Game Day Tipsheet: Week 5

Top 3 Individual Matchups

  1. Jabari Greer vs. Larry Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald has a clear height advantage, but Greer has faced big receivers before and been successful. Case in point Greer faced Terrell Owens last season in Week 5 and held him to two catches for 25 yards. As an added bonus, if Boldin doesn't play Buffalo can roll safety help over the top of Greer if they deem it necessary.
  1. Derrick Dockery vs. Darnell Dockett: Dockett was a Pro Bowl DT for the NFC last season after leading all DTs with 9 sacks last season. He has uncommon athleticism for an interior defensive lineman. Next to Jacksonville's John Henderson it may be Dockery's stiffest challenge when it comes to pass protection.
  1. Lee Evans vs. Eric Green: This is one of the biggest mismatches that favors Buffalo in this game. Green cannot match up one-on-one so the Cardinals will have to roll help over the top, otherwise Evans will make them pay.

Top 2 Bills Advantages

  1. Good Advantage – Pass rush – Provided Aaron Schobel and Marcus Stroud are close to 100 percent, Buffalo can really wreak havoc with Arizona's protection scheme. Cardinals left tackle Mike Gandy will need help holding Aaron Schobel in check and Arizona's interior linemen better be sharp as Buffalo has made good use of their center blitz calls with linebackers Paul Posluszny and Kawika Mitchell.
  1. Best Advantage – Red zone defense – Buffalo leads the league in red zone touchdown percentage allowed (22.2%) tied with Carolina. They've also allowed the fifth fewest possessions inside their 20 through four games (5). Granted no one has been in the red zone more than Arizona's offense this season, but they've only found the end zone half the time, and their opportunities figure to be fewer and further between on Sunday.

Bills Number One Must

Pressure Warner – Kurt Warner is still a very productive quarterback in this league even at age 37. He has a 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio, a passer rating of over 100 and is completing better than 66% of his passes. But if put under consistent pressure Arizona's offensive production and ball security will falter as evidenced by Warner's six turnovers (3 INTs, 3 fumbles lost) last week in a loss to the Jets.

Scouting Eye

Cardinals 'D' lacking teeth?: Arizona could be without their two of their top playmakers Sunday as DE Bert Berry and SS Adrian Wilson were both nursing injuries through the course of the practice week. Berry is less likely to play after suffering a groin injury a few weeks ago. Wilson is trying to return from a hamstring injury. Along with Darnell Dockett and Karlos Dansby, Berry and Wilson are two of Arizona's four best defensive talents.

Tight end trouble: The Cardinals could also be short-handed at tight end where starter Leonard Pope is hobbled by an ankle injury and veteran Jerame Tuman is still recovering from a hamstring problem. Second-year man Ben Patrick is the only other healthy tight end on the roster.

Boldin has sinus fracture: Cardinals leading receiver Anquan Boldin might be a spectator Sunday after taking a vicious and illegal hit from Jets safety Eric Smith. Boldin suffered a fractured sinus as a result of the hit and has not practiced this week. If he can't go third receiver Steve Breaston fills the void.

Cards new coordinator: Midway through the 2007 season, Arizona offensive coordinator Todd Haley took over play calling duties from head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Under Haley's direction the Cardinals offense has been wildly productive scoring better than 30 points six times last season. Arizona's offense is averaging 26.5 points per game this season.

Long drives: Part of Arizona's offensive success is borne out of their ability to make the most of their possessions with long sustained drives. The Cardinals rank second in the league in average yards per scoring drive (66.7) and stand eighth in average time per drive (4:09). The Arizona offense has done well converting third downs to keep the chains moving better than 43 percent of the time, which is 7th best in the league. The Cardinals have the fewest three-and-outs in the NFL with just four of their 43 offensive possessions lasting only three plays (9.3%).

Home in the desert: The Cardinals have been tough to beat at University of Phoenix Stadium. After posting a 6-2 mark at home in 2007, Arizona also won its first home game this season giving them a four-game winning streak in Glendale.

And Arizona during that streak has won convincingly. In their last three home games the Cardinals have outscored their opponents 109-56 and have averaged better than 36 points per game over that span (36.3).

Rolle on the move: Arizona former first-round pick Antrel Rolle was drafted to play corner for the Cardinals, and for the past three seasons he has, most recently in 2007 as the team's nickel. But this season the defensive staff has transitioned Rolle to free safety. Though the Cardinals are pleased with his progress, he missed a good portion of training camp after suffering an ankle injury in the team's first preseason contest. Whether the Bills can take advantage of his developing instincts at the position remains to be seen.

Buffalo Chips

Quote of the Week
"They have some of the best receivers in the league and they'll run routes 20 yards down the field and even further. They play their game and that's what they do. We'll have to adjust and get pressure in their face. They're putting a lot of trust in their offensive line and their receivers and we have to disrupt that as much as possible and that's the great thing about our defense. We can be violent and cause a ruckus and hopefully we can get that done."
--LB Kawika Mitchell on Arizona's proclivity to throw

Stat of the WeekThe Bills are tied for second in the NFL in fourth quarter scoring. Through the first four games Buffalo has scored 45 points in the final stanza.

Milestones in reach
Josh Reed needs 121 receiving yards to reach 3,000 for his career.

Aaron Schobel needs two sacks to reach 70 in his career.

Final noteThe Bills have held the edge in time of possession in each of their four wins to start the season.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Advertising