should that transpire, all skill players gain increased intrigue.
DFS+ Interpretation ::
By LexMiraglia10 >>
- ARI scored 27+ in 8/16 games in 2020, and have scored 38 & 34 to start 2021
- JAC has allowed 37 & 23 points to HOU & DEN
- Kyler Murray DK pts in games with final totals of 50+ pts: 24.12 // 28.92 // 41.1 // 41.92 // 30.9 // 18.42 // 38.14 // 34.56 // 38.1
- QBs vs JAC: Tyrod Taylor (291:2, 40 rush yds) // Teddy Bridgewater (328:2)
- Kyler’s first two games: (289:4:1, 20 rush yds, TD) // (400:3:2, 31 rush yds, TD)
- JAC has the 5th worst defensive pass DVOA through two weeks
- Routes: Hop (35, 40) // Green (32, 35) // Kirk (23, 30) // Moore (14, 24)
- Targets: Hop (8, 4) // Green (6, 6) // Kirk (5, 4) // Moore (5, 8)
- ADOT: Hop (10.92) // Green (8.75) // Kirk (17.22) // Moore (4.8)
- Yards: Hop (83, 54) // Green (25, 44) // Kirk (70, 65) // Moore (68, 114)
- WRs vs JAC: Cooks (5:132), Amendola (5:34:1) // Sutton (9:159), Patrick (3:37:1)
- Of Moore’s 182 yds, 95 have come on two ridiculous Kyler Murray scrambles turned broken play big gains (So not within structure) (Moore’s speed keeps him alive in these scramble drill situations)
- With ARI, Hopkins has 9 games of 20+ DK pts: 8 came in Wins, and in 6 ARI scored 30+ pts
- Hopkins has surpassed 30 DK pts just twice with ARI (32.1, 34.0)
- Williams has run 22 & 24 routes, being targeted once & seven times
- Williams 94 yds last week were a career high (had never broke 60 before)
- JAC vs TEs: Pharaoh Brown (4:67) // Noah Fant (4:33:1), Albert O (4:24)
- 2020: Edmonds was under 10 att in every game except two (25, 11), and Drake missed the one he received 25
- Edmonds has 12 & 8 att in the first two games of 2021 (Conner with 16 & 8)
- Edmonds caught 3+ passes in 11/16 games in 2020
- Edmonds has 4 & 5 rec in the first two games of 2021
- Edmonds has gained a very efficient 109 yds on 20 rush att (+ 9 rec for 72 yds)
- Edmonds has 14.6 & 12.5 DK pts without a TD in 2021
- JAC allowed 120 rush yds, 2 TD (+ a rec TD) to HOU RBs, and 95 rush yds, 48 rec yds to DEN RBs
- ARI pressured TEN all day, leading to a poor outing from Tannehill, but was picked apart by Cousins for 244 yds, 3 TD
- Lawrence has gone 332:3:3 in his first start vs HOU, and 118:1:2 vs a tough DEN defense
- 638 Home Dog QBs since 2014 have hit expected points (determined by salary) just 45.5% of the time (79 of 638 scores of 26+ DK pts)
- WRs vs ARI: Brown (4:49:1), Julio (3:29), Rogers (4:62) // Jefferson (6:65:1), Thielen (6:39:1), Osborn (5:91:1)
- JAC WR targets: Jones (9, 11) // Chark (12, 4) // Viska (9, 7)
- JAC WR aDOT: Jones (13.95) // Chark (16.31) // Viska (4.13)
- JAC WR air yds market share: Jones (34%) // Chark (31%) // Viska (8%)
- ARI has allowed the 3rd fewest completed air yds & 4th lowest YAC
- Robinson touches: (5 att, 6 tg) // (11 att, 3 tg)
- Robinson routes/dropback: (33/52) // (22/36)
- Henry & Cook rushed for 58 & 131 yds vs ARI, and the TEN & ARI backfields put up 43 & 30 yds through the air
- Vance Joseph has only had one rush def in his 5 seasons as HC or DC that finished as a top 20 rush def in yds allowed