September 20, 2020
4:05 pm ET
State Farm Arena
Defending Washington is the real deal. They got the job done in a furious comeback against the Philadelphia Eagles when they scored 27 unanswered points in the victory. The defense compiled 8 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles. Young rookie DE Chase was as good as advertised with 2 tackles and 1½ sacks as they led the heat against QB Carson Wentz. LB Ryan Kerrigan loves to play the Eagles, as he now has 13.5 sacks against them, which is the most among active players. It will be interesting to see how they perform against double-threat quarterback Kyler Murray and how they defend their mobility and ability to throw on the run. RB Peyton Barber had the most carries and had a career-high 2 TD on the ground. Washington’s secondary played well, as CB’s Fabian Moreau and Jimmy Moreland each had an interception, but will face a challenge against All-Pro WR De Andre Hopkins. This was Washington’s first victory in a home opener since 2014.
About the cardinals
The undeniable chemistry between quarterback Kyler Murray and WR DeAndre Hopkins was on full display as they led the Cardinals to victory against the San Francisco 49ers. Murray was prolific with his arm and legs as he threw for 230 yards with a 1TD pass and 1 interception while also rushing for 91 yards and a TD. The Cardinals are often successful when Murray runs the ball. Murray has had more than 8 rushing attempts in 5 of the Cardinals’ last 6 wins, so Washington will have to be mindful of Murray’s ability to handle the ball. Hopkins couldn’t be stopped as he caught 14 passes for 151 yards and appears to be a dangerous duo combined with Murray’s talent. LB Chandler Jones is one of the most productive catching artists in the NFL and OL Geron Christian and Morgan Moses will have the responsibility to prevent Jones from reaching QB Dwayne Haskins.
Players to watch
Ryan Kerrigan (Washington): Kerrigan will have to get into the Cardinals’ backfield and force Murray to take bad shots or get him to dump the ball faster than he would like.
DeAndre Hopkins (Cardinals): Washington is more than likely to double the Hopkins team, but it could be ineffective as Hopkins can catch the ball in traffic, in the middle of the field or while getting past press coverage. Washington’s best bet is trying to keep him out of the end zone.
Saahdiq Charles (Washington): Charles needs time to learn the nuances and techniques of playing OT in the NFL, but he has the size and strength to be a good rotary player as he develops.
Isaiah Simmons (Cardinals): Cardinals Simmons recorded 3 tackles in his NFL debut and the best is yet to come for this phenomenal prospect.
Kyler Murray fights from the start, as Washington keeps it in his pocket and tries to keep it one-dimensional. He starts to find his groove and Hopkins ends up having another great game for the Cardinals.
Final score: Washington 21 / Cardinals 34