Death patiently waits to knock on the Cardinals’ door hoping someone will answer unknowingly. In this case death may come in the form of NFC South leading Atlanta Falcons although instead of a scythe their weapons of choice are Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Vic Beasley. The Falcons awaken from their slumber coming back well rested on a Week 11 Bye while the Cardinals have struggled to string together wins. The Cardinals’ defense is not the problem as they rank best in the league among yards allowed, forced fumbles and passing touchdowns allowed. Every game is exciting to watch but Sunday will be one of the best match ups as they face off against the league leader in offensive scoring both per game and total. If the Cardinals hope to somehow squeeze their way into the playoffs this game is considered a do or die.
Winners and Losers: The Giants and Dolphins are back with 5-game win streaks
Draft Preview:: Breaking down the best cornerbacks in this year’s class
Mailbag:: Is it time for everyone to go for two?
The crime scene has been covered in red as the Cardinals are leaving a mess on all three fronts. The secondary defense is leaving opposing wide outs unassigned at times and struggles to take down ball carriers. We saw this in CB Marcus Cooper during a give me of a play against the 49ers two weeks prior as a wide open Jeremy Kerley caught a touchdown pass that surely made Arians red in the face with frustration.
The special teams have been riddled with mistakes but the real story is the demise of the offensive line while in pass protection. Carson Palmer has been sacked a total of 30 times since the season started with four coming from the loss against the Vikings last Sunday. Offensive Coordinator Harold Goodwin explained the trouble with the offense “We gotta win the one on one battles, that’s what it came down to last week in Minnesota and when we get into the red zone we can’t blow opportunities”. This can’t be emphasized enough as penetration of the offensive line will dictate the rest of the season.
The heroes of the team continue to be the usual suspects with Palmer, Johnson, Fitzgerald, Floyd and Chandler Jones. Now 1-1 in November the team will have to rely on these old faithfuls if they want to escape the impending doom of the 2016 season.