Cardinals’ Budda Baker preps to face Patriots run game led by Cam Newton

Nov 27, 2020, 5:00 PM | Updated: Nov 28, 2020, 8:51 am
Budda Baker (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...
Budda Baker (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

For the first time in his four-year career, Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker is preparing to face a team with quarterback Cam Newton at the helm.

Now with the New England Patriots, Newton and Co. will host the Cardinals for a Week 12 matchup on Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

“This is my first time playing against Cam Newton,” Baker said via Zoom after practice on Friday. “They’re a running team that wants to run the ball, whether that’s running back runs or QB runs.”

And although the stature of Newton and Cardinals QB Kyler Murray is miles apart, the scoring production on the ground between the two is nearly identical.

Through the first 11 weeks of the 2020 NFL season, Murray leads all quarterbacks with 10 rushing touchdowns. Newton is right behind him with nine.

“That’s another thing that we have to look at and have looked at throughout the week,” Baker added. “Cam can also throw the ball and is a great runner. They use him in the scheme a lot, so we’ve definitely been paying attention to all those types of things.”

Baker noted that the Patriots love to run the ball, especially out of 21 personnel (two TEs, one RB). The safety then highlighted the dangers of having a multi-dimensional tailback coming out of the backfield of a run-centric team.

“A guy like running back No. 28 [James] White can catch screens, run the ball also — just a great third-down back,” Baker said.

Heading into Sunday’s matchup, the Cardinals’s 157.7 rushing yards per game is the second-most in the league, trailing only the Baltimore Ravens. The Patriots rank fourth with 153.6 per contest.

And with Arizona’s rushing defense giving up an average of 124.7 yards per game (23rd in NFL), it won’t be an easy day at the office for the two-time Pro Bowl selection.

Having already been named to two Pro Bowls in his first three seasons in the league, Baker is atop the voting charts at the safety position this season. He’ll have to play like it for Arizona to properly defend New England’s multi-faceted offense.

Baker said it’s an honor to be leading Pro Bowl votes, but that’s not his goal.

“It’s a great thing to be leading safeties in Pro Bowl [voting],” he said. “But for me, I’m trying to make it to the Super Bowl.

“We’re just trying to take it day by day, week by week and I feel like as long as I continue to play at a high level, I feel like the team can get more Ws. So that’s all on my mind and that’s what I try to do.”

The Cardinals kick off against the Patriots at 11 a.m. Arizona time on Sunday.

Catch all the action on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Life Changer Loans


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals defense celebrate and pose for a picture in front of a media photographer aft...
Arizona Sports

Hard Knocks In Season: The Arizona Cardinals to debut Nov. 9

The premier date for Hard Knocks In Season: The Arizona Cardinals is set for Wednesday, Nov. 9 on HBO and HBO Max.
1 day ago
Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns takes off his helmet as he warms up during the Cleveland ...
Associated Press

Deshaun Watson suspension appeal ‘right thing to do,’ says Roger Goodell

Commissioner Roger Goodell said he feels the NFL needed to keep pushing for a year-long suspension for Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals RB Eno Benjamin runs through drills during the Red & White practice on Saturday, ...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals notebook: RB Eno Benjamin’s confidence ‘through the roof’

It's all about staying locked into the moment when Cardinals RB Eno Benjamin gets the starting nod against the Bengals on Friday.
1 day ago
Cortez Davis #18 of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors makes an interception against Jalen Cropper #5 of t...
Jake Anderson

Arizona Cardinals sign rookie cornerback Cortez Davis

The Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday signed rookie cornerback Cortez Davis, adding depth to a highly-competitive position battle.
1 day ago
The Cincinnati Bengals announced Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, that Paul Brown Stadium will be called Payc...
Associated Press

Cardinals visit Bengals on Friday at renamed Paycor Stadium

The home of the Cincinnati Bengals will no longer carry the name of team founder and NFL pioneer Paul Brown.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals' Marco Wilson runs drills during the NFL football team's training camp at State F...
Arizona Sports

Marco Wilson knows he’s earned nothing in Cardinals’ CB rotation

Arizona Cardinals second-year pro Marco Wilson is aware that relative success his rookie year hasn't cemented his place as the No. 2 corner.
1 day ago
Cardinals’ Budda Baker preps to face Patriots run game led by Cam Newton