Week 2: Arizona Cardinals At New England Patriots

Oakland Raiders v Arizona Cardinals
New England Patriots v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Cardinals got an unexpected lift from Kevin Kolb in the fourth quarter against the Seahawks after starter John Skelton went down with an ankle injury. Kolb will likely get the start against the Patriots, and that’s bad news for Arizona even though he threw the game-winning touchdown pass in Week One.
Winner The Patriots have their eyes on the Super Bowl prize once again and they may get there because Tom Brady is so sharp and consistent. He does not let down against low-level opponents like the Cardinals.
The Cardinals have one of the best No. 1 receivers in the league in Larry Fitzgerald. Early Doucet is a decent complementary wideout while tight end Todd Heap will hold on to any pass he can touch.
Winner The Patriots will look to Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker as the top targets for Brady. While the running game is still developing, the Pats may have the best offensive line in the league.
Winner The Cardinals developed into a surprisingly effective defense in the second half of the 2011 season and they came through with a solid effort against the Seahawks in Week One. Keep your eye on linebacker Darryl Washington, who had 10 tackles and a sack in Week One.
Winner The Patriots were a poor defensive team last year, but they shut down the Tennessee ground game in Week One. Linebacker Jerrod Mayo has become a leader and started the season with nine solo tackles and four assists, while Patrick Chung is a gamechanger in the secondary.
Special Teams
Winner The Cardinals have the best punt returner in the NFL – sorry Devin Hester – in Patrick Peterson. He returned four punts for touchdowns last year and LaRod Stephens-Howling is a plus kickoff returner.
The Patriots don’t have dominant special teams, but they are certainly consistent with placekicker Stephen Gostkowski. Zoltan Mesko is a strong directional punter who dropped three inside the 20 against the Titans.

The Winner Is

New England Patriots v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winner Patriots
3 out of 4

The Cardinals are a scrappy and hustling team. They lack talent at the quarterback position. This is too tough of an assignment for a team that has a deficiency at such an important position. While the Pats have no designs on an undefeated season and will have one or two unimpressive games, this will not be one of them.


  1. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Sam Bradford #8 of the Minnesota Vikings throws a pass in the first quarter against Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Vikings 21-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) GREENBAY, WI - OCTOBER 20: Running back Jordan Howard #24 of the Chicago Bears is tackled by nose tackle Kenny Clark #97 and cornerback Demetri Goodson #39 of the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Lambeau Field on October 20, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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  2. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles avoids Everson Griffen #97 of the Minnesota Vikings as he runs for a first down during the second quarter of a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-16.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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  3. GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football during the NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals and Seahawks tied 6-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 16: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers scrambles out of the pocked during the first half of a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 16, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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