The Run Will Be The Key To A Cardinals Victory


The Running game is the key to the contest for the Arizona Cardinals against the Kansas City Chiefs today at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Cardinals need to stop the run to win and they also need to be able to run against a team that has had problems stopping the run recently.

Andre Ellington is out of this game and one would ask why that is such a big deal, seeing that Ellington was not running the ball effective enough anyway. Well the answer is that the over-all Ellington threat will not be present, and the defense has not had to plan for a multi threat back that catches and runs routes much like a receiver.

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The entire game will hinge on the defense stopping the also multi-dimensional running back Jamaal Charles all day. Stopping Charles would be over 75% of the Chiefs’ offense as they do not throw the ball down field very well to the outside receivers.

Patrick Peterson will be looking to get back on track after that embarrassing performance last week in Atlanta, and should help take the receivers out of the mix in this game.

Quarterback Drew Stanton will be the wildcard in this game, how he plays will determine if the running game can be effective or not. Chiefs will certainly load the box and force Stanton to beat them with his arm, and against the good pass rush of Kansas City that will be a large task to over-come.

So, the offensive line has to show up big today, without question. The running game has to get off to a good start and cause more third and shorts rather than long and take the pressure off Stanton.

Guard Jonathan Cooper will be making his first regular season start in his career and he needs to have the showing that his GM Steve Keim thinks he can have. Keim said “In terms of quickness and lateral movement and speed, Coop looks like the guy we drafted” Cooper will be fresh and should open some holes for the committee of running backs today.

The Cardinals defense has the task of stopping Charles, and although they may not completely stop him, they need to limit his big plays from this game to be successful. Game plan is very simple, shut down Charles and the Redbirds will win the game.

Perhaps the offense could go to a hurry-up style and spread out the Chiefs defense to neutralize the pass rush and allow Stanton to establish a rhythm. Having Larry Fitzgerald back at about 85% still will help that cause.

The home field advantage should help push the Redbirds in this game, and look for the Cards to see some adversity in this game dealing with Charles, but over-come it and win 17-13 and stay in the lead for home field in the playoffs.