The Arizona Cardinals finally got a win last week after nine straight losses after starting the season with four straight wins. They sit at 5-9 and out of the playoffs. They face a team in the Chicago Bears that has experienced something similar, although they still have a shot at the playoffs at 8-6. The Bears started 7-1 but are 1-5 in their last six games.
The Cards will once again go with Ryan Lindley at quarterback. He got his first NFL victory last week against Detroit, but really he had very little to do with it. Last week the defense came alive with four turnovers, including two six-picks by Rashad Johnson and Greg Toler. They will need just as big a performance if not bigger today.
The Bears are hanging by a thread. Once considered a threat to run away and hide with a high playoff seed, the Bears are now just hoping to get in. They have some of the same issues the Cards have had. They had an injured quarterback in Jay Cutler, although Cutler wasn’t lost for as long as the Cards Kevin Kolb. They also lost Brian Urlacher. Their defense, very strong in the first half of the season, has given up a lot of yards and points over the past month. It isn’t the same defense.
However, the Bears, because of that great start, still have a shot at the playoffs, so that being said, the Cards still have something to play for. They have not only pride but also a chance to derail the Bears playoff chances. The Cards no longer have a shot as the worst NFC team as Detroit clinched that for them last night with their loss to Atlanta. So, they need to go out there and take care of business. I realize at 7-9 it is still a lost season and another middle of the pack first round draft pick, but it looks a lot better than 5-11. Only way to get to 7-9 is to win today.
The Cards need to play loose. The offense needs to move the ball. The Cards need to get receiver Larry Fitzgerald the ball. They need to do it though without forcing passes though. Lindley tends to stare his receivers down, especially Fitz. Running back Beanie Wells had three touchdowns last week but still only managed 67 yards rushing, 31 of them on his third touchdown run.
The defense needs to hone in on Bears receiver Brandon Marshall. He’s had a great season. He is target number one and two, just like Fitz. If the Cards defense can contain hi, the Cards have a great shot at being successful. Should be an interesting one at University of Phoenix Stadium today.