The Arizona Cardinals will be looking to record their first back-to-back win of the season when they take on the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Even though Arizona has not been all that great at running the ball this season, they have been outstanding at defending the run. It is one area they must excel at this weekend if they want to be victorious in Week 5.
The Cardinals have kept opponents to just 75 rushing yards per game, which ranks second in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Panthers rank third in the league with 151 rushing yards per game. Obviously, it is the matchup of the contest that the coaches and fans will be watching.
Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams is someone the Cardinals will have to limit. In fact, if the defense can shut him down then Arizona will have a very good chance at winning the ball game.
Carolina has been a one-dimensional football team this season as quarterback Cam Newton has only been able to muster 170 passing yards per game. Therefore, forcing the Panthers to throw the ball instead of keeping it on the ground should play right into the Cardinals’ hands. Newton is another player that must be contained. He is definitely someone Arizona wants to keep in the pocket because if he gets loose it could cause all sorts of problems.
“We have to contain him the right away the entire game (in the pocket),” cornerback Patrick Peterson said, according to AZCardinals.com. “A lot of guys get hits on him but it’s about getting him down to the ground.”
There is no question defense will be the reason why either the Cardinals or Panthers win the game. At least Arizona has a clear-cut plan on how to defeat Carolina.