Arizona Cardinals: Expert Picks – Week 6
By Erich Becker
The Experts proved right when picking Arizona last week, how about the Cardinals vs a decent team?
When a few people picked the Lions to win last week against the Arizona Cardinals it was for a variety of reasons, they wanted it more, they didn’t want to stay undefeated, they were angry at the way the game ended in Seattle, etc. But truth be told, the better team won on the field, emotions and anger be damned.
This week proves to be an interesting puzzle for the Cardinals, if emotions be damned, how does Bruce Arians return to the team that “retired” him not get his team emotionally charged. Even though Uncle Bruce would never admit it, this game means a lot to him, his son came out and said as much, in a not so direct way, but the Cardinals have to know what transpired between their coach and the coach on the other sideline. While Arians being “retired” and moving on eventually lead to the Cardinals winning 25 games in the last 2+ seasons, getting there had to hurt just a little bit for BA.
What do the experts say this week?
Starting off at CBSSports.com, the entire panel has the Cardinals going into Pittsburgh and leaving the Michael Vick led Steelers at .500.
Pete Prisco goes on to say that the advantage is clearly in the Cardinals court:
"The Cardinals stayed on the East Coast after beating the Lions last week. The Steelers are playing on a short week after beating San Diego Monday. That’s an edge for Arizona. The Cardinals are also the better team. They will put up big passing numbers here against the Steelers defense."
Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk falls into the same category with the short week, questionable defense and spotty QB play will be an advantage for the Cardinals:
[blockquoMore than three years ago, the Steelers “retired” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who has since won the coach of the year award twice. With Arians back, his former star pupil, Ben Roethlisberger, still injured, and the Steelers working on a short week after a return from San Diego, advantage Cardinals.[/blockquote]
Microsoft’s Cortana engine, who went 10-4 last week, has the Cardinals winning in 55% of simulations, a bit closer than you would imagine looking at the teams. Nate Silver’s ELO model, another predictive engine, actually has the Cardinals losing in 56% of simulations. This is one of the few weeks where the predictive models are a bit different.
Over at ESPN, 9 of the 13 panelist have the Cardinals coming out on top Sunday and moving to 5-1 on the season.
There’s a lot of emotion and focus on this game, although, maybe not as much so as the matchup between New England and Indianapolis on Sunday because of the deflate-gate scandal. Still, I see the Cardinals doing something they haven’t done in a while, traveling, staying on the East Coast, and pulling out both wins. Previously the team and dropped one of the two games while doing this, but this week, the Cardinals have the clear advantage. I see them besting the Steelers 28 to 13 and continuing to exploit teams with holes to fill.