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The Wide Receiver Battle That Could Make The Cardinals Contenders

The Arizona Cardinals have a number of weapons at wide receiver that could make them contenders in the NFC in 2022.

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A.J. Green / Marquise Brown

As we approach the season opener, and the Cardinals face the Kansas City Chiefs, questions surround how the Cardinals will fill the huge gap left by the suspension to star wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins. The Cardinals have brought in Marquise Brown to join the wide receiver ranks, which I see as a stroke of genius by the backroom staff. Marquise Brown will be joining veteran receiver, A.J. Green, who last season did show glimpses of his former Bengal self, but always seemed to be in the shadow of Hopkins. And for good reason, as Hopkins and Kyler Murray showed great chemistry and the quarterback could always rely on Hopkins to make the big plays. But as we enter the new season with Hopkins now sitting out the opening six games, I see a potential battle between Brown and Green at receiver, which could elevate the Cardinals to a new level which many will not be expecting. A.J. Green will want to show what he is made of, to roll back the years and show the NFL why he was an elite receiver for many years. And with Hopkins missing time on the gridiron, now could be the time to take his chance.

H*O*L*L*Y*W*O*O*D

But then we have Marquise Brown, who did have his moments during his time with the Ravens but struggled with their run heavy gameplay and handling issues. Brown is certainly not short on speed and has the ability to burn anyone downfield in the league, and already has chemistry with Murray from their college days. Murray is a far superior deep ball thrower than Brown’s previous quarterback, Lamar Jackson.

Last season, on passes over 20 yards in the air, Murray had an impressive 47 percent completion rate. If Murray can maintain similar numbers with the speed merchant that is Marquise Brown, they could cause all sorts of trouble for defenses across the league. Following his move, Brown will want to show the Cardinals and the fans exactly what he is made of and certify himself as the number one receiver in Arizona (at least until Hopkins returns, then that’s a whole other battle!).

Rondale Moore

Not only do the Cardinals have Brown and Green competing for passes, but you also have Rondale Moore thrown into the mix. The young wide receiver finished his first season in the NFL with 54 catches for 435 yards and one touchdown. Now entering his second season with the Cardinals, he too will be looking to make a name for himself and breakout this season with hopefully some more impressive numbers than his debut season. And without Hopkins on the field, this could be the opportunity the youngster has been waiting for and who knows, may even surprise us all.

But in my opinion, with the internal battle between Green and Brown at receiver, mixed in with the run game from Kyler Murray and James Conner, the Cardinals could surprise a lot of people this season and be serious contenders come the playoffs. If A.J. Green can roll back the years and thrive, we all know what he can deliver. And with the speed of Marquise Brown, he will certainly be a threat. And if Marquise even has a tenth of the confidence and swagger of his cousin, Antonio Brown, then the Cardinals could have a star in the making.

 
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