It’s time for the playoffs once again! Here are my quick predictions on today’s games.
ARIZONA (5) VS CAROLINA (4)
This could be the biggest dud in the playoffs. The Panthers are not a winning team. But because their 7-8-1 record was good enough to win their division, they host the Cardinals. Arizona has played tremendously this year and their defense has been stellar. The concern, however, remains at quarterback. With Carson Palmer’s injury, the team did a rotation of quarterbacks for the remainder of the season. It has not been pretty but Ryan Lindley is the guy the team will trust to take them to the next round.
The Arizona defense has been phenomenal all year and that might be what gets them this win. Carolina still doesn’t have a great established offense and Cam Newton has been inconsistent many times this year. The young wide receiving group of Carolina is going to rely heavily on Greg Olsen to lead the way. If Newton and Olsen can get on the same page, then that opens up their running game. Jonathan Stewart has been averaging 5.3 yards per carry in the team’s final five games. He needs to continue that against the tough Cards defense to give them a chance.