The Arizona Cardinals will take on the New England Patriots on September 11th on Sunday Night Football in front of a nationally televised crowd and the Cardinals will have to take advantage of the weakened Patriots as they will be without Tom Brady.
Week one of each NFL season constantly gets more buzz than any other regular season week, simply due to the fact that people are bored of watching baseball over Summer and are in dire need of football to return. Training camp is a nice distraction from baseball each season and the four preseason games are all but a tease.
When the Arizona Cardinals take the field week one against the New England Patriots the Cardinals will be looking to start their season off on the right foot with a victory.
It is just the fourth matchup between these two teams since the 2004 season. In 2004, the Patriots won 23-12 and then followed that up with a 47-7 victory in 2008. In 2012, the Cardinals turned it around however and came away with a 20-18 victory.
The Cardinals chances of coming away with the week one victory got a whole lot better when news broke about how Tom Brady will have his “Deflategate” suspension the first four weeks of the 2016 season. It will also be former Patriot Chandler Jones‘ first game as a Cardinal.
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X-Factor: David Johnson
According to RotoWorld.com “Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said David Johnson ‘earned the right’ to be the ‘bell cow.’ Everybody’s got to take it from him, but Chris [Johnson] ran for 800 and probably would have had 1,200 had he stayed healthy. Andre [Ellington] can break the game open.”
The Cardinals rushing attack is lethal with David Johnson leading the charge now. Over the final five weeks of the 2015 season, Johnson rushed the ball 90 times for 442 yards (4.91 yards per carry) and four touchdowns, while also catching 17 passes for 216 yards and an additional touchdown.
Score Prediction: Cardinals 24 – Patriots 13
The Cardinals went 6-2 at home last year with their two home losses to the Rams and to the Seahawks. In fact, the Cardinals have won 15 straight non-divisional regular season games at University of Phoenix Stadium with their last loss against a non-divisional opponent coming in Week 16 of the 2012 season to the Chicago Bears.
The Cardinals have all the tools and means necessary to get back to the NFC Championship game this season, it will all just be a matter of staying healthy under coach Bruce Arians.