Cards Solid Defensive Not Enough, Fall to Commanders

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The Arizona Cardinals opened the 2023 season falling to the Washington Commanders 20-16 before 67.617 ruckus fans at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.

The late-game drama ended when Josh Dobbs’ pass fell incomplete on 4th and 10 inside Arizona territory, capping a touchdown-less day for the Arizona offense which managed just 211 total yards, while commiting two turnovers.

Washington took advance of excellent field position, outscoring the Cards 10-0 in the final quarter.

The loss overshadowed an impressive performance from Arizona’s defense which registered six sacks and were frequent guests in the Washington backfield, despite the Commanders favorable field position, particularly in the second half.

While quarterback Sam Howell was far from perfect, he completed 19-31 for 202 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He also added a 6-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter which gave the Commanders a late lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

The Cards lone touchdown came courtesy of their defense after Cam Thomas scooped up Howell’s fumble following a Dennis Gardeck sack and diving into the end zone with less than a minute to play before halftime.

Arizona frequently hurt themselves with untimely penalties, tallying nine infractions for 122 yards.

Dobbs completed 21-30 passes but for just 121 yards. He was sacked three times and never looked comfortable facing consistent pressure from Washington’s talented defensive front, a front which was missing Chase Young due to injury.

James Connor was effective on the ground, rushing for 62 yards on 14 carries (4.4 per carry).

Kyzir White led Arizona in tackles with nine, one for loss. Zaven Collins played well, recording an interception and recovering a fumble in the loss.  

The Cards open the home part of their regular season schedule next week, hosting the New York Giants on September 17 at 1:05.