Week 6 Preview: Cardinals vs. Redskins

The Arizona Cardinals look to bounce back from its first loss of the season, welcoming the Washington Redskins to University of Phoenix Stadium. Sunday’s outcome might depend on the Cardinals’ quarterback situation, which is still in doubt and could be until game day. Find out this week’s key matchups, a betting guide and predictions inside.


The Arizona Cardinals suffered its first loss of the season last week in a 41-20 defeat at the hands of the Denver Broncos. While the loss provided Arizona with no moral victory, the team hung with the reigning AFC champions into the fourth quarter on its home turf before letting it get away. By that time, Arizona was down to its third-string quarterback – Logan Thomas – while the Broncos and Peyton Manning caught fire and were unstoppable. Manning has done that countless times during his illustrious career, so it’s nothing the Cardinals should hang their heads about.

Meanwhile, the Washington Redskins come off a short week after losing to the reigning NFC and Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. While Seattle ended up winning decisively 27-17, Washington outscored the Seahawks 17-10 over the final two and a half quarters, including cutting the lead to just seven with less than four minutes to play. QB Kirk Cousins rebounded to throw for 283 yards and two touchdowns after a disastrous outing against the New York Giants in Week 4. Similar to Arizona, the loss proved to be no moral victory, but it was a respectable outing for the Redskins.

Key Matchups

Kirk Cousins vs. Arizona pass defense

When looking at all of the matchups for Sunday’s tilt, this has the biggest potential for determining the outcome of the game. Throw away Cousins awful performance against the Giants and he’s been incredibly productive since taking over for Robert Griffin III. In just under four complete games, Cousins has surpassed 1,200 passing yards while tossing eight touchdowns compared to five interceptions. Cousins has developed a rapport with dynamic receiver DeSean Jackson who has two touchdown catches of 60+ yards over the past three games. Cousins and Jackson will look to expose an Arizona secondary that was just torched by Manning (479 yards passing) and WR Demaryius Thomas (226 yards receiving). On the season, the Cardinals pass defense ranks 31st in the NFL, allowing nearly 303 yards per contest.

Andre Ellington vs. Washington run defense

Ellington broke out against the Broncos last week with 144 total yards and two touchdowns but most of that damage came through the air on a single play. Ellington scored on an 81-yard touchdown catch from Thomas which proved to be the Cardinals' final score of the game. On the ground, Ellington managed only 32 yards on 16 carries and will need to find more running lanes against a Redskins defense that can be beaten on the ground. So far in 2014, Washington’ run defense ranks 15th in the NFL allowing over 114 yards per game, including a 225-yard outburst by the Seahawks on Monday night. The Cardinals don’t have the running threat that Russell Wilson is at quarterback, so it will be up to Ellington to do the damage on the ground.

Betting Guide


Cardinals are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a S.U. loss.
Cardinals are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS loss.
Cardinals are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games following a SU loss of more than 14 points.
Cardinals are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game.


Redskins are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a S.U. loss.
Redskins are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games as an underdog.
Redskins are 4-12 ATS in their last 16 vs. NFC.
Redskins are 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game.


We’re going to assume that either Carson Palmer or Drew Stanton manages to find their way to the field and that should be enough to push the Cardinals over the hump. As the trends above show, Arizona has been very good following a SU loss and an ATS loss, while the Redskins have been equally as bad. Look for those trends to continue on Sunday as either Palmer or Stanton helps the Cardinals move to 4-1 on the season and keep pace in the NFC West division.

Pick: Arizona -3.5 (line projected with Palmer or Stanton playing)

Score: Arizona 27 Washington 20

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