Week 1 of the NFL regular season is finally upon us. The Kansas City Chiefs will travel down to Arizona to face off against the Cardinals. Expect the Chiefs to get tested early in this week one matchup.
The Arizona Cardinals have gained a reputation for being fast starters in the last few seasons. Just last year they started the regular season with a 10-2 record beating prominent teams like the Super Bowl Champion Rams, along with the Tennessee Titans and the San Fransisco 49ers.
There is no doubt that Kyler Murray has shown to play his best football at the beginning of the season, and that can be worrisome to Chiefs fans. In 2021 the Cardinals scored 30+ points in four of their first five games. The Chiefs’ defense is a very young squad that showed promise in the preseason, but it looks like they will have a lot on their plate early on.
One key member for Arizona that will be missing happens to be Murray’s No. 1 target, DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins received a six-week suspension this offseason for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
Murray will have to rely on newer targets such as Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and tight end Zach Ertz. Ertz joined Arizona in a late-season trade last season and had a good connection with Murray. It’s possible that Ertz may be the team’s security blanket in Hopkins’ absence.
Chiefs’ New Faces
In the 2022 season expect to see many new faces in key positions for the Kansas City Chiefs. Many prominent rookies will make an immediate impact this year. Cornerback Trent McDuffie is expected to start along with L’Jarius Sneed on the outside this year. Also, defensive end George Karlaftis who is coming off of a very good preseason will be rotated into the game to start.
The most surprising rookie for the Chiefs has been seventh-round pick running back Isiah Pacheco. Pacheco has impressed during training camp as well in the preseason. Many are unsure of how fast he will be seen on offense but expect to see him sooner rather than later. Pacheco is also the starting kick returner.
Other than the rookies, the Chiefs were very busy this offseason. Kansas City signed key players on offense such as JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling-Scantling who will see the majority of the targets this season. Safety Justin Reid will also see his first start as a Chief in week one.
These new faces need to show up in the first week in order for the Chiefs to keep up with Arizona’s high-flying offense. This game should be an offensive contest as well as a close game.