The Arizona Cardinals are set to square off against the New England Patriots on November 29. Will the Cards pull out a win?
See each of ABC15's sports team's predictions below.
Sports Director Craig Fouhy's prediction:
Arizona Cardinals (6-4) at New England Patriots (4-6)
This one should be fun, it pits former Patriots back-up quarterback and young coach, Kliff Kingsbury, against his former coach and boss, Bill Belichick. We obviously know who Belichick is and his reputation for solid defense and winning championships, so what about Kliff Kingsbury and his air-raid offense?
The betting lines at this point have the Cardinals as a -2.5 point favorite, primarily because the Patriots had a league-high 8 players opt out of the season due to COVID-19, and after Sunday’s loss to the Texans, the lost running back Rex Burkhead and left tackle, Isaiah Winn.
Let’s face it, the Patriots are struggling this season after the loss of Tom Brady and Cam Newton hasn’t exactly found his stride yet with the Patriots offense.
That said, it’s another East Coast road trip and another early start, and we all know the Cardinals have been anything but a fast-starting team.
They seem to do much better when their backs are against the wall and the pressure is on. They also seem to play down to their competition, with three of their loses this season coming at the hands of the Lions (4-6), the Panthers (4-7) and the upstart Dolphins (6-4).
The big question is… how is Kyler Murray’s shoulder? He injured his shoulder late in the first quarter in Seattle on Thursday night and never really got his running attack in gear after that. If he’s still not healthy, that will curtail much of what’s his threat is to a defense. His ability to run is key to the Cardinals success on offense.
Arizona is averaging 28.7 points per game (#7 in the NFL) while the Patriots are surrendering 23.4 points per game (#9 in the NFL). On the other side of the ball, the Patriots offense is averaging 21.0 points per game (#27 in the NFL) while the Cardinals defense is giving up 23.8 points per game (#13 in the NFL).
Bottom line: The Cardinals need a win after falling to 6-and-4 on the season and they need to prove to themselves that they can come out swinging in an early, East Coast game. Oh, and the Patriots are definitely beatable this season!
Prediction: Cardinals 30, Patriots 23
Sports Anchor Collin Harmon's prediction:
The Cardinals had 10 days to stew over that penalty-riddled performance in Seattle, a game in which they were far from their best and still had a chance to tie or win on the final drive. The positive in that is the Cards are in every game, even when they don't have their A-game. On the other hand, we haven't seen a complete four-quarter performance from them through the first 10 weeks. The Cardinals have played to the level of their competition, up or down, a similar trait to the Patriots this season. Both teams have three bad losses apiece, but the two franchises are on very different trajectories.
The Cardinals are still learning how to win and deal with prosperity. The Patriots are desperately trying to find an identity. Not all of it is tied to the loss of Tom Brady, but the fact they had a league-high eight players opt out prior to the season, including their best two defensive players. Still, it's strange to see the Bill Belichick New England Patriots with a 4-6 record. The fact they are at home, and coming off a bad loss to the Texans, is scary for the Cardinals. The Pats also run the ball well which could be a problem for the Cards depleted front.
But here's why I like the Cardinals in this one:
First and foremost, Arizona is one of the best in the NFL of taking advantage inside the 20-yard-line. The Cardinals are third in the league in both red zone offense and defense. New England is not good at either, particularly offensively, where they rank 24th at punching it in. The Patriots are also one of the worst at getting after the quarterback, recording just 13 sacks in 10 games, fourth fewest in the NFL. If Kyler Murray has plenty of time to move around and hurt them with his arm or legs, that's a recipe for the Cardinals winning.
Despite it being an early start on the east coast, I think the Cardinals bounce back with a big win for their playoff hopes.
Prediction: Cardinals 31, Patriots 23