Arizona Cardinals (1-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3)
The Buccaneers have made the switch, going from Josh Freeman to Mike Glennon for the 4th game of their season, after going 0-3 in their first 3. In his last 8 games, he had completed 174 of 356 (48.8%) for 2210 yards (6.2 YPA), 8 touchdowns, and 12 touchdowns, winning just one of those games. Mike Glennon probably can’t be worse, but I don’t think he’ll be much better. There was a reason he fell to the 3rd round of a poor quarterback draft, even with so many teams needing quarterbacks this year. He has a lot of flaws and while he could someday be a capable NFL quarterback, he’s definitely not ready to be an NFL starter right now.
It hurts him even more than his top two receivers (and really his only two good receivers) Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson are hurt. Both are expected to play, but they will both be limited and their injuries didn’t give them a chance to establish any sort of chemistry with their new quarterback during the week. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Glennon completed than 50% of his passes in this one. The Buccaneers have a good supporting cast, but they’re going to have a hard time winning games if they can’t move the ball through the air.
This spread suggests these two teams are even and I don’t think that’s true. The Cardinals had a close road loss in St. Louis and a close home win against the Lions in the first 2 weeks of the season and looked like a decent football team. Last week strayed from that narrative as they lost 31-7 in New Orleans, but there are two excuses. One, the Saints are a very good football team. Two, they were probably distracted after teammate Dan Williams’ father was killed in a car accident en route to the game.
Williams won’t play in this one as he attends the funeral, but we’ll probably see a much less distracted and much more inspired performance from the Cardinals this week. Also, as a result as losing last week, the Cardinals are in a good spot here as road dogs off of a road loss. Teams are 89-54 ATS in that spot since 2008 and cover at about a 65% rate historically no matter what year you use as a cutoff for your sample size. I like the Cardinals’ chances of covering and winning in this one.
Arizona Cardinals 17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13 Upset Pick +115
Pick against spread: Arizona +2.5