The final chapters of the 2016 season are coming to a close for these two teams. The New Orleans Saints (5-8) are headed to the desert to face the Arizona Cardinals (5-7-1). The season hangs by a thread for these two teams.
Kickoff: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, at University of Phoenix Stadium
The tale of these two disappointing teams continues. Both teams are fighting to stay in the playoff picture, but both teams need help to get into the playoffs. Even the winner of this game can be eliminated from the playoffs if their rivals don’t lose. At this point, these two franchises will need to focus on the off season very soon.
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Arizona went into Miami and lost an important game in the season to the Dolphins. They fell to 5-7-1, and have basically lost all hope to be readmitted into the playoffs. From playing in the NFC Championship game to not making the playoffs is a big drop for a team. Coming out of the game, news arose that the Cardinals released M. Floyd after a DUI arrest. Arizona will have to defend its turf with one less offensive weapon this Sunday.
The Saints also fall under the same umbrella. New Orleans fell to Tampa Bay in what was a bizarre defensive game. From two teams that have had dominate offensives, the story on Sunday was about the defenses. In addition, Brees came out of the game with 0 touchdowns. An injured Thomas was not present for the offense, and Brees’ 3 interceptions led to the Saints’ offensive struggles. Meanwhile the defense was the one to show up and held Evans, Tampa’s best receiver, to only 4 catches for 42 yards. This Saints team plays like a seesaw. The team can never seem to show up on both sides of the ball.
Saints @ Cardinals (September 13rd, 2015) – Cardinals win 31 – 19
Despite this loss, the Saints have won the 2 of the last 3 games, but the Cardinals hold the series lead 15-14.
What to Watch for:
The battle of the quarterbacks. Brees versus Palmer. Brees has been scoreless in the last two games, with no touchdowns for the 37-year-old veteran. Now the Saints must face what is considered the one of the best defenses in the NFL. This is going to be a tough task for the offense to score on this defense.
Palmer on the other hand has had a mediocre season in comparison to the Cardinals’ 2015 playoff run. In an offense that runs a 64-36 pass to run ratio, Palmer has failed to produce 2015 numbers while David Johnson seems to carry the team at times. We’ll see what the duo can do to an improving Saints’ defense.
The battle of one of the top defense versus one of the top offenses will a be treat to watch.
The fact that Brees hasn’t scored a touchdown in two games and is facing a top defense leads me to believe that this game will be a struggle for the Saints’ offense. The Cardinals’ offense will need to put up good offensive number to win this game. Ultimately, the Saints will fall short in their conquest over the Cardinals. Final score: Saints 17 – Cardinals 21.