Kickoff Sunday, Sep 10th 1:00pm Eastern

Cards (
15.5) at


Over/Under 38.0


Key Matchups
Cardinals Run D
31st DVOA/29th Yards allowed per carry
Commanders Run O
16th DVOA/7th Yards per carry
Cardinals Pass D
31st DVOA/21st Yards allowed per pass
Commanders Pass O
27th DVOA/27th Yards per pass
Commanders Run D
16th DVOA/23rd Yards allowed per carry
Cardinals Run O
8th DVOA/2nd Yards per carry
Commanders Pass D
32nd DVOA/31st Yards allowed per pass
Cardinals Pass O
25th DVOA/29th Yards per pass


By Hilow >>
  • The Cardinals are a genuine threat for the title this year . . . of the worst organization in the league – complete dumpster fire. 
  • Arizona holds Houston’s first-round pick for the 2024 draft, meaning they have a path to two of the top five selections in the coming draft.
  • The Cardinals released veteran QB Colt McCoy and placed Kyler Murray on the physically unable to perform list, meaning they’ll start the season with either recent trade addition Joshua Dobbs or rookie Clayton Tune at quarterback.
  • The Commanders boast a legitimate top five defensive line and get the honor of teeing off against a bottom three offensive line. WAS D/ST is the best on-paper play at the position on the week, with the top consideration to not play them residing in the realm of leverage, salary allocation, and variance.
  • Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson should share the load in the backfield for the Commanders but each has a path to 100/2 in this spot.


Franchise quarterback Kyler Murray will begin the season on the league’s physically unable to perform (PUP) list as he works his way back from a torn ACL suffered in Week 14 of 2022. That means he will miss the first four weeks of the regular season, at minimum. The team also released veteran Colt McCoy during roster cutdowns, leaving them in the hands of either veteran journeyman Joshua Dobbs, who was added to the roster via trade with the Browns two weeks prior to the team’s opening game, or fifth-round rookie Clayton Tune for Week 1. New head coach Jonathan Gannon comes over from his previous position as defensive coordinator for the Eagles while new offensive coordinator Drew Petzing will get his first chance to call plays having never served as an OC at any level. All of this goes along with a roster-wide purge of players in the final year of their contract. The Cardinals ranked second in pace of play in 2022 at 27.0 seconds per play, a number we should expect to decrease considering the changes in coaching. One final consideration for the Cardinals this year is their draft day acquisition of the Texans’ first round draft pick in 2024, bringing with it the potential for Arizona to end the season with two top five picks in the coming year’s draft. All of that to say, we shouldn’t have high hopes for the Arizona offense (or defense) this year.

The Cardinals’ offensive line generated bottom five numbers in adjusted line yards a season ago and arguably got worse in the trenches, at least as far as run-blocking goes. Their interior offensive line is a consensus bottom two unit heading into the new season. While the addition of rookie Paris Johnson Jr. to play opposite D.J. Humphries at tackle will help in pass protection, only center Hjalte Froholdt graded out as an above average lineman in run blocking amongst the starting five last year. The Commanders are fresh off a season in which they allowed the 11th fewest rush yards per game at a respectable 4.4 yards per carry allowed, and that was during a season where they struggled with injuries and inconsistent play. Now fully healthy, Washington boasts a legitimate top five (maybe even top three) defensive line on paper. Finally, starting running back James Conner finished the 2022 season in the bottom half of the league in yards before contact, a trend we should expect to continue into 2023. Conner’s saving grace is his expected volume. He is fresh off a season where he averaged a 70.5 percent snap share (sixth), 71.7 percent team opportunity share (eighth), and 53.2 percent route participation (10th). Volume and pass game usage will be needed considering his well below average true yards per carry (4.2). The Cardinals also showed their hand in the backfield this offseason after releasing veteran Corey Clement at the roster cut deadline. This backfield should be Conner’s with a sprinkle of 2022 sixth-rounder Keaontay Ingram and potentially 2023 undrafted free agent Emari Demercado.

It’s difficult to analyze how the Cardinals will attempt to win through the air due to the multitude of unknowns surrounding their quarterback (and team) dynamics at the moment. While we don’t have a good idea of expected overall pass rates or pace of play, we do have a solid insight into the personnel we expect to be on the field. Veteran tight end Zach Ertz suffered a multiple-ligament knee injury late in the season last year but will begin the new year clear of the PUP list. That said, we shouldn’t expect a massive snap rate should he play in Week 1. That shoud leave significant early season work for second-year tight end Trey McBride. Preseason utilization with the first team indicates that veteran wide receiver Zach Pascal and rookie Michael Wilson are likely fighting for the starting “X” role on the perimeter and are likely to play over Rondale Moore from heavy sets (21- and 12-personnel). Moore quickly became one of the more overdrafted wide receivers in the middle of the best ball draft window. Marquise Brown should command a significant share of the targets in this offense but has had a declining team target market share and aDOT in each of the previous two seasons.


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