Sunday Night Football Preview
The Cardinals have a chance to clinch their division with a win Sunday night. The team standing in their way is the Eagles, who are still in contention in the NFC East. My pick is the Cardinals and here is why: Carson Palmer. While the Eagles passing defense has actually been alright this year, ranked 1oth in DVOA but 24th in passing yards per game. But the Eagles have not been a great team when it comes to guarding the opponent’s best receiver. Larry Fitzgerald could be in store for a big game, and he has produced those this year. The Cardinals also have one of the best defenses in the league, and should not have that tough of a time stopping the Eagles. Philly has struggled to throw the ball this year, with Bradford not looking stellar all year. This could allow the Cardinals to put an extra guy in the box to try and stop the Eagles running game. The Eagles also could be guilty of looking ahead to their game next week against Washington. I’ll take the Cardinals tonight.
I’d really like to believe that the NFL was just screwing with ESPN with some of these Monday night games. Baltimore/Cleveland didn’t even look like that exciting of a game in the preseason, and neither did this game. The Saints were coming off a down year without a whole ton of hope coming into the year, while the Lions were a playoff team not many were expecting to get back there this year. But, ESPN is stuck with this game no matter what, and people are probably going to watch this game no matter what. New Orleans has one of the worst defenses in the league, and the worst pass defense according to DVOA. Their rushing defense is not that much better, ranked 29th by DVOA. The Lions meanwhile have an average defense, which was expected coming into this year after the loss of Suh and Fairley. On the offensive side of the ball, the Saints are one of the best in the league, although the loss of Mark Ingram is going to hurt.
The Lions have struggled on offense, but they should be able to pick apart this Saints defense. Their secondary has been so poor that Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, and Golden Tate should not have any problems putting up yards and points in chunks. This may not be megatron’s best game of the year, his performance against Philly will be hard to top, but it should be one of his better games. The Lions defense is good enough to at least get some stops, especially as the Saints will be weaker in the running game. I’m taking the Lions in a close one on Monday Night.
Ted Van Green(@TVG_5)
Spark Sports NFL Analyst/Contributor