Delhomme: "We have a tough challenge ahead."

At first glance, the Arizona Cardinals defense looks vulnerable in the secondary. Because of injuries to CB's David Macklin, Raymond Walls and Antrel Rolle, rookie 3rd round pick Eric Green out of Virginia Tech and eight-year veteran Robert Tate, (who was cut in preseason by the Cards and brought back after top pick Antrelle Rolle went down with a serious injury), will both start at corner.

To make matters worse, the only other healthy cornerback on the roster is Concord native and former NC State standout Lamont Reid, who was called up to the active roster three weeks ago. With only 3 cornerbacks healthy, all of which are either marginal or inexperienced, one would think it would be easy pickings for Jake Delhomme and the Carolina Panthers passing attack.

The thing is, Delhomme has to have time to throw the ball to exploit the secondary; a feat that is easier said than done.

"You have to stand back there and try to throw because they get to the quarterback pretty quick,"said Panthers QB Jake Delhomme. "It seems that in all the games they have played, it seems they dominate up front because they get after it pretty good. I know they are banged up secondary-wise so we don't know what will happen there, but the big thing is can you get it off in time."

The Cardinals have only given up four passing touchdowns in four games, a sign that their front seven is getting ample pressure on the QB.

"I think it's the strength of their defense, without a doubt," Panthers Head Coach John Fox said of the Cardinals' defensive line. "I felt the same last year. They've done some things to even shore it up this off-season. Definitely, they are very formidable."

Perhaps the most dangerous member of that defensive line is DE Bertrand Berry. Berry is off to a strong start, amassing 5 sacks through 4 games. He could be in for another big game again, as this week he'll be matched up against Panthers LT Travelle Wharton, who has had a rough start through the first four games.

"That's the thing, he's coming off the edge," Delhomme said of Berry. "He screams coming off the edge. They get up the field and their linebackers flow. They can really run. They bring their safeties into the box a good bit. I am a big fan of Wilson. They will be a tough challenge."

The Cardinals secondary isn't complete garbage. They have a pair of decent safties in Robert Giffith and NC native Adrian Wilson.

"(Adrian Wilson) played well against us last year," said Fox. "He's a guy who they want to get involved and get him in the box. Robert Griffith is a veteran. He's playing free safety. Those two guys will be solid there."

Despite the injuries the Cardinals have suffered, the Panthers aren't taking the Cardinals lightly.

"This is going to be a tough matchup," said Delhomme. "We're playing against a team that kind of played lights out on Sunday night, especially defensively. The 14 points that San Francisco scored were off of two turnovers that they ran into the end zone."

"We have a tough challenge ahead."

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