Two teams pinning their hopes on new quarterbacks will do battle on Sunday as the Washington Redskins visit the Arizona Cardinals in the season opener for both clubs. Washington finally realized Kirk Cousins was not the answer, allowing him to flee to Minnesota as a free agent after acquiring Alex Smith in a trade with Kansas City.
Smith subsequently was signed to a massive four-year, $94 million contract after guiding the Chiefs to double-digit victory totals and playoff appearances in four of his five seasons with the team. The three-time Pro Bowler has attempted at least 450 passes and thrown fewer than 10 interceptions in each of his last five campaigns, the longest such streak in NFL history. Arizona transitions from one injury-plagued quarterback to another as Sam Bradford takes over for the retired Carson Palmer. The 30-year-old Bradford, who signed a two-year contract in March, gets a chance with his fourth team after appearing in only two games with Minnesota last season due to a knee injury.
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Cardinals -1. O/U: 43.5
ABOUT THE REDSKINS (2017: 7-9, 3RD IN NFC EAST): Smith is hoping fellow newcomer Adrian Peterson will help make the offense successful as the seven-time Pro Bowler and former league MVP needs 37 rushing yards to pass Marshall Faulk (12,279) and Jim Brown (12,312) and climb into the top 10 in NFL history. With 97 yards on Sunday against the team with which he finished last season, Peterson will join Brown, Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton and Edgerrin James as the only players rush for 1,000 in season openers. Washington, which is beginning a season on the road for the first time since 2014, is seeking its first win in Arizona since posting a 17-13 victory in 2005 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.
ABOUT THE CARDINALS (2017: 8-8, 3RD IN NFC WEST): David Johnson, who is seeking a new contract, is hoping to prove his doubters wrong after having his 2017 campaign ended by the dislocated wrist he suffered in the season opener. "I think everyone has a question mark on me," Johnson, who rushed for 1,239 yards and recorded another 879 on 80 receptions in 2016, told reporters on Wednesday. "They don't know how good I'm going to be. I don't know, a lot of people probably overlook what I did in 2016." Larry Fitzgerald looks to add another milestone to his resume as he needs eight receiving yards to join Hall-of-Famers Jerry Rice, Andre Reed, Randy Moss and Don Maynard as the only players with at least 1,000 and eight touchdown catches in season-opening games.
1. Peterson's next rushing touchdown will be the 100th of his career, making him the seven player in league history to reach the century mark while also gaining at least 12,000 yards on the ground.
2. Fitzgerald also needs one reception to extend his streak to 212 consecutive games, which would move him past Tony Gonzalez for the second-longest run in NFL history, and one TD catch to tie the former tight end for seventh on the all-time list with 111.
3. Washington placed RB Byron Marshall (knee) on injured reserve Wednesday and signed LB Josh Keyes, who was released by Houston four days earlier.
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