After the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Dallas Cowboys last night, the playoff picture got a lot thicker for the Patriots. Now, the Patriots need either the Jets or Dolphins to lose today, or the Ravens to lose to the Jaguars next week.
However, the bottom line is, the Patriots must win to stay alive (except in a scenario where we lose today win next week and have Baltimore lose next week and we win by strength of victory… Lets just make it simple: the Patriots need to win today.
Things might not be as hard as originally projected either. The Arizona Cardinals are abysmal on the road, and may even be worse in wintery conditions, which we will likely see this sunday. Plus, they may be without one of their top targets – Anquan Boldin.
Both teams may be forced to run the ball because of the conditions, and lucky for the Patriots, Cardinals are ranked last in the league in that category.
Key to the Game
Control the Game on the Ground – A key for the Patriots will be controlling the Cardinals on the ground. This year, the Patriots have been able to win games by using the run (ex. Denver), and that may be something they try to do today.
Players to Watch
Cardinals: Steve Breaston – The Cardinals third receiver may go over 1000 yards this year. Kidding aside, he could be considered the Cards’ “secret weapon,” as he brings a nice combination of hands and route running.
Prediction: Patriots 24 Cardinals 21
Gostkowski boots through the winner as time expires in a close game dominated by running an defense.