What a crazy season, right?
When the Arizona Cardinals started the 2012 campaign at 4-0, they had visions of a top playoff seeding in the NFC.
Now at 4-5, the Red Birds are fighting for their playoff lives.
How quickly things change.
With the Cardinals on a much needed bye week, let's look in the crystal ball and predict how the remainder of the regular season may play out:
Nov. 18 at Atlanta: What a tough game following a bye week. The Falcons may still be undefeated at this point and quarterback Matt Ryan is having an MVP-like season. Too many weapons for the Cards to contain. Loss.
Nov. 25 vs. St. Louis: Beanie Wells can return to action in this game – sound the trumpets. The Cardinals should finally break their losing streak here. They should be able to get sustained pressure on Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson looks old now. Revenge for their earlier 17-3 loss to the Rams. Win.
Dec. 2 at NY Jets: This is a tough one but the Jets are in such disarray that the Red Birds should pull out a victory. Is this the game Kevin Kolb returns to action? The Jets can be run on, especially on the edge, so LaRod Stephens-Howling may have a very good game here. Win.
Dec. 9 at Seattle: A rematch of the season opener when Arizona won a squeaker. This contest will be very tough for the Cards because CenturyLink Field may be the toughest stadium to play in for opposing teams. Seattle's defense is very good, especially their secondary, and Marshawn Lynch is one of the top backs in the league. Another close one but a – Loss.
Dec. 16 vs. Detroit: Patrick Peterson on Calvin Johnson should be a fascinating matchup to watch. Hard to believe that Megatron has but one TD as of this writing. Anyway, expect the turnover prone Matthew Stafford to throw a couple of picks and for Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts to have solid receiving efforts. This looks like it might be Arizona's last win of the season – Win.
Dec. 23 vs. Chicago: Another NFC North team heads to Glendale and looks to put a lump of coal in Arizona's pre-Christmas stocking. Chicago's defense leads the league in creating turnovers and it seems like every week a Bears defender is returning an interception for a touchdown. I think it will happen here too. Jay Cutler finds Brandon Marshall for a scoring strike and Matt Forte controls the ground game for the Monsters of the Midway. Loss.
Dec. 30 at San Francisco: The season finale. The 49ers may have wrapped up the NFC West crown by this point and may rest some of their regulars but the Cardinals don't match up well with them. Arizona is still smarting from their 24-3 debacle against the Niners on Oct. 29 in Glendale (in front of a nationwide audience). San Francisco held the Red Birds to just seven rushing yards and have one of the most physical defenses in the league. This will not be a pretty way to end the season. Loss.
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