The Arizona Cardinals will open the season this week on the road against the Washington Commanders. Like Arizona, the Commanders finished in last place in their division in 2022 and have a new starting quarterback in Week 1.
While the Cardinals are seven-point underdogs in the season opener, they face a team expected to struggle on offense.
ESPN’s Mike Clay projects the Commanders will score the fewest points in the NFL
Washington has finished bottom-10 in scoring each of the past five seasons and will now turn to Sam Howell — a 2022 fifth-round pick who attempted 19 passes as a rookie — as its starting quarterback. Perhaps the Commanders have found a diamond in the rough (Howell has looked good during the preseason), but he’s obviously an unknown, and the team’s fallback plan is journeyman Jacoby Brissett. Also shaky along the line, this offense will hope to be bailed out by its terrific WR trio in Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson and Curtis Samuel (though McLaurin could miss some time to open the season while dealing with an injury).
They are projected to score 310 points, which would be an average of 18.2 points per game.
On the flip side, the Cardinals are projected to allow the second-most points in the league.
We will see which ends up being more true on Sunday.
But with the Commanders expected to be a struggling team offensively, this could give the Cardinals a chance to win.