It is Sunday, some have given up hope for the playoffs, but who knows, maybe they surprise those, finally meet others expectations and look like a Super Bowl contender and start to compete.
For that to happen, there are some key matchups to watch in this game.
D.J. Humprhies and Ulrick John vs Skins pass rush
The Skins employ a talented trio of pass rushers in Preston Smith, Trent Murphy and Ryan Kerrigan.
If the Arizona Cardinals are going to win this game they will have to protect Carson Palmer.
To the chagrin of many, the Arizona Cardinals still believe they are the 2015 high flying Cardinals offense, that means they will need to keep the Skins and their pass rushers at bay.
Humphries is coming off the best game of his career, while John is coming off his best start of his career... his first.
Kerrigan is more Chandler Jones while Murphy and Smith are similar in their attack to Markus Golden, meaning the Arizona Cardinals are going to have their hands full. They need their young tackles to be up to the task, if not, it’ll be another long day for the offense and Carson Palmer.
Jamison Crowder vs the slot
If you are a fantasy football fan, this is a matchup that has you salivating, Crowder, one of the better slot receivers in the NFL against Tyvon Branch or Marcus Cooper could mean a feast for the Skins offense.
They have talent all over the field, but they will pick on the weak link of the Arizona Cardinals defense this year, and that has been whoever is not getting Patrick Peterson. Even more so though, slot receivers have given the Cardinals problems the last several games. Maybe Branch’s return helps, but... This needs to be followed closely.
Cardinals run defense
The Skins have not been running the ball overly well, or very often, that needs to be because the Cardinals are shutting the run game.
If the Skins are leaning on a 3.8 yards per carry but still willing to run the ball 25+ times, that likely means the Skins are playing from ahead and are not afraid to take small gains.
Make it easy on the Arizona Cardinals offense
The Arizona Cardinals offense has been okay at times, bad at others, but also have been having to work hard for every yard. They are not as good this year and they need help, maybe even to be dragged to the endzone. We saw what that can do for teams, Minnesota Vikings, even with an awful offense, they had a chance to send a game to overtime against the top team in the NFL. They didn’t score on defense, but they set up their offense repeatedly, and gave them short fields to work with. Do something similar for an Arizona Cardinals that has been unable to get on track consistently all year.
What do you think is the key?