GLENDALE, AZ — For the first time in a few years, the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants are going to be playing meaningful games in December. The teams will meet Sunday at MetLife Stadium. The Giants are leading the NFC East with a 5-7 record and are riding a four-game winning streak. The Cardinals are 6-6 and have seen their playoff hopes take a hit lately. They have lost three straight games and four of five. The skid has put them just outside a wild-card spot with four weeks left in the regular season.
So, can the Cardinals keep themselves in playoff contention, or will they be forced into an even deeper hole to dig out of? Here are predictions from the ABC15 sports team.
Sports Director Craig Fouhy
Let’s face it, things haven’t been going well lately for our Cardinals. They’ve lost 3-straight and 4 of the last 5. Just five weeks ago, the Cardinals were 5 and 2 and looking like a playoff team. Three weeks ago, they were 6 and 3 and still looking like they would win enough to get at least a wild-card spot.
But heading into week 14, they’re limping into an early game at MetLife Stadium against a Giants team that’s won four straight, including a win over the Seahawks in Seattle last weekend.
That takes us to Kyler Murray and his inability to run the football. Everyone seems to agree, something happened to Murray’s right shoulder in that Thursday night game in Seattle, because Kyler has been a mere shell of his former running self.
Murray’s inability to gain yards on the ground and Kliff’s decision to keep him in the pocket and not let him roll out to put pressure on defensive backs has made this “air-raid” offense look pretty basic and very vanilla.
I hate to bet against the Cardinals but given the early start time on the east coast and the Cards struggles to wake up and play from the git-go… makes me lean that way.
Oh, and did I mention that the Cardinals 4.3 yards-per-play over the last three games ranks second-to-last in the league? Yikes! This doesn’t look good.
However… I haven’t picked against them yet, and I’m not going to start now.
Prediction: Cardinals 37, Giants 24
Sports Anchor Collin Harmon
My, what a difference five weeks makes. Back then, the Cardinals were rolling, the Giants were reeling, and this upcoming three-game stretch on Arizona’s schedule looked like easy wins to improve their seeding for the playoffs. Now, they’re fighting desperately just to get in after losing four of the last five games, while the Giants have won four in a row thanks to a defense that is playing lights out.
The Giants have turned things around despite losing Saquon Barkley earlier this season. They kept it rolling last Sunday in Seattle, despite missing starting quarterback Daniel Jones. This is a team that has galvanized around adversity. The Cardinals? Not so much. We keep hearing about the character and leadership in the locker room, and how badly the Cards want this. Well, now is the time to show it. It’s gut-check time.
Even though the Cardinals recent play, and their historical struggles with early East Coast kickoffs, should give me no confidence in them pulling out a win at the Meadowlands, I’m going with my gut. I think they find a way to eke out a must-win game to prolong their playoff chances.
Cardinals 27, Giants 17