The Arizona Cardinals have lost two games in a row. In order to avoid making it three straight, they'll have to defeat the NFL's No. 1 defense, which includes a familiar face.
Former Cardinals star Calais Campbell will lead his new team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, into Glendale on Sunday. At 4-6, the Cards' playoff hopes are on life support, while the Jags are 7-3 and have won four straight games.
Who will win Sunday? Here are a pair of predictions from the ABC15 sports team.
ABC15 sports anchor Jason Snavely
The must-win games for the Arizona Cardinals were weeks ago. Now, they’re in more of a must-win-out situation. No question about it: The Cards need a win streak, and they need it now. The good news is their next three games are at home. The bad news is, on Sunday, they welcome the No. 1 defense in the NFL.
Beginning that much-needed win streak against the Jaguars will be no easy task. Offensively, the Jags aren’t flashy -- but they’re effective. They’re going to run the ball… a lot. Blake Bortles will complete just enough passes to keep the Cardinals defense on its toes, and the Jaguars will score just enough points for the Jacksonville defense to lock down a fifth straight win.
I just don’t see this Arizona Cardinals offense (what’s left of it) pulling off what few teams have been able to do this season: Beat the league’s top defense.
Jaguars 17, Cardinals 13
ABC15.com sportswriter Shane Dale
There's a good chance Calais Campbell will be the next former Valley pro athlete to come back and torch his former team. The former Cardinals defensive lineman signed with the Jaguars as a free agent in the offseason, and his 11.5 sacks this season are tied for the second-most in the NFL. He's not alone: the Jaguars lead the NFL with 40 sacks as a team this year. Translation: third-string quarterback Blaine Gabbert is in for a long day.
The Cardinals will be without speedy wide receiver John Brown on Sunday, and the Cards' top receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, could have a tough time doing much, as the Jags are No. 1 in the NFL against slot receivers. Combine that with the Jaguars' top-ranked rushing offense led by rookie sensation Leonard Fournette, and it's easy to see why the Cards are looking at a third straight loss.
Jaguars 31, Cardinals 13