The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in Arizona this week as they play the 4-10 Cardinals on Christmas Day. The Bucs fell to 6-8 following their Week 15 loss over the Bengals at home.
We fired off some questions regarding the state of Arizona’s team for Seth Cox from Revenge of the Birds to see if he can shed some light on what’s up on with the Cardinals heading into Week 16.
1. What have been your thoughts on Trace McSorley and Colt McCoy and QB and how do you feel they could do against the Bucs?
Well, with McSorley starting the goal of this game is simply to survive and at least look competent. There is a huge difference between a journeyman third-string quarterback and a young rookie or second-year player who you are developing. McSorley is a fun preseason quarterback, but he just doesn’t seem to have to feel for the game or ability to make plays to be more than that. He has been pretty bad his two appearances this year and unless the Cardinals can somehow get out to an early lead against a great Bucs defense, it is likely going to be another long game for the Arizona Cardinals offense.
2. Is it a finished conclusion that Kliff Kingsbury is going to be fired after this season?
No, I think there are still some issues up in the air. First, the Cardinals didn’t exactly give Kliff a lot of freedom as the head coach. Most staff and personnel decisions (roster moves) came from the front office, so the way the team was assembled definitely deserves some criticism.
Kliff has not been a good in-game coach this year, and it has shown on the field and in the box score, but he has dealt with a litany of injuries, especially on the offensive side of the ball that has caused some issues.
I would say it is 60/40 he gets canned, but not a sure thing.
3. Who have been some of the most underrated players on the Cardinals that the Bucs need to pay attention to in this game?
I would love to point out the young cornerbacks, but who knows if Byron Murphy Jr, and Marco Wilson will even play in this game. Murphy has been out for nearly two months while Wilson has joined him for nearly all of December.
That leaves a couple of players to watch.
Josh Jones has done an admirable job stepping in at left tackle for the injured D.J. Humphries, and he now gets a great test against the Bucs defense.
Trey McBride has looked good since the Zach Ertz injury and has shown growth both as a pass catcher and blocker at tight end.
Finally, Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders are getting a little more burn as pass rushers for the Cardinals, something that many have been advocating for all year.
4. How much have injuries affected the Cardinals this season and the ability to truly gauge how good of a team they are?
A lot. I mean, not just injuries, but the DeAndre Hopkins suspension, then they start off 2-4 but you feel like you get Hopkins back and into rhythm and you can start scoring, then Marquise Brown gets injured in the game before Hopkins is supposed to come back.
Then Kyler Murray gets injured in the Vikings game, tries to play through it against the Seahawks and ends up missing two games, then he comes back, but by that time Ertz is out, Rondale Moore is out, and you have one starter remaining on the offensive line in 33-year-old Kelvin Beachum.
Of course Murray blows out his knee on Monday Night Football and then it just seems to have been the train coming off the tracks moment.
Then, Colt McCoy gets knocked out and you are stuck with McSorley.
I don’t know if this team was more than playoff contenders or first-round playoff fodder again, but this season has been truly lost because of the injuries.
5. DraftKings Sportsbook currently has the Bucs as 4.5 point favorites. How do you feel about that line and the possibility of taking it in this matchup?
When we dropped our opening odds piece earlier this week, I was shocked to see the Bucs only getting 2.5 points. Now, as of Thursday Night Football they sit as 7.5 point favorites and I would expect them to close right around 9.5-10.5.
They are going to win this game, they should win by 10 or more points, and it should be a fairly easy week for the Bucs and their fans.
Good luck and good health in this one, Bucs fans.