Sunday's contest against Tampa Bay could end up being a major turning point of the Cardinals' 2010 campaign. Arizona has struggled on the road this year but has managed to protect its home turf. A loss at home could prove costly with Seattle and St. Louis playing better than expected within the division.
Another key to Sunday's matchup will be the turnover battle, an area where Arizona has struggled mightily with a -7 ratio. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers have made up ground through their first six games with a +6 ratio.
PASS GAME STRUGGLES
The Cardinals had a difficult time moving the ball through the air against the Seahawks, and things won't be any easier this week. The Buccaneers come in ranked sixth against the pass allowing 196 yards per game but have been vulnerable on the ground. Tampa Bay currently boasts the 31st-ranked run defense, giving up 158 yards per outing.
Given the success Arizona has experienced on the ground so far, expect an extra emphasis on running the ball. Beanie Wells stands to benefit from an increased workload on Sunday, but the potential breakout star expects plenty of hell in taking on the Bucs' defense.
Wells quote: "I am prepared to run the ball a lot more. Myself as well as LaRod Stephens-Howling, Tim Hightower, we're going to do it by committee this week."
HALL GOOD TO GO
Despite leaving last week's game with a head injury, rookie QB Max Hall will get the start. Hall passed the NFL's mandatory concussion tests and practiced fully on Wednesday.
Hall on effects of concussion: "I woke up Monday feeling pretty good. Got tested and checked out and cleared to go. I'm good to roll."
Derek Anderson came in off the bench against the Seahawks and the offense responded effectively. While coach Ken Whisenhunt continues to stand by Hall as the starter, he's also comfortable with Anderson being pressed into action.
Whisenhunt on Anderson's play last week: "Derek played pretty well last week, and he didn't have very many reps. Maybe that's the secret with Derek. We'll give Derek some reps this week. I think he's comfortable with the plan. I think that Derek can manage it if he has to play on Sunday."
On the injury front, Early Doucet responded well after missing time with a sports hernia and should be on the field against Tampa Bay.
Meanwhile, Steve Breaston was relegated to sidelines in Seattle, but barring a late setback will be back in the starting lineup on Sunday.
Defensively, the status of Gerald Hayes and O'Brien Schofield are less certain, as both are still getting acclimated after missing significant time. Clark Haggans is doubtful due to groin injury, and second-year LB Will Davis stands to get the start in his place.
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