Five to Watch: NY Giants @ AZ Cardinals

Once again, the Arizona Cardinals have the opportunity to impress the league when Kurt Warner and crew host the reigning Super Bowl Champions in week 12. If the Cardinals can pull out a win, they not only clinch the division but they gain one or two notches on the totem pole of respect. Jason Harris breaks down a combination of players and key factors that will make or break Arizona.

QB Kurt Warner

With the New York Giants coming to town, the league's leading passer will get another shot at a former team of his. Warner's 105.5 quarterback rating is nearly five points higher than any other quarterback in the NFL. Warner has thrown for more than 325 yards in each of his last four games. He is completing 70 percent of his passes and is averaging 315.5 yards and two touchdowns a game this season. As Warner goes the Cardinals will go.

RB J.J. Arrington

Arrington is proving he still has to potential to be more than just a change-of-pace back in the NFL. He had his first multi-touchdown performance last week for the first time in his four year NFL career. Last week against the Seattle Seahawks, Arrington had a season high eight carries. He finished with 40 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown.

Always dangerous in the pass game, Arrington pulled in three catches for 21 yards and a touch down. Edgerrin James' benching has freed up more opportunities for Arrington as of late. He already has more carries than all of 2006 and with six more attempts, he will have passed his 2007 total of 26. Expect Arrington to keep getting the ball down the stretch.

S Adrian Wilson

Wilson is also having some big games as of late. Last week Wilson matched his season high six tackles. Wilson's intimidation factor is through the roof after being responsible for three takeaways in three weeks. Since week nine against the St. Louis Rams, Wilson has caused his first two forced fumbles of the season as well as an interception. He has also becoming a factor as a pass rusher over the last three games recording his first two sacks of the season. Wilson is going to have to get into Eli Manning's head early if the Cardinals are going to have success on defense.

Cardinals' Offensive Line

The Cardinals have giving up just six sacks in their last six games while averaging 35 attempts. The Giants rank second in total defense as well as second against the pass. A lot of that has to do with the pressure created by the Giant's defensive line. The Giants are fourth in the NFL with 31 sacks. With left tackle Mike Gandy nursing a banged up ankle, expect the Cardinals offensive line to be tested early and often.


The Cardinals have not been able to cut down on penalties. With the Super Bowl champs in attendance, the atmosphere at University of Phoenix Stadium should be electric. The Cardinals lead the league in penalties and until they prove they can be more disciplined, expect the excitement of a playoff atmosphere to cause mental mistakes.

Offsides and personal fouls have plagued the Cardinals this season. Much like two weeks ago on Monday Night Football against the San Francisco 49ers, the national spot light may cause the Cardinals to go through stretches of penalties early.

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