The Arizona Cardinals have a pretty tough schedule this year. Aside from having to play the 49ers twice, they also face the Packers and the Patriots. While the Cardinals offense has a lot of question marks, the defense is poised to be among the best in the NFL.
Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton took half of last season to bring the defense into his mode of operation, and the Cardinals won seven of their last nine. This year, he had a pre-season and the defense worked against the Seahawks last week.
Last year, the Cardinals only allowed 30 or more points four times all season, with an opponent high of 34. None of these happened in those last nine games. The defense makes this team a contender despite the problems on offense. All their games should be close if the defense holds up, which brings us to today’s game.
The New England Patriots and Tom Brady will be a huge benchmark for this defense. If the defense can hold the Patriots to 24 points, the Cards have a chance to win. If the defense falters, this is going to be a blow out. Neither Kevin Kolb nor John Skelton can keep up with Brady, and this team already depends on special teams for too much scoring. The days of the Kurt Warner shootout are long gone.