Bye Is Gone , Panthers Are on the Hunt Sunday

Arizona will be looking for its second road win of the season and third consecutive victory, but it will need to protect Kurt Warner and his targets against a staunch Carolina Panthers pass defense this Sunday. The Cardinals are coming off a bye and a game that was the highest-rated NFL game of the season on FOX, but there is a very talented Panthers team that wants to head to its bye with a "W."

A win on the road against the Carolina Panthers would be a golden opportunity to not only improve to 5-2, but prove that the Cardinals can win without a backdrop of red. The most important aspect of Sunday's game will be protecting its assets. Following the Panthers game, the Cardinals need to wrap up three consecutive NFC West competitions.

Here are a few notes and quotes:

More to Boldin's injury…

Anquan Boldin is expected to play on Sunday in Carolina, although nobody could blame the Cardinals for having him sit out a while longer. A return would be short-lived recovery time as it's been just weeks after he underwent surgery to repair facial fractures.

Wires were also placed in his lower jaw to correct his bite; eight plates were inserted to repair fractures and he lost 10 pounds (although he has already regained the weight). He also suffered a concussion.

A full-Boldin recovery is everyone's agenda. If he returns expect a show. In the three games that Boldin has played immediately after returning from injury, he has registered 22 receptions for 217 yards and a trio of touchdowns.

"I feel like I'm ready to go," Boldin said. "That's what I've been working toward the past couple weeks, getting back on the field after the bye week, so hopefully it will work out."

Bet on red…

The Cardinals hold a 4-2 record, for the first time in six seasons. Their top place in the NFC West is the first time they've held the position this late in the season since 2002 as well.

It's Tough to be a coach in the San Francisco Bay Area…

When the fog rolls in, it sticks in San Francisco, just ask Mike Nolan and Lane Kiffin who have both been fired from their positions as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders, respectively.

Bird Briefs

--QB Kurt Warner will play in his 100th career game this week, which is his 92cd career start. It will mark as many career starts as well.

--The Cardinals rank second in both passing offense, but the Panthers rank second in pass defense.

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