Panthers vs. Cardinals - Key Matchups

What are the key matchups in the week 5 game between the Cardinals and the Panthers?

Panthers CBs Ken Lucas and Chris Gamble vs. Cardinals WRs Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald

Both Arizona receivers had 100-yard receiving games last week against San Francisco and are very talented. Lucas is familiar with both receivers, having played in the NFC West with Seattle the last few years. But look for Josh McCown to pick on Gamble as the Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers have done the last couple of weeks.

Cardinals RT Fred Wakefield, a former DE making his second start on offense, vs. Panthers DE Julius Peppers, the second player chosen in the 2002 draft.

Peppers is big, strong and athletic. Wakefield is not. Wakefield no longer is a defensive player because he lacks the quickness upon which the team wants to build, yet he will now be asked to block one of the best in the game at the position Wakefield once played, left end. Wakefield, on the field because Oliver Ross has a hand injury, survived his first pro offensive start without much scar tissue. The quarterback was kept clean and the running game was there when the team needed it. Wakefield was not a liability. But this time, against a premier player, one very capable of becoming an offense wrecker, it's a sizable challenge for the lead-footed Wakefield.

Cardinals MLB James Darling, a versatile but not dazzling veteran, vs. Panthers RB Stephen Davis, who may still be gaining yardage at age 50.

Davis has long been a menace to the Cardinals defense, dating to his early days with Washington when he terrorized the Cards in their NFC East matchups. Now at 31, he's still a load for defenders, especially those like the Cardinals who aren't league leaders at stuffing the run. Darling is not an overpowering physical specimen, but he is smart, he knows Davis well, and he knows the importance of not allowing the Panthers to run at will.

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