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Patriots Preparing for Explosive Cardinals Offense

The New England Patriots played themselves back into playoff contention defeating the New York Jets and the Baltimore Ravens on back to back prime time games. Life in New England became more difficult after the Patriots fell to 4-6 after losing to the Houston Texans last Sunday. The Patriots are now entering the first of their six most important games of the season.

The New England Patriots are preparing to face off against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, and Patriots coach Bill Belichick says that the Cardinals are explosive as anybody the Patriots have  played this season. 

“They have a lot of good players – experienced offensive line, some good speed players in the passing game from [Christian] Kirk to [Andy] Isabella, a couple of great receivers with [DeAndre] Hopkins and [Larry] Fitzgerald, [Chase] Edmonds and [Kenyan] Drake are dangerous, and the tight ends, that’s an explosive group there as well, plus the quarterback.” – Bill Belichick  

The Cardinals have a very talented roster and they have a lot of guys that can make big plays. PFF has given Kyler Murray a grade of 82.1, which ranks him 9th amongst all quarterbacks. Arizona made a blockbuster trade with the Houston Texans in the off-season which brought DeAndrea Hopkins to the Cardinals. Hopkins has 72 catches for 912 yards, and 4 touchdowns through the Cardinals first ten games of the season.  

Arizona’s second year coach Kliff Kinsbury was originally drafted by the Patriots as a quarterback in the 6th round of the 2003 Draft. Of course the Patriots already had Tom Brady, but Kingsbury was always destined for coaching, and Belichick acknowledged to reporters on Monday that he believes Kingsbury has done a good job. 

“Kliff [Kingsbury] does a good job with the offense of getting the ball into space, getting the ball to receivers – or whether it be backs, tight ends or receivers – but getting the ball to somebody in space where they have an opportunity to make big plays. So, I think they probably make as many as anybody. They are hard to defend. They do a good job.” 

The Patriots have had a tough 2020 season, and found themselves falling short at times, which was not only disappointing for the fan base, but it was disappointing for the Patriots players and staff as well.  But, Belichick said that the Patriots come back with determination to try to improve that and start over again the next week, and after dropping the game to the Texans last week, the Patriots will need a lot of determination now that they find themselves in a must win every week moving forward. Belichick doesn’t seem to be worried about his team’s character and competitiveness this season.   

“I have a lot of respect for the players and the staff. The work ethic, the competitiveness, the willingness to do extra things, to put in time, to work harder to get better. It’s been a good group that way.” – Bill Belichick 

The Patriots will need their best performance on Sunday if they hope to keep their playoff hopes alive.

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