Five to Watch: Arizona Cardinals @ Patriots

The Arizona Cardinals might play with a somewhat limited roster on Sunday against the New England Patriots, but they have have the depth to back them up. Also, key players will still be in place and should help take care of business in what is expected to be a tough matchup. Jason Harris details five players or units to keep an eye on.

QB Kurt Warner

Pro Bowl bound Kurt Warner completed 29 pass attempts last Sunday against the Vikings. Only one of those went for a touchdown. Warner has thrown just seven touchdowns in his last five games. Look for Warner's uncharacteristic numbers to rise this week as he takes on a Patriots team that is susceptible to giving up the big play. Even the Raiders went deep on New England.

WR Steve Breaston

The Cardinals will look to add a third wide receiver to the 1000-yard club this season. A group that already includes Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, Breaston is just 91 yards shy of a thousand, an amazing achievement considering he caught just eight passes in 2007. Breaston established himself as a legit number three option early in the season but his continued success has made him a go to guy many teams around the league could use. Breaston is averaging five catches a game. Five catches for 100 yards is quite doable for Breaston this week.

Pass Rush

Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett and defensive ends Chike Okeafor and Antonio Smith each recorded a sack last week. All three have been getting more pressure as of late. With outside linebackers Travis LaBoy out for the game with a bad ankle and Clark Haggins placed on Injured Reserve Friday ending his season, pressure on the quarterback is going to have to come from the Cardinal's defense line. Bertrand Berry is due for a sack of his own. Look out Matt Cassel.

Pass Coverage

Cassel continues to defy the odds as he torches NFL defenses this season after not having started since high school eight years ago. Cassel sat behind Cardinals back up quarterback Matt Leinart at USC during college. Now it is Leinart who will watch Cassel attempt to shred a banged up Cardinal's secondary who let Viking's back up Tarvaris Jackson put up four touchdowns last week.

The Cardinals are 27th in points against, giving up 25.6 points a game. Cassel throws the ball roughly 33 times a game and is coming off a game where he threw for four scores. Cassel had been struggling in his last few games but after last week's confidence boost expect him to be ready to test the Cardinals deep early.

P Ben Graham

Graham is averaging almost ten yards more than the man he replaced mid-season, Dirk Johnson. You never like to see the punter on the field but Graham's six punts against the Vikings for an average of 45.5 yards should give the Cardinal's special teams confidence for the playoffs. Hopefully Graham wont see the field but if he does expect the deep punts to continue.


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