Week 2 Preview: Cardinals at Giants

Following a spirited comeback in Week 1, the Cardinals hit the road on a short week to take on a desperate Giants team. We take a look at the game’s key matchups, dissect Sunday’s betting guide with a strong trend and predict who’ll come out on top in New York.


The Arizona Cardinals square off against the New York Giants this Sunday, looking to start 2-0 for the second time in past three seasons. The Giants come into this weekend’s matchup off an underwhelming performance against the Detroit Lions which resulted in a 35-14 loss. New York is already desperate for a win and will do everything in its power to prevent dropping to 0-2 on the young season.

As good as Arizona’s Week 1 win against the San Diego Chargers was, the Cardinals have plenty of room to improve this week. Despite needing a late fourth-quarter comeback to win by a point, Arizona dominated the stat sheet against San Diego, holding a 403-290 advantage in total yards, a 22-15 advantage in first downs while winning the turnover battle (2-1).

On the flip side, the Giants were dominated both on the stat sheet and the scoreboard. New York allowed the Lions to rack up 417 yards of offense while it gained only 197 yards. QB Eli Manning and the Giants offense failed to get in any kind of rhythm in a new offensive scheme, something they’ll be out to change this week in their home opener.

Key Matchups

QB Eli Manning vs. Cardinals secondary

It’s pretty clear at this point that as Manning goes, the Giants go. Unfortunately for New York, Manning has struggled for the majority of last season and Week 1 of 2014. Manning had a QB Rating of just 53.0 Monday night in Detroit after managing a 69.4 rating a year ago. That rating was by far the worst of Manning’s 11 year career, aside from his rookie season (55.4) when he played only nine games. While the Cardinals’ defensive strength is against the run, they are positioned to be better against the pass this year. Patrick Peterson remains as one of the top cornerbacks in the league and Antonio Cromartie provides stability at the position. If Manning can’t move the ball through the air, New York will have little chance to win the game as Arizona’s run defense is a proven commodity.

Giants run offense vs. Cardinals run defense

The Giants running game generated only 53 yards in Week 1, but really fell victim to the circumstances of the game. New York was playing catch up all night and was unable to establish Rashad Jennings on the ground. Conversely, Arizona picked up right where it left off in 2013 (allowing an NFL-best 84.4 yards per game rushing) and held the Chargers rushing attack to only 52 yards. The Giants offense was a flat mess against the Lions and being able to run the football is crucial to getting new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s offense up and running. Look for New York to make establishing the run a priority even if it will be tough sledding against an extremely stout Cardinals front. Manning and company can help this unit immensely by showing signs of life through the air.

Betting Guide

Line: Cardinals -2.5

The Cardinals are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games.
Under is 4-0 in Cardinals last 4 games in September.

New York
The Giants are 16-6-2 ATS in the last 24 games as an underdog of 0.5-3.0.


It’s hard to endorse a Giants team that look as bad as it did in the season opener, but teams will generally do everything it can to avoid dropping to 0-2 (see the Baltimore Ravens against the Pittsburgh Steelers). I have no doubt that Arizona is the better team right now, but New York’s backs are against the wall and everyone from coach Tom Coughlin to Manning and the offense should have an tremendous since of urgency. Given the sense of urgency, the strong trend promoting the Giants as an underdog of less than three points and the fact that Arizona looked quite sloppy in the win against San Diego leads to the Giants being the pick.

Pick: New York +2.5
Final Score: New York 21 Arizona 20

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