Cardinals vs. Bengals Preview

Find out what to watch for, Sunday's key matchup and a prediction of who'll win as the Arizona Cardinals host the Cincinnati Bengals in primetime.

The Arizona Cardinals find itself in the NFL spotlight again this week as the Cincinnati Bengals head to the desert for a Sunday night tilt.

The headlines of this game are highlighted by the previous relationship between QB Carson Palmer and the Bengals - who had a messy divorce back in 2011.  

Palmer threatened to retire rather than play another game with Cincinnati and after a stalemate between the two parties, he was eventually traded to the Oakland Raiders

Palmer has admitted that this is not just another game and we expect the Cardinals to rally behind Palmer to try and defeat his former team.

When braking down the match-ups in Sunday's marquee game, Arizona has the upper edge in just about every category on both offense and defense.

Both teams are fairly stout against the run as the Cardinals allow just 93 yards per contest while the Bengals give up 103 yards per game.  Cincinnati has proved to be a bit more vulnerable through the air (236 yards per game) which we think will be the difference.

Palmer has multiple weapons at his disposal and while both John Brown and Michael Floyd are banged up, there's a good chance both will play.  

Along with Larry Fitzgerald, running backs Andre Ellington, David Johnson and Chris Johnson also have the ability to contribute in the passing game.

A much more overlooked story includes TE Jermaine Gresham also playing against his former employer as well and he'll likely get some nice match-ups against the Bengals defense.

Cincinnati player to watch:  WR A.J. Green

Green has been up and down so far in 2015 and hasn't made his customary impact on a weekly basis.  Green has been held to less than 100 yards receiving in each of the last two weeks and only has two 100-yard plus receiving games on the year. 

The often ridiculed Andy Dalton has been solid all season long and has found other options such as TE Tyler Eifert, WR Marvin Jones, and RB Giovani Bernard out of the backfield.  Look for the Cardinals to keep a close eye on Green along with the other emerging targets.

Dalton has been prone to making bad decisions throughout his NFL career and that happens to be a specialty of the Cardinals' ball-hawking defense.  We expect that along with the explosive Arizona passing game to lead Palmer to victory against his former team.

Prediction:  Arizona 31 Cincinnati 23


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