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Kingsbury, Keim cautious going up against Patriots and Bill Belichick

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury watches during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

With a 4-6 record so far this season, it may seem as though the Patriots are not up to their “Patriot Way” standards.

But that doesn’t mean the team is any less of a challenge as the Cardinals walk into Foxborough on Sunday.

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who spent 2003 with the Patriots as a rookie quarterback, personally knows just how much of a mastermind Bill Belichick can be.

“Week in, week out, he’s going to have a plan to try and take away what you do best,” Kingsbury said via Zoom Friday. “They’re going to play physical, they’re going to get their hands on you and then they’re going to eliminate the space.

“When you watch them week in and week out, it’s hard to get a read on how exactly you want to attack it because it’s so multiple and ever changing week in and week out.”

Sunday is the first matchup between the two teams since since 2016, an added challenge for both as they don’t normally study each other’s plays.

Belichick called the Cardinals “a very explosive football team” during a press conference on Wednesday, and noted that Sunday’s clash will be a big challenge not only in containing the offense, but in all three areas of the game.

The Patriots have faced multiple mobile quarterbacks this season in Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson, and have lost all but one of those games.

It’s safe to say Belichick and his team won’t want to relive those losses and will be looking to corral Kyler Murray.

“You’re playing a Hall of Fame coach and he’s going to have a certain way of playing us and I’m assuming it’s going to include controlling the clock, eliminating our touches,” General Manager Steve Keim told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Friday.

Heading into Sunday’s matchup, the Cardinals boast 157.7 rushing yards per game, second-most in the league, behind the first-place Baltimore Ravens. The Patriots rank fourth with 153.6 per game.

“He knows we’re (an) explosive offense, so if he can keep us off the field and he can chew up clock, if they can run the football effectively, that’s certainly to me what’s going to be sort of his style,” Keim said.

Even though the Cardinals are coming in with a winning record, Kingsbury and Keim are cautious of letting it get to their heads.

“We can’t go in there expecting to win because of our records,” Keim said. “We have to go in and we have to be dialed in and more than ever we have to execute at a high level to win this game.”


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