Arizona Cardinals: Is the Ravens match up a trap game?


Is the Monday night showdown with the Baltimore Ravens a trap game?

After a surprising loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, is it possible that the Arizona Cardinals may be overlooking their Monday night showdown with the struggling Baltimore Ravens? After losing in Week 4 at home against the St. Louis Rams, the Arizona Cardinals rebounded the next week and thrashed a winless Detroit Lions squad.

Don’t let the Ravens record fool you. While their record says 1-5, every game they have played has been decided by 6 points or less. While the Ravens defense isn’t as memorable as it has been in past seasons, their offense has still been productive with Joe Flacco at the helm. The Baltimore offense ranks 11th in points per game (23.8) and passing yards per game (258.3), and rank 9th and 15th in total yards per game (369.5) and rushing yards per game (111.2) respectively.

While it makes sense to pencil this as a win for the Arizona Cardinals, one can see why the Ravens pose as a trap game for a dejected Cardinals squad. When active, Baltimore receiver Steve Smith has torched opposing secondaries, and running back Justin Forsett has been a steady force in the Ravens’ ground game.

Last week against the Steelers, the Arizona Cardinals defense had trouble stopping Michael Vick and Le’Veon Bell on the ground, and also got scorched by Martavis Bryant who finished the day with 137 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. While I’m not saying Smith and Forsett are the same as Bell and Bryant, they still both possess the play making ability to give the Cardinals defense fits.

Another factor that could prove to be a further distraction to the Cardinals is that this being a nationally televised game. While the Ravens do possess the league’s worst passing defense, will Carson Palmer feel hesitant with his throws especially with the game ending interception last week and the added pressure of the whole nation watching at home.

In no means am I saying that the Arizona Cardinals will play a sloppy game and lose, I am saying that this game isn’t a guaranteed win as we all expect it to be. I get the sense that the Cardinals offense have given themselves too high expectations, and many are expected them to score 40+ points every game. While this would be nice, the bottom line is that the offense just needs to consistently put points on the board and capitalize on the red zone possessions.

We have all been spoilt by how explosive the offense has played this, and shouldn’t expect the wins to come as easy as they have been. Expect the Arizona Cardinals to receive a tough fight from a Baltimore Ravens who are looking to turn things around sooner rather than later.

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