Like we do every week, I spoke with the lead SB Nation writer for this week's opponent site, Jess Root, from Revenge of the Birds (ROTB). We talked about Levi Brown, is Kolb over-rated, seller's remorse on Hightower, and his game prediction.
1.) What's the state of the Cards' OLine. About the most we know is Levi Brown, ouch, is at Tackle. Are their weakpoints the Redskins can take advantage of?
ROTB: The Arizona offensive line has been historically maligned, except for the two-year run with Kurt Warner. Part of that has been quarterbacks who don't make quick reads and part has been a lack of talent. The tackles are the weak part -- on both sides. On the right side, the coaching staff is really high on Brandon Keith. Levi Brown is just...the least liked Cardinals player on the team. He has taken over Derek Anderson's spot. Mostly everyone sees him as Leonard Davis, Part 2. If you have speed on the outside, you will get to Kolb, but Kolb has shown the ability to move the pocket and makes plays by extending plays.
2.) The Cards' run defense looks to be extremely solid. What can the Cards do to balance a better passing defense? Rookie CBs will likely get tested often. How are the safeties?
Part of the issue with the pass defense is that the game plan was to dare Cam Newton to throw. He did and did it well. Also, there are mistakes being made in coverage because of the new schemes that Ray Horton is installing. Also, by design, passing numbers will be up because the defense wants to shut the running game down and force the pass. The hope and the necessary element is pressure. If the quarterback is pressured, it should take care of the problem. Cam Newton beat pressure. I imagine that Rex Grossman is not quite as adept at it as he is not as mobile.
The CBs will get tested but they will make plays as well, especially since the Washington receivers, while talented, are not on the same level as a Steve Smith. Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes are playmaking safeties. They will miss a few tackles, though, Wilson is not 100 percent and Rhodes will plain mess up from time to time, but they are just as able to make big hits and cause turnovers.
3.) We got a decent look at Kolb with him playing in the NFC East for a few years. What were the Cards' fans reactions when the deal went down and now? We think he's over-rated, but again, we're biased because he's a stinkin' Eagle.
The reactions were mixed, mainly because of the price it took to get him. There were Matt Leinart comparisons in ability, but pretty much all the doubts in his abilities have waned. But he was the fan favorite as a target and he has won over teammates and fans alike. We all are expecting good things.
4.) What's your take (and fans in general for that matter) of the Hightower for Holliday trade then and now? (Skins fans think we fleeced ARI).
The trade was not unexpected because of drafting Ryan Williams. Now what the team got for him? It seems like very little -- an old backup defensive lineman (although D-line depth was a great need) and a late round draft pick -- for a guy who can get you 1000 yards of offense in a season.
However, the only reason he will be missed is because of the unfortunate injury to Williams. From there, there was some seller's remorse. Hightower was the odd man out and would not have been back in 2012. So I guess anything for him was a positive thing. There was not much complaining though.
And that makes sense. If Holliday has a 4-sack game, Skins fans might be up in arms, but the truth of the matter, is at the time, Holliday was likely going to get cut. OK, so what's your prediction for the game?
Lots of scoring, but Arizona is really good in the red zone (number one a season ago). Each team scores five times, but Arizona finds the end zone more. 31-23, Cards.
Yea, Fitz will certainly help in the red zone. I still like the Skins. Everyone is predicting a
blowshootout, which means it's going to be low scoring, right?