Giants (5-7) Cardinals
Cardinals took their third loss in a row on Sunday playing against the Los Angeles
Rams. They scored a touchdown on their opening drive, but ended up losing the
Last Sunday the Giants were
in Seattle, up against a team that had twice as many wins. They pulled off a major
upset, beating the Seahawks 17-12.
last time the Cardinals were in the playoffs Bruce Arians was the head coach.
In 2015 they won the NFC West with a 14-4 record, and were one victory away from
playing in the Super Bowl. After defeating the Green Bay Packers, they lost in
the NFC Championship game to the Carolina Panthers. Kliff Kingsbury is now in
his second year as head coach of the team. The Cardinals were 5-10-1 in his first
season, and things were looking very good when they were at 6-3 this year.
To get there, the Cardinals had an overtime win over the Seahawks that put them
first in the division. Following that was a close loss to the Miami Dolphins,
before Kyler Murray threw his Hail Murray pass in the final seconds of the next
game to give the Cardinals a win over the Buffalo Bills. Since then the Cardinals
have been on a three game losing streak in matchups against the Seahawks, Patriots,
Kyler Murray never threw a Hail Mary pass before that 43-yard touchdown against
the Buffalo Bills. That gave Murray his third fourth-quarter comeback of the season,
and it was the fifth game-winning drive of his career. The offense was off to
an impressive start last week when Murray completed a 59-yard touchdown pass to
tight end Dan Arnold on the first possession of the game. After that you wouldn't
have expected the Cardinals to come up with just 232 yards of total offense, which
was their worst output of the season.
It should help to have Larry Fitzgerald
back. He was the leading receiver last year, and missed last week's game after
landing on the COVID list. Fitzgerald is second on the team with 43 catches, and
DeAndre Hopkins is first with 85.
The offensive line has done well so far
for Murray this season. They have only allowed 20 sacks with four games left,
and last year they gave up 48. Murray leads all quarterbacks with 665 rushing
yards on 102 attempts, though in the last three games, all losses, it was 61 yards
on 15 runs. Running back Kenyan Drake led the team last season with 170 carries
for 817 yards and 8 touchdowns. He's already run for 768 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Chase Edmonds ran all over the Giants in last year's matchup with 27 carries for
126 yards and 3 touchdowns.
likely remember last year's 27-21 win over the Giants. In that game, they sacked
Daniel Jones 8 times, had 1 interception, and recovered two of his fumbles. They
like to blitz and do it about 40 percent of the time. They line up multiple players
at the line of scrimmage to keep the offense guessing before dropping back into
coverage. Despite that, the defense only has seven sacks in its past four games.
Even with Jared Goff having 47 pass attempts last week, they sacked him only once.
Goff completed 37 of those passes for 351 yards and 1 touchdown.
leads the team with five sacks. Dennis Gardeck has three. Safety Budda Baker has
two interceptions on the year, and leads the team with 94 tackles. Markus Golden
was the sack leader for the Giants last year with 10 sacks, and he's returned
to the Cardinals, where he was drafted in 2015 after being traded midseason. Golden
has had one sack in five games since being back. Overall this defense is allowing
123 yards per game, and 24.7 points per game. Their biggest strength is their
red-zone defense where they rank fourth in the league, and they are first in goal-to-go
reasons why backup quarterbacks are backups and not starters. Daniel Jones was
out last week, and Colt McCoy filled in his place. McCoy did his job, and it all
worked out with the Giants winning over Seattle. The Giants had to focus more
on using their running game, and it worked out very well for them. The Giants
ran for 190 yards on 31 carries against Seattle, a team that had the third-best
run defense. Wayne was the standout with 16 carries for 135 yards.
listed as questionable, but that has changed. Jones will play and the offense
will be less limited, although lingering effects from his hamstring injury might
affect his mobility. The offensive line keeps improving, though lining up against
edge rusher Markus Golden could pose a problem. Golden is very familiar with the
Giants system having played on the team just two months ago.
During the last four games the defense
has held each of their opponents to 20 points or less. Last week the high scoring
Seahawks were held to 12 points, with 2 provided by a safety. Defensive lineman
Leonard Williams recorded 2.5 sacks and five quarterback hits in the Giants upset
of the Seahawks, giving him a career-high 8.5 on the season
Kyler Murray had
a great rookie year, and was off to an even better one, but maybe defenses have
caught on. In the last three games Murray's passing yardage is down almost 60
yards a game. His rushing average has dropped 47 yards a game. Murray scored 10
rushing touchdowns before the last three games, but none during that stretch.
The Giants defense did a fantastic job mixing up their schemes in the secondary
against Russell Wilson last week. Murray is similar to Wilson and has far less
His top target is wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who caught Murray's
game-winning touchdown on a Hail Mary pass in the Buffalo game. James Bradberry
will mostly travel with Hopkins, and likely as we've seen, the defense will continue
to disguise coverages in order to force Murray into making mistakes. Arizona is
averaging over 150 yards a game on the ground. We'll see how that goes, with the
Giants giving up an average of 96.7 yards. It would be helpful to have Blake Martinez
on the field overseeing all this. Martinez hurt his lower back near the end of
the game last week, and is listed as questionable for this game.
The Giants are on a roll, winning four games
in a row, and they are leading the NFC East. The Giants also have the best record
in division wins, 3-2, with one left to go against the Cowboys in the last game
of the season. Two of those wins were against Washington, who has the same 5-7
The Cardinals have lost three straight games, and a chance for their
first postseason game since 2015 is fading away. After the Giants,they have games
against Philadelphia (3-8-1) and San Francisco (5-7) at home, before facing the
Rams (9-4) again, this time in Los Angeles.
Both teams would sure like to win
this one. With Daniel Jones returning, the Giants have a good shot at another
NFC East Games
Sunday at 1:00pm Cardinals (6-6) at Giants (5-7).
at 1:00pm Cowboys (3-9) at Bengals (2-9-1).
Sunday at 4:25pm Saints (10-2)
at Eagles (3-8-1).
Sunday at 4:25pm Washington (5-7) at San Francisco (5-7).
The Cowboys are the only NFC East team are favored to win in these games.
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Williams was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week, coming off 2.5 sacks against
Former Giant Justin Pugh is
currently the left guard for the Cardinals.
DEC 20 Cleveland at Giants
27 Giants at Baltimore