PHOENIX, AZ - The Arizona Cardinals will host the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday night in the Cardinals first game in a long time without 3-time Pro Bowl player, Darnell Dockett.
Dockett was lost for the season earlier this week when he tore the ACL in his right knee. With the free agency loss of inside linebacker Karlos Dansby and the suspension of linebacker Daryl Washington, the Cardinals will be playing in 2014 without three of last year’s starters on a defense that led the NFL against the run.
On paper, Sunday’s game against the Bengals looks more like a defensive battle between the Bengals’ third ranked defense and the Cardinals’ sixth ranked defense, but don’t count out Carson Palmer and the Arizona offense that’s scored on its opening drive in the first two pre-season games this month.
This will also be the second game that Carson Palmer has faced his former team. Palmer, once the Bengals franchise quarterback, left three years ago after a bitter break-up.
The Bengals defensive line will be looking to sack Palmer and remind him of what it’s like to leave Cincinnati on bad terms.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is hoping he can light up the scoreboard against one of the leagues better defenses.
Although this is only a pre-season game, this should be an great fight between Palmer and the Bengals’ starting defense.
Another sidebar is the guy who will be called upon to fill in for Dockett. Frostee Rucker is a former Bengal, so he’ll have some added incentive as he tries to disrupt Andy Dalton and Giovani Bernard.
With the first roster cuts coming up Tuesday (NFL teams must cut from 90 to 75), expect the coaches on both sidelines to try and get a better look at a number of borderline type players in the second half. This will be the last NFL playing experience for a number of guys who are trying to make it in the League.
Prediction: Home field advantage has to count for something, especially at University of Phoenix Stadium. Cardinals 28 – Bengals 25