1. Kurt Warner really didn't look like the quarterback last Sunday that nearly won the Super Bowl just nine months ago. Was it just one bad game against an underrated defense, or is it the start of a decline?
Week one's loss to the San Francisco 49ers was defined by poor performances from the offensive line and a receivers unit that brought injuries to game day (see Steve Breaston and Early Doucet, as well as Anquan Boldin who wasn't 100 percent).
Warner's game with Arizona is characterized by fitting impossible passes in more impractical spaces, so on Sunday he held on to the ball for too long trying to make those plays happen. The support wasn't there.
Warner also needs protection moving forward. He did as much as he could with the time he had, but the Cardinals offensive line has to do better in both pass and run protection.
2. The Cardinals did a great job of slowing down Frank Gore last Sunday. They will have another big job this Sunday as the Jaguars Maurice Jones-Drew is one of the most explosive backs in the game. Will the Cards stack the box and stop Jones-Drew at all costs, or will they play a more straight up game defensively?
Maurice Jones-Drew will be the Cardinals main target on Sunday. Expect the Cardinals to stack the box early in order to shutdown the Jaguars ground game from the get-go.
3. How has the supposed unhappiness of wide receiver Anquan Boldin affected this team, if any? Are the Cardinals going to suffer the infamous Super Bowl hangover?
Anquan Boldin's contract saga did not have a big affect on the team. Boldin goes to work when he puts the pads on. Off the field, teammates had to be curious- like the rest of the league- as to whether he would stay or go. But the players Boldin works with the most were his biggest supporters.
As far as the Super Bowl hangover goes, we are just a week in. It's going to take a few weeks to see if all the tangibles are there. Warner needs to find his rhythm, the defense needs to prevent big plays, as well as make big plays. If the Cardinals can find what propelled them through the post-season last year, there aren't any reasons why they can't shock the league once again. The talent is there, without a doubt. The Cardinals just can't get in their own way.
4. Arizona was expected to win their opener against San Francisco, and now they have to travel to the east coast to play a 1:00 game, something they have historically struggled with. Is this a must win game this early in the season?
The Cardinals feel every game is a must win. But the season opener was an expected win, so the leaders of the team are upset. Adrian Wilson says there will be a lot of yelling going on in preparation for the game. Karlos Dansby is another leader who is upset. The Cardinals are too veteran of a group to give up the penalties they did last game. He said, "We've got to grow up and move past this and get better."
That said the Cardinals were very good at home last season. The motto is "protect the nest," and they didn't do that in week one against a division rival. Now 0-1, the Cardinals need to drink some coffee and get over the time difference on Sunday.
5. Who is a player or players that we maybe don't know so well that could make an impact in this Sunday's game?
With Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston not 100 percent and the focus on Larry Fitzgerald, WR Jerheme Urban should see a lot of passes come his way.
Ralph Brown could also see more reps in the nickel package because of an injury to safety Matt Ware. Brown is consistent, and his experience could make a difference on Sunday.
6. What is your prediction for Sunday?
Sunday's game should be interesting. Neither team wants to fall 0-2, but I believe the Cardinals will bring home the "W" despite its struggles in week one and it's previous time difference woes.
Jags Behind Enemy Lines- Arizona Cardinals
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