This Sunday, the Cleveland Browns take on the Arizona Cardinals. To help preview a few topics from the Cardinals’ perspective, we reached out to Seth Cox from Revenge of the Birds and exchanged five questions with him.
Chris: “With Arizona having traded Josh Dobbs, early reports are indicating that Clayton Tune will start against the Browns this week, with Kyler Murray returning some time after. Assuming that Tune gets the start, what do you expect to see from him?”
Seth: “Not a whole lot. Not that I don’t think Tune will be a terrible player or anything like that, but the reality is we are talking about one of the five best defenses in football, with one of the most ferocious pass rush in football, and the Cardinals have maybe three players that would get snaps on the Browns offense right now. So, the talent disparity is too great to expect a whole lot.
I am hopeful he is just able to hit some open throws and doesn’t make any errors that lead to easy points for the Browns.
If he is just unable to move the offense, that is actually better than what happened last week when Dobbs threw two interceptions and set the Ravens up for short fields and easy scores.
We will see, but expectations are not sky high right now.”
Chris: “Browns fans are salivating about the thought of Myles Garrett going up against a rookie quarterback. How has the Cardinals’ offensive line been, though? Statistically, they haven’t given up many sacks, but maybe Dobbs did a good job of avoiding pressure?”
Seth: “The offense is schemed to not ask the quarterback to do too much, and when it happened you saw the sacks, fumbles and interceptions happen.
I assume we will see similar work done this week, if not even more conservative giving Tune as much protection, easy, short throws and keeping him out of harms way as much as they can.
Not sure it will work against the great Browns defense, but it will be the idea if it is Tune.”
Chris: “Arizona ranks 26th in the NFL defensively. What would you consider to be the team’s biggest weakness defensively?”
Seth: “Talent. There really is not much else we can say about it, but the Cardinals lack a lot of talent on defense, much like I was talking about on offense. Outside of their safeties and Kyzir White, I am not sure how much anyone else on this roster would get playing time in Cleveland. Zaven Collins has been pretty good, Victor Dimukeje has been a nice surprise, and Dante Stills looks like a late round gem, but that isn’t much.
Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson have helped steady some things and now the addition of Garrett Williams, their third round pick who was on the PUP until October due to a knee injury in college. So, the secondary is getting slightly better, and Nick Rallis and Jonathan Gannon do a good job of scheming up pressure, but when push comes to shove, there just isn’t enough talent to make up for a bad offense.
You should have no problem running the ball, and it would not surprise to see P.J. Walker have his best game of the season with how the Cardinals defense has played. Of course, I am hopeful they can carry over their good enough performance against the Ravens.”
Chris: “Tell us about one player who Browns fans may not have heard of, but who could have an impact on this Sunday’s game.”
Seth: “Victor Dimukeje and Garrett Williams. Dimukeje has four sacks on the season and is a lightly used pass rusher, but when he gets in he does a nice job of creating pressure on the quarterback.
Garrett Williams as mentioned above has just started playing the last two games, but he immediately has played as maybe their best cornerback on the team. Which is good for Williams and sad for the Cardinals that a third round rookie who missed nearly half his rookie season is probably your best corner, but it is what it is.”
Coverage numbers for Cardinals rookie CB Garrett Williams after two games (62 snaps).— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) November 1, 2023
Passer rating allowed: 0.0
Chris: “The Browns are early underdogs against the Cardinals on Sunday (Browns -10 as of this question, per DraftKings Sportsbook). Who would you pick against the spread?”
Seth: “Seems low. However, I was convinced last week that the Cardinals would lose by 15-plus and the under would hit and then the Ravens decided to not play defense in the fourth quarter so what do I know.
Here is the thing, until last week, the Cardinals had scored 30 total points in the second half of games all season. 30 in seven games means a little over four points in the second half per game. So, 17 is the outlier as of now.
In this one, I think the Browns defense is just too good, and they get a couple touchdowns on short fields.
(This score is based on P.J. Walker or a less than 100% Watson playing against Clayton Tune)
Good luck and good health to the Browns in this one.”
Thanks again to Seth for taking the time to answer my questions.