The Arizona Cardinals travel to play another dome team in the Atlanta Falcons on September 19th in this NFC tilt. Matt Ryan, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback and Derek Anderson the Arizona Cardinals new quarterback both came out of the gate a little rough in NFL Week One.
Passing Attacks of Arizona Cardinals & Atlanta Falcons Off to Rough Start
In a match up against the hard hitting defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Matt Ryan struggled to get on track. He and his Atlanta Falcons teammates were clearly out of sync most of the game. Ryan failed to punch the ball in the end zone in regulation and then won the coin flip and failed to score in overtime. Ryan threw for 252 yards but the absence of a running game made his job nearly impossible. If the Atlanta Falcons can get Michael Turner in gear for this game they could be a formidable opponent.
Derek Anderson faced the worst team in the NFL last year, the St Louis Rams and looked confused much of the game also. Anderson threw the ball in Larry Fitzgerald’s direction 15 times but only connected with his star receiver three times. The Arizona Cardinals star receiver looked visibly frustrated as the game wore on and the Cardinals were not sure they could win. Anderson’s 297 yards passing was a deceptive statistic, he did not live up replacing a legend in Kurt Warner. The passing attack edge goes to the Atalanta Falcons over the Arizona Cardinals.
Running Game of Atlanta Falcons & Arizona Cardinals Will Set up Passing
Both teams struggled to establish the run in their first NFL games. The Arizona Cardinals lost Chris “Beanie” Wells late in the week and Tim Hightower filled in. Hightower had some good runs but he only ran for 49 yards and he couldn’t get much established for the Arizona Cardinals. Wells knee injury may only be a week by week situation so it will be an important injury to keep an eye on.
Michael Turner of the Atlanta Falcons is a hard runner that gains steam as the game gets into the last minutes. In his game against the Steelers, Turner never got on track and was stuffed by the Steelers defense. Turner will be the most important player on the field for this game and if he can get loose, the Atlanta Falcons could win in a rout. The edge for the best running game goes to the Atlanta Falcons.
Arizona Cardinals vs Atlanta Falcons -7.5: Pick Against the Spread & Final Look
After both teams had horrible starts to their seasons, this is the game that can turn a season around quick. The Arizona Cardinals have one win in the bank heading into this game and they may get crushed by theAtlanta Falcons at home. Atlanta is ready for this game and being their first home game, they will want to make a statement that the Pittsburgh Steelers game was an aberration. Take the Atlanta Falcons -7.5 to win this game at home and beat the Arizona Cardinals by two touchdowns.
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