Five to Watch: Panthers @ Cardinals

The revitalized Cardinals look to continue their winning streak against the Carolina Panthers. Last week, the Cardinals defeated a tough New York Giants team with invaluable contributions from multiple players. Who will step up this week and change the course of the game? AZRedReport.com reveals five key players to watch and analyzes their potential impact on the game.

Beanie Wells:

Wells needs to prove that last week was not an anomaly, but rather a taste of what Cardinals' fans have in their future. Wells displayed his signature move with an inspiring stiff arm during his 13 yard touchdown run. He will need more power runs like that if he is going to surpass Tim Hightower on the depth chart and finally give the Cardinals a viable run game.

Establishing the run is imperative in this week's match up, as the stellar pass rusher Julius Peppers will be lurking on the other side of the ball. Warner's ability to play action successfully will determine whether or not he spends most of the day picking grass out of his helmet. Wells needs to start strong and keep the Panthers on their heels throughout the day.

Anquan Boldin:

Boldin's bothersome ankle is still acting up and his status for Sunday is still not 100 percent. With Steve Breaston also nursing a knee injury, Boldin's presence is essential. Last week he made a valiant effort, but was nowhere near his normal productivity. Hopefully, with another week of rest, Boldin can provide that key component opposite of Larry Fitzgerald.


Jake Delhomme
(Getty)

Jake Delhomme:

The last time Delhomme ran into the Cardinals he endured the worst game of his NFL career. Five interceptions and a fumble later, the Panthers were driven from the playoffs and the Cardinals were one step closer to the Super Bowl.

Undoubtedly, Delhomme will be looking for revenge. He may also be looking for something else; the chance to keep his job. If JaMarcus Russell weren't there to make him look good, he would be considered the worst quarterback in the NFL. Delhomme has already thrown 13 interceptions and just four touchdowns. If he continues the downfall of his career, the Cardinals will easily repeat their previous success against the Panthers.

Adrian Wilson:

The ailing Cardinals secondary will be leaning heavily on their star safety this week. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie left last week's game early with a sprained ankle and Antrel Rolle's status for Sunday is still uncertain. If Rolle or Cromartie are unable to go come Sunday, Wilson will have to cover more ground than usual to compensate. His run stopping capabilities will be on full display as he will need to shut down the two-headed monster of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams.

Julius Peppers:

Peppers is the key to the Panthers' success on defense. Kurt Warner loves it when opposing defenses blitz with regularity. If Peppers can provide that effective pass rush and allow the defensive coordinator to drop back more players into coverage, Warner will have his work cut out for him.

Last week the offensive line held up well for Warner against two of the league's top pass rushers in Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. It will not get any easier with the presence of Peppers. Mike Gandy will certainly be getting help from the guards and running backs, but his ability to keep Peppers in check throughout the game could be the deciding factor.

Questions or Comments? Contact Tyson Qualls at tysonqfantasyfootball@gmail.com

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