The Arizona Cardinals probably didn’t take very much for granted, but they were definitely hoping for a better result against a backup quarterback last weekend as they lost to the New England Patriots. Now, with their second straight home game, they have a chance to get it right as they play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a contest that kicks off at 4:05 PM ET at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. Fox Network will provide the regional coverage, and BetAnySports customers can watch it live and place their wagers in real time, against dynamic pro football odds, through the magic of Live Betting Ultra.
Arizona fell victim to a very good coaching job on the part of Bill Belichick and his staff, which had to not only deal with the first NFL start for Jimmy Garoppolo, subbing for the suspended Tom Brady, but also the absence of Rob Gronkowski, the all-world tight end. They did so successfully, even though the Cards had a chance to win the game with a feel goal right before time ran out. But Chandler Catanzaro missed it, with a bad snap contributing to it. So it is time to suck it up and get ready for a Buccaneer team that might wind up proving deceptively good.
We say that because the sky could be the limit as far as Jameis Winston is concerned. Winston, the Heisman Trophy winner out of Florida State, threw for 281 yards and four touchdowns in a road victory against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1. Obviously Dirk Koetter, who was the offensive coordinator last season, was a tremendous help to him in bouncing back from a slow start as a rookie, and when Lovie Smith was fired, cutter was elevated to the position of head coach, presumably with Winston’s development in mind.
In the pro football odds that have been posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, the Cardinals are favored at home:
Ultimately, Tampa Bay hopes to have a “Big Three” thing going, as big, strong wide receiver Mike Evans has a world of potential on the outside (five catches for 99 yards in the opener) and Doug Martin proved last season that he can come back from injury, as he was an All-Pro. One of the things you have to like about the Bucs is the fact that they know how to defend the run; they were the second best in the NFL last season in terms of yards per carry, and they held the Falcons in check last week, allowing just 52 yards on 22 attempts. Arizona essentially split touches last year between David Johnson and Chris Johnson, but David is the guy who has been given the responsibility as the #1 option this season. And he came through nicely in the opener, with 89 yards on the ground and 43 yards in receptions. He had a beautiful 45-yard run which gave a lot of observers a chance to see what kind of ability he has.
As BetAnySports patrons might be aware, Tampa Bay made some changes in the secondary, bringing in Brent Grimes, who had made the Pro Bowl is a member of the Miami Dolphins. At the cornerback position, he is joined by heralded rookie Vernon Hargreaves, who was quite possibly the best defensive back available the draft this past year. Those guys will have their hands full, as Arizona can really flood a defensive backfield with capable wideouts. Of course, Larry Fitzgerald seemingly has been around forever, and he pulled in eight of Carson Palmer’s passes last week. You also have to respect to the swiftness of Jaron Brown, John Brown and JJ Nelson. Clearly these guys are loaded at the position, and Palmer, who like Winston also won a Heisman Trophy, is an ideal trigger man. He is smart and makes quick decisions, and threw for 4671 yards last year. He can definitely get the football down the field, so there is a lot of pressure to bear on Grimes and Hargreaves in particular.
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