Which key matchups could go a long way to determining whether or not the Washington Commanders can triumph over the Arizona Cardinals?
The Washington Commanders host the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 at what's going to be an emotionally charged FedEx Field. Fans have returned and the venue has been sold out for days ahead of the clash, representing the dawning of a new era and raising expectations about this team's potential accomplishments in 2023.
Looking ahead to the game, here are three key matchups that will have a huge say in which team comes out on top.
Commanders CB Emmanuel Forbes vs. Michael Wilson
The Commanders' 2023 first-round draft pick Emmanuel Forbes gets his first test of the regular season against another rookie in wide receiver Michael Wilson. The Arizona Cardinals pass-catcher was drafted in the third round and has impressed all offseason.
Wilson looks to be the starting wideout opposite Hollywood Brown for the Cardinals. That means he should be lined up across from Forbes for large parts of the game.
There have been questions about how Forbes will look against bigger wide receivers in the league. We can get answers early on in the season with his matchup against Wilson, who measures up at 6-foot-2 and 213 pounds.
The Cardinals need to get things going on offense regardless of who starts at quarterback. Wilson being able to use his size against Forbes could be big for Arizona's passing attack.
On the flip side, if Forbes locks down one of their primary wide receivers - and maybe even forces a turnover along the way - it could be a long day for the Cardinals' offense.