The 2019 NFL schedule includes many intriguing games for the Arizona Cardinals, but there are two games that stand out among the others this upcoming season.
SB Nation released its five best beefs to watch for in the upcoming NFL season. Two Cardinals made an appearance on this list based on past history between players and even a coach.
Baker Mayfield vs. Kliff Kingsbury
In Week 15, the Cardinals and the Cleveland Browns will face off, and there could be some unfinished business between Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury and Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
SB Nation lists this as a beef due to the elaborate history formed with Kingsbury. Kingsbury was Mayfield’s head coach at Texas Tech in 2013. Mayfield walked on that year and earned the starting job as a freshman.
However, when Mayfield suffered an injury, the starting role was handed over to quarterback Davis Webb.
That didn’t settle well with Mayfield and SB Nation includes a quote from Mayfield that sums ups exactly what happened, from his point of view.
“When I got hurt, there was no communication between me and my coach,” Mayfield said in an interview with ESPN. “When I got healthy, I didn’t know why I wasn’t playing right away. At that time, we were losing a couple games in a row. I was still clueless as to why I wasn’t playing. That was really frustrating for me because I started the first five games and we won. So, I just didn’t really know exactly what he was thinking or what the situation was.”
That miscommunication made Mayfield transfer from Texas Tech to Oklahoma.
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Terrell Suggs
Week 14 features a matchup between the Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers, a game that could renew the rivalry between linebacker Terrell Suggs and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
The Cardinals signed Suggs to a one-year deal during the offseason after he played 16 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.
“I think there’s a lot of mutual respect there between each other,” Roethlisberger said. “There’s a little bit of talking on the field — I wouldn’t call it trash-talking — but there’s some mutual respect trash-talking, if you will, that goes on. It’s a special rivalry he and I have.”
The friction between the two developed because of the rivalry the two franchises have, bringing out the best of both players.
SB Nation points out that Suggs has sacked Roethlisberger 17 times, which is more than any other player. On the other hand, Roethlisberger has won the most games against the Ravens than any other player has against the team.
The two could be facing off for the final time when the Steelers come to State Farm Stadium Dec. 8th.
BONUS: Sean Payton vs. Kliff Kingsbury
One other potential beef not mentioned in the SB Nation article is Sean Payton versus the Cardinals.
There has been a trend going on in the NFL, especially this offseason, of teams hiring young, offensive-minded head coaches. The Cardinals were one of those teams hiring Kingsbury.
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton believes the trend of hiring these offensive-minded head coaches could be a mistake.
“And so I see a lot of mistakes made in that process I feel like this long in and so we’re excited to play those teams,” Payton said in an interview with the NFL Network.
The Cardinals would fall under that category Payton is talking about and so would several other NFL teams.
There isn’t any personal history here, but it will be interesting to see if the Cardinals can prove Payton wrong when they match up Week 8.