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.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Joel Embiid takes a shot at Russell Westbrook’s shooting efficiency

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson being investigated for workplace misconduct

WATCH: Gronkowski refuses to discuss suspension, walks out of presser

Cousins complains refs unfairly target him on technicals

FIFA threatens to expel Spain from World Cup

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Muhammad Wilkerson not traveling with Jets due to ‘coach’s decision’

Floyd Mayweather says UFC offered him $1 billion

Porzingis: Knicks fans should show Carmelo ‘love’ in return

Pete Carroll, Sean Payton fined for going onto field

Hot mic catches what LeBron James said to Lonzo Ball

Carlos Santana reportedly signs three-year deal with Phillies

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Five MLB teams that should trade for Manny Machado

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Eight NFL teams who simply need to start over

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker