What a week this has been. It’s funny what two consecutive wins can do to you – my life has been a rollercoaster of highs since Sunday. Talking to strangers on public transport? Check. Wearing outlandish flowery shirts to work? Absolutely. Smashing out Cher classic ‘Turn Back Time’ at my local pub karaoke? Why not.
I’m fabricating that of course – apart from the flowery shirts. God only knows what will happen if Kingsbury makes it win number three on Sunday.
The Arizona Cardinals travel to New Jersey to face a New York Giants side who are in polar opposite form to their visitors on Sunday. It seems like an age since Daniel Jones put on a monstrous debut win over the Buccaneers in Week 3 – they’ve lost their last two games against the Minnesota Vikings and the New England Patriots. A win is a must for the Giants this Sunday if they are to keep the pace in the NFC East – with the Eagles and Cowboys facing off with one another.
The Giants’ offense could be bolstered with some key returning figures. Superstar running back Saquon Barkley was part of full practice on Thursday so looks set to return after missing three weeks with an ankle injury. Tight end Evan Engram also featured in practice and could line up on Sunday evening; however, star receiver Sterling Shepherd is out for the encounter.
The Cardinals are looking to chase a third consecutive victory for the first time since 2015 but we have some injury concerns of our own.
Arizona have established a resourceful rushing trio in Kyler Murray, Chase Edmonds and David Johnson – however, Johnson will be a game-day decision having sustained a lingering ankle injury over the last couple of weeks. Wide receiver Christian Kirk is also doubtful for the trip to New York as he’s recovering from an ankle injury. Defensive tackle Zach Kerr (ankle) and punter Andy Lee (right hip) are also questionable.
One aspect of the Cardinals offense that has heads turning is the ability to rush. But with the likelihood of David Johnson and DJ Foster being out for the trip, it could see a solitary running back in Edmonds taking the snaps on Sunday afternoon. That may not be the worst-case scenario – Edmonds leads the team in yards per rush with 6.4 and has been diamond in the Cardinal offense this year.
That leads us nicely on to Kyler Murray. K1 has excited the Red Sea with his precise deep plays and his explosive speed coming out of the pocket. He was named Pepsi Rookie of the Week after his standout performance in our 34-33 win over the Falcons last week – an award that’s highlighted a culmination of big performances by the number one pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He’ll need another one this week – this is the last game before Arizona go on a packed November schedule where they face the 5-0 49ers twice and the New Orleans Saints next week.
Finally – a superstar returns in the form of cornerback Patrick Peterson. PP21 has been suspended for the last six games after violating the league’s performance enhancing drugs policy. It’s no surprise to any Card just how important Peterson has been to the defense – his presence alone takes away half the field from the opponent. Byron Murphy will surely be honoured by partnering with Pat P at corner – Murphy has been a fantastic addition to the defense with the rookie delivering a great showing against Julio Jones last week.
I must be feeling greedy but I can see another win for the Cardinals here. Some tough tests lie ahead, but confidence is high among this young team and with Patrick Peterson returning, I think this Cardinals team has enough to take the game away from the Giants.
Prediction: Cardinals 27, Giants 24
Featured Picture – Credit: Kathy Willens/Associated Press