What once looked like a very promising season after a 4-0 start has quickly slipped away as the Arizona Cardinals have fallen to 4-5 following a five game losing streak. The Cardinals are coming off their bye week and are in Atlanta to play the 8-1 Atlanta Falcons, who suffered their first loss of the season just one week ago. The Falcons have the seventh ranked offense and the sixth ranked defense, they are one of the most balanced teams in the league, but Saints proved last week, they certainly aren’t unstoppable.
The Cardinals don’t have a balanced team, in fact they struggle to score, and to get yards on offense, they are 31st in both categories. Their first four wins, the Cardinals didn’t score less than 20 points in any of their games, but since then, they haven’t scored more than 17 points. With a dominant defense that is the fifth ranked defense in the NFL, they have had no trouble stopping their opponents, but they need to start scoring again in order to turn their season around.
The key to this game for the Cardinals is for them to establish a running game with LaRod Stephens-Howling, this will open up the passing game and allow Larry Fitzgerald to have more opportunities to exploit weaker coverage. But until the running game is established, it’s likely that the Falcons defensive game plan is build around limiting Larry Fitzgerald and making either Kolb or Skelton, and the other receivers beat them.