New England Patriots vs. Arizona Cardinals: Scouting the enemy
To help pass the time until kickoff between the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals, we sat down with Raising Zona editor Scott Allen and learned more about the Cardinals.
Here’s a transcript of our Patriots vs. Cardinals conversation:
"Musket Fire: If you could have one player not named Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski from the Patriots’ roster and put him on the Cardinals, who would it be?"
Raising Zona: That’s a tough question. I would say Julian Edelman. The guy catches everything. It would be great to have a guy like that around once Larry Fitzgerald retires in a couple of years.
"Musket Fire: The Chandler Jones trade dominated offseason storylines for both the Pats and Cards. How do you think Jones will fare against his former team?"
Raising Zona: The Patriots are obviously familiar with Jones. I’m not going out on a limb to say he is getting two or three sacks or anything like that. I do think it is a bigger game for Jones than he’ll ever lead on. It is just human nature to go out and prove to your former team they made a mistake in trading him.
"Musket Fire: Speaking of the Jones trade, what is the state of the Cardinals’ offensive line these days now that oft-injured Jonathan Cooper is out of the picture?"
Raising Zona: Honestly it is a little clearer. Cooper was one of a few changes on the line this season. I would have liked to have seen Cooper get one more season in Arizona but they had a greater need in the pass rush. Cooper plays very well against the run but was inconsistent. He is prone to injury as well.
"Musket Fire: The Cardinals traded for Marcus Cooper this week to bolster the secondary. How do you feel about the acquisition as well as the overall state of the Cardinals’ cornerback depth chart?"
Raising Zona: Cornerback was one of the positions the Cardinals tried desperately to improve in the preseason. They signed Mike Jenkins and he promptly breaks his hand in one of the first practices of camp. He missed three weeks and came back only to tear his ACL in his first game. Out for the season. Then they signed Alan Ball. He didn’t work out and was cut. Justin Bethel is still sore from his injury and Brandon Williams is a rookie being thrust into a starting spot right away. It only made sense to go grab another veteran at the position.
"Musket Fire: Alright, score prediction time. Who do you have winning this game and by what margin?"
Raising Zona: This is a tough one. Some think the Cardinals are going to walk right over the Patriots without Brady. I don’t see it that way. I think it will be a good game.The Cardinals still have a lot to prove on the defensive side of the ball. In the end the Cardinals offense should be just enough to prevail at home.
Next: Pats vs. Cards: 6 Bold Predictions
For all your Cardinals updates and analysis this season, be sure to stop by Raising Zona. The Patriots and Cardinals may not face one another until the 2020 season (barring a Super Bowl encounter), but still, this is a team any football fan should be keeping an eye on in 2016.