The Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons will play this afternoon. At 9-2, the Cardinals look to get back to their winning ways. having suffered a 19-3 loss on the road last weekend to the Seattle Seahawks. Atlanta is 4-7 and looking for their first win outside of the NFC South.
Here are some matchups worth paying attention to.
Julio Jones and Roddy White vs. Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie
Atlanta has as good a receiving duo as there is in the league. Arizona missed them both last season when the Falcons visited for their game last season. Jones is one of the best in the game now and White has had a great career.
Peterson, after starting slowly. has been shutting down receivers for the last few weeks and Cromartie has been fantastic all year except for one game. It will be a treat to see these two pairs battle it out on the field as all four play very physically.
Matt Ryan vs. Cardinals defense
Ryan is one of the best young QBs in the league and has had a very productive career. But in his last two starts against the Cardinals, he has thrown nine interceptions. He has thrown more picks against two other teams -- the Panthers and the Bucs, both of whom he plays twice yearly. He has 13 career games against the Panthers and 14 against the Bucs. His 59.2 passer rating against the Cardinals is by far the lowest he has against any team. His career passer rating is over 90.
Larry Fitzgerald vs. his knee
The veteran receiver missed last week's game, the first game he has missed since 2007. He hopes to play against the Falcons, but is a game day decision. Will he be able to play and how effective will he be? More importantly, if he is unable to go, can the passing game be effective? It wasn't against the Seahawks.
Andre Ellington vs. Atlanta's front seven
Ellington has not had the best season so far. He has over 1000 yards from scrimmage, but is averaging only 3.3 yards per carry. However, against the teams in the bottom 11 in rush defense, he has rushed for 88, 91 and 95 yards this season. Atlanta is also one of these teams. Ellington's lone 100-yard rushing performance also came against the Falcons last season. Can he repeat?
Drew Stanton vs. the road
Stanton has looked really good at home this season, but not so much on the road. Away from University of Phoenix Stadium, Stanton is completing only 48 percent of his passes. He has not thrown a touchdown pass and has one interception in three games. The eight times he has been sacked this season have all come on the road and his passer rating is 59.4, compared to 101.8 at home.