Cardinals-Giants Game: Bold Predictions
The Arizona Cardinals will be heading east to play the New York Giants in MetLife Stadium this coming Sunday. The matchup between rebuilding NFC middleweights offers intrigue. The Giants have had ten days to stew in their loss to the Patriots on Thursday Night Football, and they're sure to look to rebound against what appears to be a vulnerable Arizona team; Kyler Murray and the Cardinals, meanwhile, will try to extend their winning streak to three games. Let's get into some bold predictions for the action ahead.
1. The Cardinals' interception streak continues
Last week I predicted the Cards snagging their first interception of 2019, and Matt Ryan sure proved me wrong. This week, with Patrick Peterson returning from suspension and facing off against a rookie signal-caller who has been turnover-prone, it seems less bold to call for the end of the streak. Instead I predict the famine to continue for one more game. Daniel Jones will protect the football through the air against a Cardinals defense that has plain struggled to generate turnovers (outside of Chandler Jones strip sacks and 4th down stops, if you count those).
I do think the Cardinals will have an impressive showing on defense, however, as you'll find out in bold prediction number four.
2. David Johnson breaks 100 yards rushing
The New York Giants defense is comparable to the Cardinals' defense in many ways. The Cardinals have surrendered 5.5 more rushing yards per game (132.8) than the home-team Giants (127.3), while the New York defense has allowed 3.8 more passing yards per game (281.2 for Arizona, a flat 285 for New York). The Giants narrowly edge the Cardinals on points, giving up 26.7 to the visiting team's 28.5. All this is to say, both defenses are not where they want to be.
David Johnson has had his struggles, too, but through it all he's been nothing short of a picture-perfect professional. This season he's shown flashes of getting back into his rare 2015-2016 form, when he was a dominant force in the league. David Johnson will have his best rushing game of the season against a Giants defense that's struggled in all facets this season. I'm thinking he'll end up with around 20 touches, 110 yards on the ground, and a touchdown.
3. Kyler Murray gets four total touchdowns
Kyler Murray has been prolific in his first six weeks in the league. The only quarterbacks with more yards in the first six games of their rookie season are Cam Newton and Andrew Luck- not bad company for Murray. He's also scored nine total times in his first six games, with seven coming through the air and two on the ground.
Kyler Murray will put together a complete performance this Sunday. He has a knack for figuring out the weak points in a defense, and for sensing pressure- somehow, he seems to almost always know how much time he has. He'll have a few chances to throw over the top of the Giants' defense for some chunk plays, and I think the Cardinals will convert drives to touchdowns more often than field goals on this one. Expect Kyler Murray to find his way into the end zone whether by land or air- I'm thinking he'll throw for three and run for one.
4. The Cardinals offense gets a break
Kyler Murray and the Cardinals offense have worked hard in their first six games. They've run an eye-popping amount of plays (Kyler Murray had 52 in week one alone. 52!) The Cardinals' offense has shown it can sustain long drives, and this past Sunday they showed they can finish these trips to the Red Zone for six points. This coming Sunday, against a Giants team prone to turnovers, they may end up watching the defense score six.
Chandler Jones has been exceptional at not only getting to the quarterback, but forcing fumbles as well (one on Matthew Stafford in week one, and one this past week against Atlanta which an offensive lineman recovered). The Giants have struggled with pass protection at times, and if Chandler Jones finds a matchup he can exploit, expect him to make the most of it. I think Chandler Jones will force a strip-sack on Daniel Jones. And who knows- maybe star cornerback Patrick Peterson, in his first week back from suspension, will be in the right place at the right time to recover it and give Kyler Murray and company a much deserved break.
5. What Red Zone woes?
My final prediction for week 7's game is perhaps the boldest of them all. I predict that Zane Gonzalez, the kicker for Arizona, will not be called upon all game for a field goal attempt. That's right, I'm predicting 5 trips to the red zone, and each time Kyler Murray and company will score. Their struggles within their opponent's 20-yard line have been well documented this season, but last week offered hope (admittedly against a struggling defense) that the Cardinals have found their groove in the Red Zone, capping off four of their trips with touchdowns. I think that trend will continue as they go 5/5 in the red zone against the New York Giants this Sunday.
In summation, I predict the Arizona Cardinals to put up a whopping 42 points against the New York Giants- but these are bold predictions, after all. I think the Cardinals will get a comfortable win for the first time in a long time. With Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley returning (runningbacks and tight ends- our greatest weaknesses), I do think the Giants will put up points, and probably a lot of them. So here goes- I'll predict an end score of 42-30 in favor of the visiting Cardinals.
Need more Cardinals news? Check out Cardinals Maven's predictions for the Cardinals' final record here, or check out how a Giants Maven writer thinks the opposition will keep Kyler Murray in check.