Five ways Arizona could beat New England

Don't let the title fool you here. The Patriots have fired up their hype machine all week about the Cardinals. We know the reasons to respect the Cardinals. The Cardinals have won eight out of their last ten games, three of those wins coming in overtime. In that streak, Arizona has some wins that might surprise you as they defeated the Eagles, Cowboys and even the 49ers. Most recently, they've knocked off the much hyped Seattle Seahawks.

Are the Cardinals legitimate? Probably not. Most Patriots fans expect to roll this team. New England is at home for the first time, they're coming off a near perfect thrashing of the Titans and it's Troy Brown's induction to the Pats Hall of Fame. They'll be ready for the Cardinals. It will be time in Foxboro.

Still, the only way the Cardinals could pull off the seemingly impossible victory is if the five things below happen:

1. Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett wreak havoc- The Patriots offensive line is still a question mark and the Cardinals have two great defensive linemen in Campbell and Docket. The two combined for 11.5 sacks last year. While the Patriots offensive line played much better in Week 1, they still have a lot to prove. Nate Solder in particular. The Brady sack in which he got kicked in the nose was all on Solder and he'll have his hands full trying to block Campbell.

2. Tom Brady gets injured- One and two might be related. This is a really obvious one and it can apply to any game. However, in this game, the Cardinals probably only have a shot if Brady isn't at center. Though, even that didn't seem to work out for them last time the two teams met.

3. Larry Fitzgerald goes off- I fully expect the Patriots to do everything they can to take Fitzgerald out of the game. That means jamming him at the line and always have a safety over him. The fact that Kevin Kolb is starting doesn't bode well for Fitzgerald either, as Kolb prefers to just dump the ball off instead of taking shots deep. That said, the Patriots pass defense isn't exactly the most highly touted in the league. Even in the Titans game the Pats defensive backs were getting beat by Nate Washington. The possibility exists for a major talent like Fitzgerald to take over the game. The Patriots can't let that happen.

4. Stephen Gostowski has a big day- If Gostowski and not Gronkowski is scoring all the points for the Patriots, that's not a good thing. Last year, the Cardinals were the number two red zone defense in the league as they allowed a touchdown on only 39.66% of red zone trips. No matter how you look at it, that's pretty good. The Patriots meanwhile were the fourth best red zone offense in the league in 2011, scoring a touchdown on 65.06% of their trips. If one of those things were to break, I'd bet on Arizona but you never know.

5. Patrick Peterson makes highlight reels- You've heard Patriots players talk endlessly about Peterson all week. Mainly they've been talking about him as a kick returner over corner back. Peterson had four returns for touchdowns last year, two of which came at crucial parts of the game. He had a fourth quarter return in Week 1 against Carolina that was the go-ahead score and a game winning return in overtime over St. Louis. Expect the Patriots to try to kick away from him but if he scores on a kick or even consistently puts the Cardinals offense in good field position, the Pats could be in trouble.


There I did my best to build up the Cardinals. Really though, most fans are right to expect the Patriots to have success against this team. You're facing a team on the road with a bad quarterback, if the above things don't happen, the Patriots should be more than fine in this one.

In the end, Mr. Darnell Dockett said it himself.