The Arizona Cardinals have spent a rainy week in Florida preparing for their game Sunday against the winless Tampa Bay Bucs. The teams have combined to win just one of their first six games this season. Rookie Mike Glennon will make his first at quarterback for Tampa Bay which makes this a very interesting game for Arizona.
Let's take a look at this week's matchup:
Defensive tackle Dan Williams will miss Sunday's game because of his father's funeral. He'll be missed. Arizona recorded four sacks against New Orleans last week and that's a good sign moving forward because if they can pressure Glennon effectively they can force the rookie into mistakes. All rookies make them.
The Cardinals need to get their running game going. They rank 23rd in the NFL, averaging just 86.3 YPG. Rashard Mendenhall has been suffering from a toe injury but fully participated in practice Friday and looks good to go. He needs to run effectively in order for Carson Palmer to set up play action.
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald seems to be fully recovered from his hamstring injury. After a stellar week one, Fitzgerald has just seven receptions for 97 yards in his last two games. He'll be tested against a very improved and aggressive Bucs secondary. Tight end Rob Housler needs to step up and make a solid contribution.
Defensively, look for Patrick Peterson to be matched up with Bucs WR Vincent Jackson, who is Tampa Bay's big play threat but is also dealing with a rib injury and may be hindered. Safety Tyrann Mathieu will help with protection over the top with Jackson and talented teammate Mike Williams. They're a very dynamic 1-2 tandem.
Tampa Bay (0-3)
It's been a rough year so far for Greg Schiano's Buccaneers. They've lost two games by a total of three points (Jets, Saints) and now former starting quarterback Josh Freeman has been benched and wants to be traded.
Glennon will make his first NFL start. The North Carolina State product has a powerful arm but the Red Birds can rattle him with a strong pass rush and a variety of blitz packages.
Running back Doug Martin, who is second in the league with 297 yards rushing, needs to run effectively in order to take pressure off the young signal-caller. Martin is an excellent pass catcher as well so the Cardinals have to be aware of screen passes and check downs.
The Bucs are a very aggressive, hard-hitting defense that likes to create turnovers so the Cards will have to do a solid job securing the ball. A great matchup to watch will be cornerback Darrelle Revis on Fitzgerald – two All-Pros going mano a mano. That in itself might be worth the price of admission. A classic battle within the game.
Prediction: This is a tough one to call. Both squads need a win badly. Look for the Cardinals to dial up the pass rush to frustrate the young Glennon and force him into a few mistakes. Martin will play well but Palmer will outshine him and lead the Red Birds to their second victory of the campaign. Cardinals 20, Bucs 17.
- Be sure to "like" our Facebook page
- Follow us on Twitter @Cardinals_101
You need to satisfy your competitive drive, so why not beat our experts in fantasy football. At FightClub, our official Fantasy Football partner, you can change you team weekly and win cash. Get a free $5 credit when you sign up and try them out. And each week, Sports Media 101 will sweeten the pot and award the player with top points an extra $25. Match-up and show them how good you are. Can you handle FightClub?
Your man cave is your home field advantage for every game. When the game is on the line, you should be able to look around and be reminded of the great moments you've watched unfold in that very room! MJR Sports Integrity offers a wide range or team and player-specific memorabilia that can do just that and take your game day room to the next level. Find your inspiration at MJR Sports Integrity and will your team to victory!
- Arizona Cardinals’ Dan Williams to Miss Tampa Bay Game on Sunday
- Arizona Cardinals Vs. New Orleans Saints Preview
- Arizona Cardinals Vs. Detroit Lions Game Preview
- Arizona Cardinals Lose Linebacker Alex Okafor for Season
- Arizona Cardinals Prediction: 8-8 This Season
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/11is