Behind Enemy Lines: 5 questions with Cards Wire for Week 1

·3 min read

The Kansas City Chiefs are preparing to hit the road to face the Arizona Cardinals in State Farm Stadium in Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season. It’s the first time these two teams have faced off in the regular season since 2018.

To learn more about Kansas City’s opponent, we spoke with managing editor Jess Root over at Cards Wire and asked him a few questions.

Chiefs Wire: What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of this game occurring in Week 1 vs. later in the season?

Michael Chow-Arizona Republic

Cards Wire: Facing a new-look Chiefs is advantageous in Week 1 overall. They are having to make adjustments on offense with the departure of Tyreek Hill and on defense with the loss of two starting defensive backs. They likely won’t be completely in sync to start the year.

Also, ideally, one would think that the team would be healthiest and freshest in Week 1.

The problem is that isn’t the case, so the Cardinals now will likely be shorthanded. Because it is in Week 1, they can’t count on DeAndre Hopkins, who is suspended for the first six games of the season. They lost starting cornerback Antonio Hamilton to a freak cooking accident at home and now they are dealing with injuries to receiver Rondale Moore, tight end Zach Ertz, linebacker Markus Golden and new cornerback Trayvon Mullen Jr.

Every advantage of playing the Chiefs early has been wiped out by early injuries.

Chiefs Wire: The Cardinals are dealing with some injuries at the cornerback spot. Whom do you expect to start and play depth roles on Sunday?

Albert Cesare-USA TODAY Sports

Cards Wire: The starters will be Byron Murphy and Marco Wilson. The question is who will be the third cornerback to play? Entering the offseason, Murphy and Wilson were expected to start. Antonio Hamilton won the No. 2 job, pushing Wilson into a nickel role, but then Hamilton severely burned his feet in a cooking accident.

The Cardinals traded for Trayvon Mullen Jr but he has a toe injury and might not play, which might lead to Javelin Guidry, Jace Whittaker or rookie Christian Matthew playing in nickel packages.

Chiefs Wire: Who are some of the new faces on the Cardinals this year that Chiefs fans should keep an eye on?

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Cards Wire: Hollywood Brown is the biggest addition to the offense. They added Will Hernandez at right guard and drafted tight end Trey McBride. They recently added Mullen in a trade with the Raiders. Subbing in for James Conner at running back will be Eno Benjamin and former Chief Darrel Williams.

Chiefs Wire: Do you get the sense that Kliff Kingsbury is on the hot seat with the Cardinals this year, especially with the Super Bowl being played in Arizona?

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Cards Wire: This is almost a comical question. Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim each received a five-year contract extension this offseason. No, he isn’t on the hot seat, at least within the organization.

Chiefs Wire: What’s your prediction for the game on Sunday?

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Cards Wire: In my USA TODAY Sports Weekly preview, I predicted a last-second field goal for a 37-35 Arizona win. With uncertainty of the status of Zach Ertz and Markus Golden, I tempered that to a Cardinals’ cover instead of a win. If Moore also is out, I don’t know what to think. Ultimately, I think it will be a lot of points.

Chiefs 35, Cardinals 31

Story originally appeared on Chiefs Wire