March 24, 2018

Preview Of The Enemy: Arizona Cardinals

Realistically, the Houston Texans season ended on Sunday night after they choked away the game to the Indianapolis Colts. However, if you choose to hang on to the hope that they’re still alive in the playoff chase, they’ll need to win out starting Sunday against Arizona. The Cardinals aren’t a powerhouse, but they won’t be a pushover either, especially at home. The only other time the Texans played at Arizona in the regular season (2009), the Cardinals won the game 28-21. The Texans fought back from a 21-0 halftime hole, but with the score tied and under three minutes remaining, Matt Schaub threw a pick six to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for the game winning score. Some things never change, huh?


Defense – Arizona doesn’t have what I would call a dominating defense, but they do play very well on that side of the ball. The Cardinals are tied for 4th in turnovers forced, 4th in rushing yards allowed, and 7th in yards per offensive play allowed. What to watch for in particular will be the Cardinals blitz calls. Though Keenum has performed well in his first two starts, he’s struggled as most young quarterbacks do with blitz recognition and getting rid of the ball quickly to avoid a negative play. Expect Arizona linebackers Daryl Washington and Karlos Dansby to have their names called a few times on Sunday.

Also worth watching is the matchup between Andre Johnson and Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson. The veteran is still playing at a very high level, Johnson ranks 4th in receptions and receiving yards this season. The Cardinals will likely put Peterson on Johnson all game long. Peterson hasn’t allowed a touchdown in five games and only 14 completions on 38 targets during that time. However, the last time he faced a receiver the caliber of Andre Johnson, he gave up 116 yards and two touchdowns to Calvin Johnson.

Andre Ellington – Overall the Cardinals running game has been mediocre, but the rookie from Clemson has provided a spark recently. Before last week, Ellington hadn’t carried the ball more than 7 times in any game, but was given 15 carries last week and took advantage of the increased work load. Ellington rushed for 154 yards and a touchdown in the Cardinals win over Atlanta. For the season, Ellington is averaging an amazing 7.7 yards per rushing attempt; hope Wade has a strategy ready to bottle him up.


Passing Game – Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer has thrown 14 interceptions this season, the second highest total in the NFL behind Eli Manning. The Cardinals also rank 23rd in passing yards per attempt, 28th in QB rating, 20th in sacks allowed, and 24th in QB hits allowed; bad things happen when Palmer drops back. Expect Watt to have a big game against the Cardinals’ shaky interior offensive line.

Prediction: Cardinals 23-13


One Response to “Preview Of The Enemy: Arizona Cardinals”
  1. AdamR_MobileAL says:

    Realistically, the Houston Texans season ended on Sunday night after [Bullock] choked away the game to the Indianapolis Colts.

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