Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/16/12
The Arizona Cardinals were on the decline going into their bye week, they had just lost five straight games and desperately needed a week off to regroup.  The Falcons on the other hand just suffered their first loss of the year to the hot New Orleans Saints.  If handled correctly, bye weeks can be a teams best friend in helping the players rest and recover, and giving the coaches extra time to game plan.  This game should be interesting and here are my three predictions for the Sunday afternoon match-up between the Atlanta Falcons and the Arizona Cardinals.The Cardinals' secondary gives Matt Ryan trouble and shuts down Julio Jones. The Cardinals have one of the best pass defenses in the league and coming off their bye week should be prepared for Ryan and Company.  The Cardinals' free safety, Kerry Rhodes, has really stepped up this year and teamed up with another veteran, Adrian Wilson, to cause havoc for opposing quarterbacks. The Cardinals did a good job stopping Tom Brady earlier in the year and I fully expect them to do the same with Ryan.The Falcons' defense contains the passing attack of the Cardinals, but will allow big yardage on the ground. This is perhaps my boldest predictions because of how incredibly bad the Cardinals' offensive line and running game have been this year. Only once this year have the Cardinals had a player rush for over 100 yards in a game.  However, the Falcons' run defense is just as poor as the Cardinals' run game, but one team has to win this match-up. The Falcons' defense gives up an average of almost 130 rushing yards per game and have to face off with the Cardinals' streaky running back LaRod Stephens-Howling this week who I predict will have his second 100-yard rushing game of the season.The Falcons will barely edge out the Cardinals for the win on Sunday. No matter which way I look at this game, it just seems impossible for the Cardinals to win. The Cardinals have one of the worst offensive scoring units in the league as they average a measly 16 points per game, second worst in the league.  Although Matt Ryan will have some trouble passing vs. the Cardinals' defense, the Falcons have too many offensive weapons for the Cardinals to stop them all and I fully expect the Falcons to pull out a close victory on Sunday.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon


McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker