The second installment of my predictions for the 2016 cardinals season will cover games four through six and give you my thoughts for what to expect in each game.
Just like the first post, we will start with a couple of assumptions that I am making to create this breakdown. The Cardinals will stay relatively healthy. No injuries to the nine guys that made the most recent NFL top 100 list or who play thin position groups like cornerback or O-line. But, I am making that assumption for all of our opponents as well.
Cardinals 24 – Rams 10
The Rams always play the division tough and have caused most of the season ending injuries to the Cardinals in recent years. This game will start slow as both teams are more than familiar with each other, but the Cardinals are the better team so they will pull away late in the second and early in the third quarter.
Carson Palmer will throw an interception, but he will have a good game against one of our division rivals. This will also be a rough game for A.Q. Shipley going up against Aaron Donald, but the run game will be able to convert a couple critical third and short situations.
The Rams will not be able to move the ball on us much. Todd Gurley will put up decent numbers, but won’t break the 100 yard mark and we win this game easily.
Cardinals 40 – Niners 17
The second division game of the year for us and the first on the road. We have always been comfortable in Levi’s stadium and will be again. The Niners do not have the fire power on offense or anything that worries me on offense. We won’t overlook a division opponent and will take it to them.
Regardless of who they have under center, they won’t be able to move the ball until garbage time in the fourth quarter.
Carson has his best game yet and has a clean pocket all game. This will be the game that everyone points out to say what is possible if we protect Carson and give him time to throw.
Cardinals 27 – Jets 20
This is going to be a smash mouth football game. Todd Bowles will have his defense ready and they are talented. Revis island will take away an entire side of the field, but our tight ends and running backs will be the difference.
The Cardinals will have to convert again on some of those huge third and short situations and play nearly perfect in the red zone. We have to come up with points on every trip inside the Jets 25 yard line. This will be a tough game for D.J. Humphries, but he will grow during this match-up with the front seven of the Jets.
We are the better team here, but their defense and coaching will be somewhat of an equalizer.
I am excited to be 6-0 and this point with a game with our division rival coming up. Will we be able to keep our momentum or will we fail to protect the nest again? I will write my prediction soon and you can let me know if you agree.