Last week we ended with a predicted record of 4-2 for the 2010 Arizona Cardinals. They weren't able to beat the New Orleans Saints at home but beat the rival Seahawks following their bye week to increase their win total. This week the Cardinals face a potential trap game and head on the road to face a very good NFC North team potentially without their grey-beard quarterback. Let's see how they come out.
Week 8 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Offseason Analysis: The Bucs completely revamped their defense this offseason, in hopes to revive the once dominant Tampa 2 defensive scheme. They drafted two very good defensive tackles early who should make life miserable for opposing teams. They also added two wide receivers in the draft for quarterback Josh Freeman to work with. Their offensive line remains a question mark and they did little to address other holes along the roster.
Season Outlook: Although Tampa Bay did many things right this offseason, with New Orleans and Atlanta in the same division, they'll remain the bottom dwellers for another year. They do have the talent across the board to upset a few teams, but their team chemistry remains to be seen. With Freeman at quarterback and their new-found youth on defense, the Bucs are in prime position to make a run at the division in the near future.
Key Match-Up: Lyle Sendlein vs Gerald McCoy - McCoy became the face of the Bucs franchise when he was selected third overall in this year's draft. All eyes will be on him to see how he approaches 4th-year center Lyle Sendlein in one of the key match ups of the game.
Prediction: Win - This Bucs team is too young to upset the Cardinals on the road and don't have enough fire power to keep up with either. Although their defensive line might give the Cardinals' rushing game fits, Leinart and Co. shouldn't have a problem passing against their suspect defense.
A prediction against the Vikings and the Cardinals overall record after nine weeks are after the jump...
Week 9 at Minnesota Vikings
Offseason Analysis: Aside from the annual Brett Favre retirement talk, the Minnesota Vikings have been one of the quietest teams in the league this offseason. They began the offseason with the rival Chicago Bears stealing 2nd-string running back Chester Taylor, but they haven't been mentioned since then. They used what they had in the draft to shore up needs at corner and running back, but didn't have enough top-round draft picks to impact the team.
Season Outlook: The Vikings entire 2010 season rests on the shoulder's of Brett Favre and whether or not he'll return next season at the age of 41. He recently underwent ankle surgery - a decision that suggests he'll return to the Vikings for a final year. Should Favre finally decide to hang up the cleats, the Vikings would find their chances at a Super Bowl run in jeopardy. Tarvaris Jackson is in no position to lead this team to the promise land, and with him at the helm, their offense would surely take a step down.
Key Match-Up: Cardinals defense vs Adrian Peterson - One of the keys for the Cardinals to win this game will be limiting Adrian Peterson. When these two teams met last season, the defense held Peterson to just 19 yards rushing and won the game in surprising fashion. If they wish to do the same, they'll need to eliminate Peterson from the equation and force the quarterback to beat them.
Prediction: Loss - The Cardinals did upset this same team last season but it was also on their home field. Traveling to Minnesota to face a dangerous offense and defense will be no easy chore. The Cardinals won't be able to pull out the win this week.
Arizona Cardinals record after nine weeks: 5-3
A 5-3 record is nothing to laugh at, and at this point in the season it should keep them in the same pace as the San Francisco 49ers. Do you believe the Cardinals record will be better or worse at this point in the season?