Five to Watch: Cards vs. Falcons

Sunday's game against the Falcons will come down to each team's decision to run or fly. One team needs to air it out to win, while the other needs to clip its wings and keep its game grounded. Here is a look at the five players to watch.

1. RB Edgerrin James: He is ready to run. Pro Bowl voters passed him by, but Kurt Warner should not. Plenty of carries for James will be Warner's best bet on Sunday. The Falcons do not have the banged up secondary that the Cardinals do. Atlanta's defensive backs will be ready to continue Warner's interception streak (seven in the past eight games), so Arizona needs to keep the ball low.

James' 1,052 yards are good for ninth place on the NFL leader boards. He needs 107 more rushing yards in the final two games to match his total from last season (1,159).

2. CB Antrel Rolle: He took a personal day on Wednesday, but was back at practice on Thursday. The Falcons are not without quarterback troubles of their own. Their dire situation could make Rolle a star. His performance could match his week 11 showing against the Cincinnati Bengals, when he turned three interceptions into 127 return yards and two touchdowns.

Rolle should see a lot of action, as the Falcons lack a consistent ground game. The Cardinals hope to jump ahead early and force Chris Redman to win the game through the air.

3. RB Warrick Dunn: As the Falcons' top rusher, Dunn has a only 635 yards. He is a 10,000-yard career rusher, but after 11 years in the league his steam is evaporating. Dunn has only one 100-yard rushing game this season. Arizona should have a no problem keeping that number in place. Dunn's best game against the Cardinals was in 2004, when he rushed for 117 yards on 20 carries.

Dunn needs 9 receiving yards to earn 4,000 for his career.

4. WR Roddy White: He is the Falcons' leading receiver (999 yards). Atlanta will lean heavily on White and the passing game. Just 1 yard on Sunday will make him the first Falcons' 1,000-yard receiver since 1999 (Terance Mathis).

5. DE John Abraham: He was limited this week in practice. Warner might stay on both feet if Abraham (knee) does not start on Sunday. Abraham has eight sacks this season. Warner has a tendency to hold the ball too long while waiting for things to open up downfield, causing him to take 20 sacks this season. He needs to be alert for Abraham's ability to force fumbles (26 in his career).

Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for She has contributed to the official Web sites of several NFL players for Sixthman Communications.

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