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Cardinals vs. Panthers preview: Greg Cosell talks Carolina running game, says Lindley better option than Stanton

He said what?

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

As the Arizona Cardinals prepare to take on the Carolina Panthers in the wild card round of the NFL Playoffs, NFL Films guru Greg Cosell was a guest on the Ross Tucker Football Podcast.

He broke down all four games for this weekend and included his thoughts on the Cards/Panthers game.

First off, here's something to blow you away -- he believes Ryan Lindley is a better option at quarterback for Arizona than a healthy Drew Stanton.

"I think he's a better option than Drew Stanton," said Cosell. "He's a better thrower. I think he gives the Cards and Bruce Arians more of what they ultimately want. Of course, having said that, he could certainly go in there and throw three or four picks and that wouldn't surprise me either."

So there's that.

I don't know, but if Lindley becomes less "scattershot," as Cosell puts it, he would be a fantastic fit in Arians' offense.

But what about the game against Carolina?

Cosell went back to the film for the Cards' win last year and said that the film from last year's game is good to see because "it is the same coordinators (as last year) and the Cardinals sacked Cam Newton seven times, and all seven came on blitz."

Arizona continues to blitz, so it would appear that they have a recipe to beat Carolina.

This is what he said about the Carolina offense:

"Carolina has morphed into really a running offense with Cam Newton doing a lot of what in a sense Russell Wilson does - that style of offense - multiple run game concepts, option elements often within the same play. That's what their offense is, but you do have to throw the ball at times."

They like to spread things out in the running game. It isn't the power running scheme that the Seahawks or 49ers run, which gave the Cardinals defense trouble recently. Carolina will be running against Arizona's dime defense.

Cosell likes what Arizona does with six defensive backs and noted Deone Bucannon "has been used at times to spy other quarterbacks," and he expects that to be an element in keeping Newton in the pocket.

Arizona used Daryl Washington and Karlos Dansby to blitz last year. This year will be different, as the Cardinals linebackers are not as good at blitzing as Dansby and Washington were.

However, it appears that the Cardinals defense will match up well against the Carolina offense.

Will it be a repeat of last year's Arizona blowout? Will the defense struggle as it has against the run in recent weeks? The defense allowed over 100 yards in a game on the ground only once in the first 10 games. They gave up over 100 yards in five of their last six, and in those five games, gave up no less than 124 yards rushing.

What do you think of the Cosell observations?

Listen to the interview in its entirety. They talk Cardinals from about the 2:30 mark to roughly the 8:00 mark.