The Arizona Cardinals are the proud owners of two four games streaks. One streak are wins and the other losses. The Cardinals, unfortunately are suffering through the latter at the moment. This week they will travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers. The Packers did not play their best game last week in a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Cardinals played their worst in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
There is one good thing going for the Cardinals at the moment and that is the NFC West seems to be the Packers kryptonite, with exception of the St. Louis Rams, but everyone knows they don’t count. Working against the Cardinals, the fact that the Packers have won three straight games averaging over 30 points. The Cardinals defense will need to step up in a big way for this team to have a chance. If the defense stumbles, even once, this game will be over. This, of course, assuming the offensive output is the same as its been since QB John Skelton took the reigns from an injured Kevin Kolb.
The Cardinals face a tough road ahead, but they must take it one game at a time. When the clock strikes game time on Sunday every minute will count. Lets take a look at the probable starting lineups for this matchup and highlight three key players.
Quarterback: John Skelton
Running back: LaRod Stephens-Howling
Fullback: Anthony Sherman (probable)
Wide receiver: Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts
Tight end: Jeff King
Offensive line (from the left): D’Anthony Batiste, Daryn Colledge, Lyle Sendlein, Adam Snyder, Bobby Massie
Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers
Running back: Alex Green
Fullback: John Kuhn
Wide receiver: James Jones, Jordy Nelson (Questionable)
Tight end: Jermichael Finley
Offensive Line (from the left): Marshall Newhouse, T.J. Lang, Jeff Saturday, Josh Sitton, Bryan Bulaga
Cardinals’ Defense (Base 3-4)
Defensive line: DE Calais Campbell, DT Dan Williams, DE Darnell Dockett (questionable)
Linebackers: OLB O’Brien Schofield (questionable), MLB Daryl Washington, MLB Paris Lenon, OLB Sam Acho
Secondary: CB Patrick Peterson, CB William Gay, SS Adrian Wilson, FS Kerry Rhodes (questionable)
Packers’ Defense (Base 3-4)
Defensive Line: DE Ryan Pickett, DT B.J. Raji (probable), DE C.J. Wilson
Linebackers: OLB Nick Perry, MLB A.J. Hawk, MLB Brad Jones, OLB Clay Matthews
Secondary: CB Tramon Williams, CB Sam Shields (questionable)SS M.D. Jennings, FS Morgan Burnett
Arizona Key Players
The first key player is CB William Gay. He has been a rock at the left corner spot. He is going against a pass happy offense that will probably do their best to stay away from Patrick Peterson. Gay will be picked on this weekend and he will need to step up and stop the ridicule. Intercepting Rodgers is always a good start.
Next, the Cardinals tight ends. Whether it’s Jeff King, Todd Heap, or Rob Housler, the Cardinals need to work their tight ends into the picture. They can be a huge red zone threat when used correctly and big on third downs.
Finally, John Skelton, the quarterback. Skelton needs to take care of the football. However, he needs to do it without being too cautious. Skelton has made a habit of over throwing and under throwing his receivers. He needs to put the ball where the receiver can catch it, turn, and get up field.
Green Bay Key Players
First off, we have LB Clay Matthews. He comes into this game with 9 sacks, but just 1 in the past three games. He will line up over the worst left tackle in the NFL, D’Anthony Batiste. It won’t be totally up to Batiste, but he will play a big part. What does this mean? A huge game from Mr. Matthews.
Next, we have to go with Aaron Rodgers. He is once again in the top three for MVP race. He doesn’t have to do much because of the Cardinals’ defense, but he does have to take care of the football. If he lets a few fly, the Cardinals secondary will make him pay.
Finally, Skelton is uncomfortable at quarterback as it is, so why not throw some crowd noise in there. The Packers fans need to get loud and stay loud. It is not a player, but if for some reason Rodgers can’t move the ball, the crowd needs to make Skelton self destruct.
You have seen the starting lineups. You know who to watch for, but who will win this game? A lot more things have to go right for the Cardinals to win, but they do have a chance. I just can’t see the Cardinals winning this game.
Prediction: Cardinals fans hear the phrase “and Skelton throws high” way to often. Cardinals 10, Packers 27
My prediction record for the Cardinals improved to 3-5 after Monday night. I have a good feeling it will improve to 5-5 after week 11.