WEEK 3 PREDICTIONS: Arizona Cardinals vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

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Posted at 9:02 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-25 00:11:10-04

For the second time in three weeks, the Arizona Cardinals head East for an early game. But unlike week one at Tennessee, we now know a lot more about this Cardinals team.

For starters, they're looking for just their fifth 3-0 start since 1970 when they visit the Jaguars.

It's not all that different than a year ago, when the Cardinals started 2-0 then played host to a bad Detroit Lions team that ended up firing its head coach at seasons end.

But when the Cardinals faced them in week 3, it was clear they thought they could just show up and walk away with a win.

They learned a hard lesson that day, losing by a field goal, and that message has been spread throughout the facility this week heading into a matchup with a really bad Jaguars team. I believe they'll hear it loud and clear.

It's hard to judge whether Urban Meyer's NFL debut has gotten off to a rockier start off the field or on it. The Jags defense has been shredded by Tyrod Taylor and Teddy Bridgewater thus far, so that doesn't bode well heading into a date with Kyler Murray and a Cardinals offense that is playing with a ton of confidence.

Their 36 points-per-game average ranks second in the league, yards-per-play is fourth and yards-per-game is second. The Jaguars defense is among the worst in the NFL in all of those categories.

While I think Trevor Lawrence will be a really good pro QB, that's going to take time. The best way to force him into rookie mistakes is for the Cardinals offense to put up points early and force Jacksonville to air it out playing from behind.

That'll free up Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt to get after Lawrence, and I have no doubts that Isaiah Simmons will make a play or two against his former Clemson Tigers teammate.

Simply, the Jaguars don't have the firepower on either side of the ball to keep up with the Cardinals this week. Arizona covers the 7.5-point spread as they improve to 3-0.

Cardinals 37, Jaguars 17