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Crafting Cardinals Game Plan to Defeat Raiders

Here's how the Arizona Cardinals can turn things around and salvage a victory in Las Vegas.

The Arizona Cardinals and the Las Vegas Raiders are coming off weeks they would like to forget. For the Raiders, they saw their new weapon Davante Adams look like his old self. He and Derek Carr rekindled that Fresno State connection in no time. Despite that, it wasn’t enough for them to top the Chargers.

As for the Cardinals, they were a mess from top to bottom. 

Kyler Murray had play-calling that did him no favors, and the defense looked worse than the special effects in Thor: Love and Thunder. Things are bad in the desert, bad. That doesn’t mean they can’t find a win here and there but against an angry Raiders team that may be hard.

The path they need to take is honestly similar to the one they had last week. The only difference is the Raiders offense isn’t going to be any friendlier in the passing game, so Vance Joseph hopefully picked up on a thing or two.

Let’s Try This Blitz Thing Again

Vance Joseph

Last week the Cardinals blitzed Patrick Mahomes on over half of his dropbacks and he carved them up despite that fact. Not having Tyreek Hill didn’t slow things down, the running game was there, and all the new faces played great games for the Chiefs. 

This week, the Cardinals defense needs to look at what didn’t work against the Chiefs when blitzing and make it work against the Raiders.

In the opening week, we saw the Raiders try and try again to get the run game going. Despite their best efforts they simply couldn’t. They did however get the passing game going with Adams as we mentioned (17 targets) and also the newly extended Darren Waller. Just because they put up numbers doesn’t mean it was easy though.

The Raiders offensive line gave up a whopping six sacks to the Chargers. Had it not been for the Bengals doing a worse job, this would be a bigger story. This could be a big game for Vance Joseph to get his mojo back without having to get in a time machine.

Utilize Short Passing Game to Build Momentum

Kyler Murray CHiefs

It was discussed last week and here we are again. Use Marquise Brown and the newly energized Greg Dortch to get this passing game going. It doesn’t need to be SportsCenter top plays with every pass. Use simple routes across the middle or out of the backfield to get Kyler Murray going and then you can take the top off this defense.

They are missing DeAndre Hopkins, clearly, but that doesn’t mean this passing attack can’t work. If Kliff Kingsbury is the offensive mastermind he has been advertised as, then let’s see a game plan that is more like cooking in a crock pot versus a microwave.

Take Advantage of the Lack of Safety Help

Marquise Brown

The Raiders safeties, and defensive group in general, is a less than enthusiastic sight. No one in that defense is a ball hawk, no one is a lockdown corner, and the safeties are more for run support than anything. 

If there is a game to have a breakout of another college connection in Brown and Murray, this is it. This offense has to get going, just because they started slowly doesn’t mean they can’t make up for lost time. Look at what Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers did last season, plenty of season left.

Stay relaxed but keep in mind: this game plan is simple but could be effective. After one week I don’t think it is unfair to question this staff and the front office. They may have received extensions but we have seen Michael Bidwill not be afraid of drastic change despite the cost. 

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Just ask Josh Rosen and the nearly $18 million they paid him at signing just to move on one year later.

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