Game Preview: Week 2: Arizona Cardinals at Jacksonville Jaguars


Arizona Cardinals (0-1)
Week #2
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)

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VS.

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Date: September 20th, 2009
Location: Jacksonville,FL
Time: 1:00 pm EST
Stadium: "The Jack"
TV: FOX
Favorite: Jaguars -3.5
Radio: Click Here Over/Under: 43
Weather:
87 w/moderate chance of thunderstorms
Injury Report:
Click Here
SBN Coverage: Revenge of the Birds Coverage Map
Click Here

 

Week Two and the home opener are upon us. The Jaguars look to get the bitter taste of their loss in Indy out of their mouths and get a win over the defending NFC Champions. For the second week in a row, the Jaguars will have their hands full with a talent corp of wide receivers. Cardinal's wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald may be the best wide out in football, and Anquan Boldin will have something to prove after spending the entire off season mouthing off about his contract.

The Cardinals are coming off a tough loss to division rival San Francisco where the looked nothing like the team that made a surprising run to the Super Bowl a year ago. Kurt Warner completed less than 60% of his passes, threw two interceptions, and was sacked three times in a 20-16 loss. In addition, the team rushed a grand total of 40 yards. Defensively, the team did pick it up registering four sacks and forcing two fumbles.

Thing to Watch for: Jacksonville Jaguars

1. Defensive Line: The loss of Reggie Hayward and the revised expectations of the eight overall pick in the 2008 draft Derrick Harvey mean that the line is once again in bad shape on the outside. John Henderson and Terrance Knighton played well enough on the interior against Indy, and they may be counted on to get pressure against the Cardinals. Also, Henderson played surprisingly well as a DE when the Jaguars switched to a 3-4 against the Colts. Keep an eye out for that again.

2. Passing Game: Garrard started off well against the Colts and then proceeded to sink faster than the Titanic. Preseason standouts Nate Hughes and Troy Williamson combined for 2 receptions for 17 yards. Torry Holt looked the part against the Colts, though he only had 3 receptions. I'll put it bluntly, if Jones-Drew accounts for almost half the team's receptions for a second straight week, things could go downhill quickly.

3.Derek Cox: The rookie out of William and Mary played about as expected last week against Indy. He struggled at times only to flash the talent that made Emperor Gene trade the 2010 2nd round pick to get him. His baptism by fire continues this week going against the Cardinals wide receivers. The good news for him is that Kurt Warner isn't Peyton Manning.

4.Offensive Tackles: Eugene Monroe was handed his rear on a silver platter by Dwight Freeney last Sunday. This is the only week in the first four that he won't go against a premier pass rushing DE and he needs a good game this week. Eben Britton played well enough against Robert Mathis and will look to keep playing well this week.

5. Maurice Jones-Drew: Jones Drew accounted for 26 of the Jaguars 55 total offensive plays against the Colts. Expect him to get another heavy load against the Cardinals on Sunday.

Thing to Watch for: Arizona Cardinals

1. Kurt Warner: Warner is infamous for turning in lacklusteter seasons following taking a team to the Super Bowl. Warner didn't have a great game last week against the 49ers and he may be reverting back to his mediocre form he had prior to last year.

2. Defense: Despite their Week 1 loss, the Cardinals defense looked impressive, only surrendering 206 yards of offense. They will have to continue to play that way if the offense can't find a way to kick it into gear this week. They sacked Shaun Hill four times and forced two fumbles, a far cry from most of their efforts in 2008.

3. Turnovers: Kurt Warner threw two costly interceptions while the Cardinals defense did not force a turnover last week. Not many teams win games while being -2 in the turnover department, and the Cardinals know that. Look for them to take extra care of protecting the ball this week.

4.Running Game: The Cardinals accounted for a grand total of 40 yards rushing on on 17 attempts. To be fair, it was really 44 yards on 15 attempts not counting Warner's sacks. However, that is still an abysmal amount of rushing yards. If the Cards can't afford to be this one dimensional week in and week out.

Player On The Hot Seat

Derrick Harvey, DE, Jacksonville

Harvey has to show why he was a Top 10 pick, and for a defensive end, that means getting to the quarterback. He's been hounded all week by the media and  fans, and it will only get worse if he doesn't perform up to expectations.

Prediction

Jaguars 24

Cardinals 20

PS, I currently know Terry, TheTealDeal, and myself will be at the game Sunday. Who else is going and anyone want to meet up prior/during the game?

-Jonathan Loesche

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