Due to the circumstances that took place in South Florida, Arizona should have several advantages on Sunday night. Indianapolis will have to navigate through a short week and while the Colts' offense should be fresh, their defense logged 85 plays against a physical Dolphins squad. Furthermore, Indianapolis is dealing with a handful of injuries including the likes of WR Anthony Gonzalez and S Bob Sanders.
Miami's rushing attack racked up 239 rushing yards against the Colts and while the Cardinals are unlikely to match that output, success on the ground should open things up for QB Kurt Warner and company. Arizona's wide receiving corps is finally getting healthy with wideouts Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston nearly back at full strength. Additionally, WR Larry Fitzgerald is bound to breakout after two lackluster performances to start the season.
Defensively, Arizona will need a consistent pass rush on QB Peyton Manning. Manning was sacked only once in Miami and averaged over 13 yards per pass against the Dolphins' secondary. Arizona has already accumulated seven sacks during the year's initial two contests and must continue that production in order to slow down Manning and the Colts' young receivers.
With Joseph Addai and Donald Brown splitting duties in the backfield, Indianapolis has struggled in the running game. The Colts have been unspectacular on the ground through the first two games averaging just 66 yards per game. Meanwhile, Arizona has done an outstanding job of stopping the run thus far and currently rank fourth in the NFL allowing only 57 yards per outing.
Although we're entering just the third week of the season, the Cardinals have a chance to win their second straight game and improve to a 2-1 record. With San Francisco already off to a 2-0 start, Arizona can ill afford to fall further behind in the division race. A win against Indianapolis would put the the Cardinals back in the mix of the NFL West and instill the confidence the team boasted during last year's run to the Super Bowl.
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