The Arizona Cardinals come to Tampa Bay on Sunday with a 3-5-1 record. Unlike the 2-5 Buccaneers, the Cardinals do not have the Falcons to look down on. Arizona finds itself in last place in a resurgent NFC West. With the 49ers at 8-0, the second-place Seahawks at 7-2, and last year’s NFC Champion Rams at 5-3, the west looks to be the strongest division in the NFC. If the Buccaneers think this could be a “trap game,” they are 100% correct.
Things Should Get Offensive
Bruce Arians coached this Cardinals team for five years before retiring from football in 2017. Kliff Kingsbury is in his first year as head coach of the desert birds. He is also aware of the shadow Coach Biscuit threw in Arizona. In an article on CARDSWIRE, Kingsbury had this to say,
“He’s a great offensive mind. I’ve been a big fan of his, how aggressive he is. He cuts it loose, huge personality, players love to play for him. Everybody around here speaks very highly of him. I’ve gotten to meet him a couple of times. He’s been great to me, so I’m a big fan of his.”
No offensive slouch himself. Kingsbury was brought into Arizona this past offseason precisely because the Cardinals owned the first-overall pick in the draft giving them a direct line to Kyler Murray. The 2018 Heisman trophy winner and kid with the tightest wound arm since…?
Kingsbury had been recruiting Murray since his sophomore year in Allen, Texas and Kingsbury was the OC/QB Coach at Texas A&M. Kingsbury would continue the pursuit of the QB when he was hired as head coach at his alma mater Texas Tech in 2013. Five years later the new Cardinals head coach would land the recruit he had been working on for seven years. Now the two look to continue to turn around an Arizona team in a hot division.
The Offensive “NG” Versus The “OG”
In 1979, when the Buccaneers came up nine points short of going to their first Super Bowl, Bruce Arians was coaching WRs and RBs at Mississippi State. Kingsbury, who was born in August of 1979, was just five months old the day the Buccaneers lost that championship game to the Los Angeles Rams.
All that said, these are still two of the most exciting offensive minds in the NFL today. They may be at opposite ends of the career arc but both will shake hands on Sunday and lead their respective teams in battle.
There are no such things as games in November that “aren’t” must-wins. These two teams find themselves badly in need of a victory. Look for the battle between the new guard and the old guard to get really offensive.