The Arizona Cardinals Superbowl run starts today when the face the Carolina Panthers in the wild card round of the NFL Playoffs. The Arizona Cardinals will start quarterback Ryan Lindley who threw the first two touchdowns of his NFL Career on the final week of the season against the San Francisco 49ers. Not the idela situation for the Cards who have been struggling to overcome injury after their losing Carson and Palmer for the season.
The Cardinals lost their final two games of the season, backing into the NFC Wildcard after losing home field advantage to the Seattle Seahawks in week 16. The Seattle Seahawks come into the game with a little more momentum after beating the Atlanta Falcons in week 17 to win the beleaguered NFC South.
Despite their 7-8-1 record the Carolina Panthers should not be overlooked. They have been playing well down the stretch this season winning their last four games to clinch a playoff spot. The Panthers have a potentially explosive offenses with quarterback Cam Newton throwing the ball to rookie phenom Kelvin Benjamin always a big play threat. Their recent winning streak has the Panthers playing with a ton of confidence and present a serious threat to the Cardinals playoff aspirations.
Here are three keys to victory for the Arizona Cardinals over the Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton is a dynamic player. Although he has been banged up this season he is still a major threat to score with big play weapons like Kelvin Benjamin as a target. The Arizona Cardinals must contain Cam Newton by applying constant pressure n hopes of forcing a mistake. Look for defensive coordinator to give Newton a lot of different looks and blitz packages on defense.
Establish The Run
The Cardinals must establish the run against the Carolina Panthers defense. They don’t have to be dominant but just good enough to keep the Panther defense from pinning their ears back and going after Ryan Lindley. Kerwyn Williams will have to be productive both running and catching the ball to make this happen.
Be Opportunistic With The Pass
If the Cardinals can run the ball, even a little, that should open up passing opportunities for Ryan Lindley with the play action pass. Receivers John Brown, Micheal Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald have all shown the ability to get yards after catch. If Lindley can get them the ball in space they could go all the way. However, Lindley must be careful not to force the issue as that could result in a devastating turnover.
Arizona Cardinals V Carolina Panthers Game Information
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte North Carolina
When: Saturday January 3rd
Start Time: 2:20 pm
Live Stream: Watch ESPN App
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