The New England Patriots are a much more complete team than the Arizona Cardinals and should handle their NFC West foe on Sunday. But the Cardinals have two players that could derail the Patriots quest for a week two win. That trouble will come from the Cardinals stars Larry Fitzgerald and Patrick Peterson.
Since being selected third overall by the Cardinals in the 2004 NFL Draft, Fitzgerald has been one of the NFL’s best receivers. In his eight full seasons he’s recorded over 90 receptions five times and over 1,400 yards four times. He’s been selected to six Pro Bowls and was first-team All-Pro in 2008. A receiver like Fitzgerald is the worst nightmare of the Patriots defense. While they performed well in week one, the Patriots defensive secondary has consistently been one of the league’s worst in recent years. The Patriots young corps will have their hands full against one of the league’s best.
The other threat to the Patriots success Sunday is the Cardinals star punt returner Patrick Peterson. The fifth pick in last year’s draft, Peterson has been dubbed the next Devin Hester. While changes in kickoff rules have virtually eliminated the art, Peterson is still a threat to score. In 2011 Peterson returned four punts for touchdowns which led the NFL.
Other players to contain will be defensive ends Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell. The Patriots offensive line has been significantly weakened this offseason due to injury and retirement and was weakened further after a week one injury to starting right guard Dan Connolly. Dockett and Campbell wreaked havoc on the Seattle Seahawks in their week one battle putting constant pressure on rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. Keeping Dockett and Campbell away from Tom Brady will be a heavy task for the young linemen.
Week two is projected to be another win for the New England Patriots but the Arizona Cardinals do have a few players that could derail that plan. Larry Fitzgerald and Patrick Peterson are two of the most dangerous players in the NFL. With Fitzgerald’s receiving ability and Peterson’s punt return skills, they could cause major trouble for the weaker parts of the Patriots roster. They’ll be the two players to watch for on Sunday afternoon.