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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Washington and Arizona battle in the desert this Sunday, both looking for their first 2-0 start in years. Arizona hasn’t won their first two games since 2015 when they finished 13-3 and won the NFC West. For Washington it’s been nearly a decade since they have started 2-0, all the way back in 2011 on the way to a 5-11 in the season before RGIII came to town. Both teams are entirely different squads in this sure to be entertaining matchup.

Washington’s defense played great, holding the Eagles scoreless the final 36:54 of the game and allowing the offense to rattle off 27 unanswered points in a 27-17 victory. Arizona is a whole different beast with the fast-paced aerial assault of Kliff Kingsbury’s loaded Cardinals offense. Led by 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year QB Kyler Murray, Arizona has much more offensive firepower than Philly had to offer. The second-year QB has run early and often this season with 91 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown posing a duel threat Washington didn’t face in the perennially banged up Carson Wentz.

Arizona’s second year head coach Kingsbury took notice of the ferocious Washington defensive front lamenting “It was pretty nerve wracking watching their film – the eight sacks, causing turnovers, forcing fumbles.” He added “They were really, really good, so we just have to have a great week of practice, and like we’ve done playing the 49ers, you’ve got to have a plan for those edge rushers.” Washington was able to sack Carson Wentz a total of 8 times, with “those edge rushers” namely Chase Young and Ryan Kerrigan combining for 3 1/2 sacks. However, the elusive Murray was only taken down twice by a San Francisco defense that was minutes away from a Super Bowl win in February. Keeping Murray contained and under pressure is key to slowing down Arizona and their pick your poison receiving corps of All Pro DeAndre Hopkins (14 rec for 151 yds in Week 1), Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

Washington was able to force three Eagle turnovers (2 INT/1 FUM) in Week 1 and the 2019 Offensive Rookie has had turnover issues in his career, already throwing an interception Week 1, so Washington will need to capitalize when Murray makes a mistake.

On the other side of the ball, Washington QB Dwayne Haskins will need to improve his offensive numbers if he wants to keep up with Arizona. He should look to his backfield on passing plays and try to exploit a Cardinals defense that gave up 9 catches for 162 yards and a touchdown to San Francisco’s running backs in Week 1. Washington’s runningback by committee was headed Week 1 by Peyton Barber who’s team-high 17 carries included two touchdown runs. Antonio Gibson led the team with 36 rushing yards averaging 4.0 yds/carry on 9 totes. Both are capable of doing damage in the passing game too and that will be key to a Washington victory.

Kickoff for Sunday’s game is 4:25 EDT at State Farm Stadium and once again Washington will be playing in front of no fans as Arizona is not allowing fans to at least their first two home games due to COVID-19. When the dust settles, will the Washington Football Team be able to emerge from the desert undefeated?

Showdown in the Desert: Washington Football Team @ Arizona Cardinals – Week 2 Preview  was originally published on