1) The Giants are favored over the Cardinals. -7 pts. That money is inviting you to take the Cardinals. Which means that there is a great deal of respect for the Giants. Some of it could be the West divisions faring poorly 3 time zones to the East? Separately, FYI it is a Sunday night game.
2) Can the Cardinals/Warner protect the ball? They sure did last weekend. Let’s go back to the NFC Playoffs. It was critically important to disrupt Warner’s timing and comfort. You need not be a rocket scientist to know that the man is capable of coughing up the ball. While he improved last year (some of it was physical, he was able to grab the ball more tightly) he is always vulnerable. Enter the (Jim Johnson blitzing) Eagles defense, who pressured him all day. Haley countered with SIX screens. Well, Haley is gone now, he got a job with the Chiefs. (Help me, I am confused as to why Gilbride did not get the job from Pioli.. could it be that in a similar situation a week earlier he called NONE?! Oh, and I just remembered, Gilbride never even got an interview for that job.) SOOO, if you pressure Warner, the defense has to be aware of the screen.
3) Webster on Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is 6’3″ but we know that Webster was able to handle him last year 1 on 1. Interesting to reread last year’s game for clues as to how these teams played one another. Breaston, Boldin. Like the last game we played vs these guys, you MUST score points.
4) Look at the ‘shape‘ of a Colts win vs the Cardinals earlier this year. 4 sacks given up by the Cardinals vs their only credible opponent they have faced this year. But look at those critical turnovers which kill the birds. The final score is deceiving. You have to assume the Cardinals will not give up those turnovers and will score plenty of points. So if the Giants can get that pressure w/o blitzing, great sign. Wonder’s comments about AZ from 3 weeks ago: “AZ is crumbling because their line play has deteriorated from last year. Their LT (Mike Gandy) and RT (Levi Brown) are not good.” Gandy and Brown have been adequate vs weaker teams but not against Freeny and Mathis, who Simms cites as two of the 5 best DEs in the game.
a) 2008 Giants 37 AZ 29. Giants get 10 pts off of two turnovers, great field position from Hixon.
b) 2009 Colts 31 AZ 10. Colts get 14 points off of two key turnovers.
c) We can even go back to the Super Bowl for how the Cardinals lost.. the INT pick 6 by Harrison at Halftime.
Without a turnover or two, this team is going to be a difficult opponent.