For the second time this season, the Atlanta Falcons (2-4) will be seeking their first back-to-back wins as they prepare to play against the Arizona Cardinals (3-4) for the first time this year. Even though the Cardinals have struggled at the quarterback position, they have proven to be a tough foe and resilient team.
After winning their second game by defeating the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-23 in the Georgia Dome, there was much anticipation beforehand on the Falcons’ side to see how the Dirty Birds would respond as they were coming off of their bye week.
As the Falcons already announced that both Steven Jackson and Roddy White would be missing in action, Matt Ryan and his co-stars elevated their game to another level in a must-win game against their division foe, the Buccaneers.
Not only did Matty Ice turn in one of his most efficient games of the year, but Harry Douglas did his best impersonation of Julio Jones, as he caught seven passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. Fellow teammate Jacquizz Rodgers did next to nothing in the running game, but made an impact in the passing game, as he caught two touchdown passes from his star quarterback.
The Falcons are hoping that this win can propel them to a small winning streak in hopes of staying alive in the competitive NFC and a slight chance of capturing a Wild Card. Although their next opponent is coming off of a loss, they have an opportunistic defense that has shown their potential to be dominant on that side of the ball.
Since the days of losing one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the NFL in Kurt Warner, the quarterback woes continue for the Cardinals, as Carson Palmer has thrown more interceptions (13) than touchdowns (eight), and has created a knack of completing more passes to the other team than his own.
The Cardinals’ latest loss came at the hands of one of the best teams in the league, as they lost 34-22 to the mighty Seattle Seahawks. Despite the loss, the Cardinals did have opportunities to win the game, but Palmer’s two interceptions paired with getting sacked seven times sealed the fate for any chance the Cardinals had of winning.
While the Cardinals played two of the top NFC teams in consecutive weeks against the Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, they will be looking to get back on track against a struggling Falcons’ team that is dealing with multiple injuries. The Cardinals’ offense may not be one of the prettiest in the league, but their defense has been tough, as the unit is led by their star corner in Patrick Peterson.
Currently, the Cardinals are ranked 19th in pass defense and seventh in rushing defense. They will once again lean on their defense in hopes of slowing down the Dirty Birds, who showed some life on offense against the Buccaneers.
As Week 8 is about to begin, if the Falcons can take care of the Cardinals and earn their second-straight victory for the first time this season, they will get a chance to become .500 against the surging Carolina Panthers group in Week 9. The Falcons haven’t been a .500 team since Week 2, when they were 1-1.
The future for the Falcons will be very bleak if they stumble and lose against the Cardinals, where all hopes will seemingly be gone of making the playoffs. In the meantime, the Falcons are focused and zeroing in the Cardinals to make two-straight victories, as they will compete in another crucial game that will control their fate moving forward.