SportsSports Blogs Local

Actions

Cardinals vs. Giants: 3 reasons to watch and a prediction

Posted: 10:29 PM, Dec 23, 2017
Updated: 2017-12-24 12:03:45Z

Yes, the 6-8 Arizona Cardinals and 2-12 New York Giants have been eliminated from playoff contention. No, there's little more to play for than pride when the two teams meet in Glendale on Christmas Eve.

But look a little deeper. Sunday afternoon's matchup includes some fascinating subplots that could impact the Cardinals this season and in the future.

Here are three reasons to watch Sunday's Cardinals-Giants game, along with a prediction.

1. Larry's last game in Glendale?

If he decides to play next season, Larry Fitzgerald will do so in a Cardinals uniform.  But that remains a big if, as Fitz has yet to decide whether he's going to play in 2018.

If Fitzgerald retires, it'd be a shame to see him go while he's still playing at such a high level. At 34 years old, he is tied for fourth in receptions (92) and is 11th in receiving yards (982) this season and fully earned his 11th Pro Bowl invitation. If this is it for Larry, he has a chance to go out on a high note, as the Giants' pass defense is among the worst in the NFL.

2. Chandler's chance at history

No Arizona Cardinals player has ever led the NFL in sacks in a single season. Linebacker Chandler Jones has a real chance to become the first to do so, as he will enter Sunday's game with a league-leading 15 sacks. He'll have an opportunity to add to that total at home against a Giants team that has allowed 30 sacks this season.

3. Arians closing in on record

Bruce Arians has 48 career wins as the Cardinals' head coach, just one behind Ken Whisenhunt for the most in franchise history. A win Sunday combined with a victory in the Cards' season finale at Seattle next week would give Arians the team record with an even 50 victories. With retirement rumors swirling around the 65-year-old coach, this might be Arians' last chance to break the record.

Prediction:

Neither team has much to play for, but Eli Manning and the Giants showed signs of life in their near-upset of the NFC-leading Eagles next week -- and with Drew Stanton back at quarterback, the Cardinals might get a boost on offense, as well.

Look for a close and, yes, entertaining contest to go down Sunday afternoon in Glendale, with Fitzgerald coming through with some late-game heroics to give the Cards their seventh win of the season.

Cardinals 24, Giants 21