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Arizona Insider And National Media --- In Depth Prediction !


falcon_ace
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Here we go again.

I will post my picks & if I get any info from my cousin in vegas I will let you guys know.

We miss him

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From Arizona Insiders

First and foremost

Do the basic things on offense. Run the ball efficiently. Protect the quarterback. Throw accurate passes. The Cardinals did none of those things well in the loss at Seattle last week. Quarterback Drew Stanton is nimble enough to avoid the rush but he has to do something after he gets free. He made nothing happen last week after plays broke down.

Key stat

17: That's the number of sacks the Cardinals had in their past three games, including seven in a loss to the Seahawks last week. They had eight sacks in the first eight games.

Key player

Defensive end Calais Campbell: He had three sacks last week, giving him six for the season. He is the first lineman in team history to have at least six sacks in six different seasons. Campbell will be a difficult matchup for left guard Justin Blalock and left tackle Jake Matthews.

Injury report

LB Kenny Demens (hamstring), DT Ed Stinson (toe), out; WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee), questionable; LB Lorenzo Alexander (knee), LB Marcus Benard (shoulder), WR John Brown (wisdom teeth), RB Andre Ellington (hip/foot), QB Drew Stanton (ankle), probable.

NFL power rankings: Concern for the Cardinals?

Falcons

First and foremost

Play in the fourth quarter like you do in the first and third. The Falcons have played well early in the first and second halves, but collapsed in the fourth quarter. The Cardinals, in contrast, tend to start slow and finish strong. With the exception of the Seahawks loss, the Cardinals haven't beaten themselves this season. The Falcons, in contrast, have done it routinely.

Key stat

60: That's the number of points by which the Falcons have been outscored in the fourth quarter this season. They tend to start halves fast and fade late.

Key player

Receiver Julio Jones: He leads the Falcons in receptions (72) and yards (980). He has scored four touchdowns. The Cardinals pass defense has been better the last month but Jones poses a severe test. It will be interesting to see if Patrick Peterson defends him the entire game, or if the Cardinals keep Peterson on the left side, his usual spot.

Injury report

CB Robert Alford (wrist), out; DT Paul Soliai (non-injury-related), WR Roddy White (ankle), questionable; WR Harry Douglas (foot), S William Moore (shoulder), T Jonathan Scott (hamstring), probable.

Fitzgerald says it's 'highly likely' he'll play Sunday

Cardinals on offense

Coach Bruce Arians said this week that he doesn't blame Drew Stanton for the Cardinals scoring only a field goal in the past seven quarters. But Arians makes a habit of defending his starting quarterback, no matter who it is, under almost any circumstance. The Cardinals might be able to win a couple of more games with Stanton playing at this level, but they won't go far in the playoffs unless he is more efficient. Since passing for two touchdowns in the first quarter against Detroit two weeks ago, Stanton has had no touchdowns and three passes intercepted. Stanton has proved adept at scrambling but he needs to complete passes after he's avoided trouble. That hasn't happened enough. It's not all his fault because he's not getting much help. The run game has been horrible. Over the past three games the Cardinals have averaged about two yards per carry. Their season average of 3.1 yards is the lowest in the NFL. The offensive line hasn't blocked well enough, but neither have the tight ends or the receivers. If the Cardinals can't move the ball Sunday, it's time for panic. The Falcons give up almost 410 yards a game, the most in the NFL.

Edge: Cardinals.

Falcons on offense

They are dangerous. Matt Ryan is a good quarterback, and he has threats at receiver with Julio Jones, Roddy White and Harry Douglas. The Falcons have endured injuries on the line, so their pass-blocking is suspect. The Cardinals' pass rush has improved over the past three weeks, so it could give Ryan problems. The Cardinals will need that rush because the secondary faces a difficult task in matching up with the Falcons' receivers. Keep an eye on safety Rashad Johnson, who has intercepted three passes in the Cardinals' past two games against the Falcons. The Cardinals' defense has a tendency to start slowly, and it can't do that Sunday. The Falcons have a tendency to score early. If the Cardinals can play well early, it might rattle the Falcons.

Edge: Cardinals.

Cardinals hope addition of RB Bush will boost run game

Special teams

The Cardinals haven't done much well lately, other than blocking a field-goal attempt last week in Seattle. The kick-return team is last in the NFL. The punt team gave up a block last week when only 10 men were on the field. Kicker Chandler Catanzaro has missed two of his past four attempts. The Falcons' Devin Hester is one of the leading returners in NFL history, and he's scored on a punt return this year. Kicker Matt Bryant's only two misses have come from beyond 50 yards. Punter Matt Bosher's net average of 40.2 yards is nearly 4.5 yards more than Drew Butler of the Cardinals.

Edge: Falcons.

More Cardinals: Sleepy Offense should wake up vs. Falconslaugh.png laugh.png

Bottom line

While some Cardinals fans feel like a piece of the sky fell last week in Seattle, the Cardinals insist that everything is just fine. It won't be if they lose Sunday, especially if the offense continues to struggle. The defense should give the Falcons considerable problems, but the Cardinals need the offense to produce. It doesn't help that receiver Larry Fitzgerald is likely to miss his second consecutive game.

Prediction: Cardinals 27, Falcons 24.

National Media

Cardinals at Falcons

Sunday, 4:05 p.m.

Line: Arizona -1.5

Bruce Arians admitted this week that the Cardinals need a between-the-tackles power runner: Andre Ellington is unsuited to the task, andStepfan Taylor is more of a special-teamer and third-stringer.

The Cardinals passed on LeGarrette Blount in waivers, because the best thing to do when you need a situational role player is pass up the ideal role player for the situation because he is, like, a jerk and stuff. Their waiver claim on Ben Tate failed because the Vikings got to him first, so the Cardinals settled for the remarkable Michael Bush.

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Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Bush averaged 3.1 yards per carry last season for the Bears. He gained 40 yards on one run, averaging 2.5 yards per carry for the rest. In the red zone, he carried 15 times for 14 yards. He carried nine times from the 1-yard line, averaging NEGATIVE-four yards while scoring two touchdowns. The question is not why the Cardinals are signing Bush but how did the Jets miss him?

With Larry Fitzgerald not practicing until Friday and Bush adding the minus-one-yard plunge to the arsenal, 20 points may be a chore for the Cardinals for a while. That will not be a problem this week, when the Falcons will miss tackles, allow free rushers and call timeouts until Arizona manufactures a win. But in December, the Cardinals will be wondering why they settled for Mister Nice Guy.

Prediction: Cardinals 20, Falcons 17

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They are . Its the Defense that couldnt hold browns after offense took the lead. ( I dont care of what coach smith did )

Defense gave up 10 yd a play....Thats high school.

have you watched this inconsistent offense this season. There is nothing dangerous about them except their names. That's all
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The sad part is we have weapons but we play like we don't. This "conceding" culture is sickening. I'm tired of seeing the likes of Gronk, Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, and others, who teams know will get the ball, still dominate because the offense doesn't care about what the defense is trying to do.

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The sad part is we have weapons but we play like we don't. This "conceding" culture is sickening. I'm tired of seeing the likes of Gronk, Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, and others, who teams know will get the ball, still dominate because the offense doesn't care about what the defense is trying to do.

Vel. I agree but O-line is huge part of it . When our oline dominated ( rarely ) we look like champs.

Build dominant O-line & watch us reach superbowl but our GM is too stupid to do it.

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The sad part is we have weapons but we play like we don't. This "conceding" culture is sickening. I'm tired of seeing the likes of Gronk, Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, and others, who teams know will get the ball, still dominate because the offense doesn't care about what the defense is trying to do.

We run the stupidest routes for Julio. Give that man some slants. Something. Get him in space.

WR Screens do the exact opposite at this point. Basically turning Julio into an RB and telling him to deal with every defender coming at him. Come on man.

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Vel. I agree but O-line is huge part of it . When our oline dominated ( rarely ) we look like champs.

Build dominant O-line & watch us reach superbowl but our GM is too stupid to do it.

Easy to say "GM is too stupid" despite us having a good OL when they were healthy. No GM can predict, nor survive, this many injuries. Matthews/Blalock/Hawley/Asamoah/Holmes gave Ryan plenty of time to make plays. Not the same OL. This was not the OL he went into the season with.

We run the stupidest routes for Julio. Give that man some slants. Something. Get him in space.

WR Screens do the exact opposite at this point. Basically turning Julio into an RB and telling him to deal with every defender coming at him. Come on man.

Tell me about it. Teams know Jordy Nelson is the biggest part of that offense. Yet, he seems to be open on a weekly basis. Meanwhile, we essentially concede the deep ball since safeties exist.

It's pathetic and why I have a hard time blaming anybody but the coaches. He is a true HOF talent that isn't being used like one. Put him in New Orleans and he would lead the league or be top 5 in almost every category.

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The sad part is we have weapons but we play like we don't. This "conceding" culture is sickening. I'm tired of seeing the likes of Gronk, Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, and others, who teams know will get the ball, still dominate because the offense doesn't care about what the defense is trying to do.

"Playing not to lose" is not a legitimate football philosophy to begin with; it's more like you think playing to win is just too difficult to even attempt.

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