Through two regular-season games, the Arizona Cardinals have been more competitive than many experts believed they'd be -- but they're still looking for their first win.
Next up: the Carolina Panthers, who will likely be without starting quarterback Cam Newton due to injury. In his place will be Scottsdale native and Desert Mountain High School alum Kyle Allen, who was a teammate of Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray at Texas A&M for one season.
Here's Kyle Allen accepting his @AZCardinals "High School Player of the Week" award in October of 2013 as a senior at Scottsdale's Desert Mountain HS.— Mark Dalton (@CardsMarkD) September 19, 2019
Six years later, he and the @Panthers will take on the Cardinals this Sunday at State Farm Stadium pic.twitter.com/yt3a8iFxv2
Can Murray get his first NFL win when his Cardinals host Allen and the Panthers on Sunday? Here are a pair of predictions from the ABC15 sports team.
ABC15 sports director Craig Fouhy
Carolina comes into the game with the 19th-ranked offense in the NFL in terms of yards per game, and the 12th-ranked defense. The Cardinals, on the other hand, have the second-worst defense in the league and are 29th against the rush, and their offense is No. 7 in passing yards.
The X-Factor may be Cam Newton’s health, and whether Kyle Allen can perform against an average Cards defense. The obvious question is still the Cards' offensive line. All of that equals a Cardinals win on Sunday. Cardinals 24, Panthers 17
ABC15.com sportswriter Shane Dale
We've seen enough of Kyler Murray through two games to see how special he's going to be -- especially when he gets better blockers in front of him. But the Cardinals also need at least a threat of a running game in Kliff Kingsbury's air-raid offense. They got that in Week 1 but couldn't get the ball moving on the ground in Week 2. Tampa Bay had some luck running the ball against Carolina last week, which could bode well for David Johnson (along with his fantasy owners) this weekend.
However, I'm thinking Valley native Kyle Allen, who is sure to have plenty of friends and family in the State Farm Stadium stands, is going to come in and spoil the party. He looked sharp in limited action last season, and assuming Cam Netwon can't go Sunday, I think he'll shine again against a depleted Cardinals secondary. Panthers 23, Cardinals 20