Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals Preview: Facing the NFC Leaders


This Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons host the Arizona Cardinals in a battle of division leaders. At 9-2, the Cardinals are in the lead of the NFC West division, while somehow, the Falcons are holding first place in the NFC South despite a 4-7 record. Atlanta has its work cut out in this one, as the Cardinals bring one of the league’s top defensive units.

Opponent: Arizona Cardinals

Time/TV: 4:05 pm ET, FOX

Falcons Offense vs. Cardinals Defense

The Cardinals this season bring in the No. 3 rushing defense and the No. 25 passing defense. This seems to be ok for the Falcons at first, because they don’t have much of a ground game in the first place–the team averages just 93.1 rushing yards per game.

The Falcons have rushed for more than 100 yards just once in the past seven games, while Stephen Jackson has just 75 total yards on the previous two games.

If the Falcons are going to win this one, they are going to have to pick the Arizona defense apart through the air. The rushing game is going to be painful to watch.

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Falcons Defense vs. Cardinals Offense

Things get interesting in this matchup, as the Cardinals have some real question marks on the offensive side of the ball ever since the season-ending injury to Carson Palmer. In addition, the Cardinals bring a ground game that’s actually worse than Atlanta’s (shockingly enough), averaging a measly 78.4 rushing yards per game.

To make things even more difficult for Arizona, Larry Fitzgerald is questionable for this game after missing last week thanks to a sprained knee.

The Cardinals were held to just three points in their loss to the Seahawks last week, and scored just 14 a week before that in a win over the Lions.


A few weeks ago, this game looked much worse for the Falcons on the schedule, but with the many issues the Cardinals are working through at the moment, it seems as good a time as any to take them on. Still, the Cardinals should be an easy favorite in this game because of their overall defense and the fact that they’ve proven they can beat good teams–which Atlanta has yet to do.

Stay tuned for post-game coverage, and a live game thread that will post on Sunday morning. In addition, be sure to follow ATL All Day for the latest on the Atlanta Falcons.