There’s no way the Arizona football teams, the Cardinals, Sun Devils, and Wildcats (and even you, NAU Lumberjacks) can top last weekend’s amazing performances, right? Four wins – three as underdogs (including ASU who was nearly a 3 TD dog)!
This week, the stakes are even higher. Can the Cardinals and Sun Devils get to 4-3? Can the Wildcats win their third road game to advance to 5-2?
Last week wasn’t my finest work in terms of picks…6-8 in the NFL and 5-5 in college. This week’s theme goes against my norm…road teams!
The Cardinals, whose recent troubles on offense have been widely documented made an interesting trade on Tuesday morning. They acquired former Vikings star and future Hall-of-Fame running back Adrian Peterson from the Saints for a conditional draft pick (basically the better he does the remainder of the season, the higher the pick might be…but no better than a 4th rounder I’d guess).
For Arizona, it’s a low risk, potentially high reward move. New Orleans wasn’t playing AP much and the Cardinals desperately needed a playmaker in the backfield with David Johnson out for most, if not all of the remainder of the season.
Unfortunately despite his massive talent, there are three reasons for concern regarding his future success this season.
Kansas City was anywhere between a 6.5 and 7.5 point favorite and had kicked the game-winning field goal with four seconds left. Down by 3 with one play left, the Redskins tried to pull out a miracle…and then this happened…
If I told you that an NFL team would run 30 more plays than their opponent, possess the ball for 13 minutes longer, and commit no turnovers, you would almost certainly agree that they would win the game, correct?
Unfortunately the Arizona Cardinals lost 28-17 to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night despite posting those statistics. Embarrassing. But then again when their best player is out until at least Week 10 (David Johnson), it leaves the offense devoid of playmakers not named Larry Fitzgerald. The offensive line allowed six sacks and it appeared that Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence morphed into the modern day Lawrence Taylor as a pass rushing machine.
I can’t even fault QB Carson Palmer who played fairly well considering his offensive line did him no favors. It’s going to be a LONG season Cardinals fans. Fortunately you have a very (very, very, very) winnable game this week against the lowly 49ers.
Needless to say this is a crucial week for the Arizona football teams. The Cardinals host the Cowboys on Monday Night Football for their home opener while the Wildcats and Sun Devils are underdogs despite opening Pac-12 play at home. Without spoiling my picks below, I’m picking only one of the three to win this week. Don’t cheat – who do you think it is? (Hint: you’re probably wrong).
Before I get into the picks below, I’d like to offer my condolences to Arizona Cardinals fans on a premature ending of the 2017 season. Losing running back David Johnson to a wrist injury for a minimum of 9 weeks, if not the season, is a crushing blow that can’t be overstated. He was the heart and soul of an already questionable Arizona offense with an aging quarterback and lack of other proven weapons (other than Larry Fitzgerald). A Kerwynn Williams-Chris Johnson-Andre Ellington three-headed platoon at RB will have the occasional big play, but without DJ, this team is destined for a 6-10, 7-9 type of season. I feel badly for Palmer and Fitzgerald who won’t have many, if any, more opportunities to attempt a sustained playoff run. Truly an unfortunate injury in week one.
You can’t argue with me that Fall is the best time of the year in sports. Pro and college football, pennant races in baseball, followed by the debut of the NHL, NBA, and college basketball seasons. While November might be my favorite month of the year, September isn’t too far behind.
Every Wednesday in this space I’ll predict the score of each NFL game and the top 10 college games that are of most interest. I’m at a crossroads this week though…while I want to be correct with my picks, I also want to root against some of them. You’ll want to see why…