Originally posted on The Sports Headquarters  |  Last updated 9/15/12

If you don’t follow me on Twitter, well, you’re doing Twitter wrong, bu that’s beside the point. This Sunday I am going to get a hashtag trending worldwide. A lofty goal I am aware, but with the power of the NFL on my side I think I can achieve this goal. Now, Cardinals’ fans are cute. They really are. Regardless of the fact that there are like 12 teams with bird-influenced names, these fans have the gaul to refer to their team as the #BirdGang on Twitter. Now that’s all well and good, they were first to claim it after Darnell Dockett it made it popular, but what do the Patriots have? Outside of three Lombardi trophies we don’t even have a Gronk Spike anymore. Hey New England, it’s time to dominate another area of life. This Sunday I want to see #BloodBath trending all over the place. From 1 P.m. all the way until the first Sunday in February because if we learned anything from our Week 1 matchup against the Tennessee Titans, it’s that other teams are possibly playing a completely different sport. The Cardinals barely held on to beat the Seahawks at home last weekend while the Patriots rolled over the Titans. Now the Cardinals are forced against their will to fly across the country only to be second in line for the 2012 New England Patriots’ #BloodBath tour. Get your popcorn ready!

How the Cardinals are Going to Win This Game

I would assume Tom Brady would have to be injured before the game even started. In fact, I think it would have to be like “Head of State” where both Brady and Ryan Mallett get into an accident together forcing Julian Edelmen to play quarterback. So, if Ken Whisenhunt can somehow orchestrate that, he’ll have a puncher’s chance. If not, I haven’t the slightest clue what he can do. Listen, this is no knock against the Cardinals, but the Patriots are going to beat a team who has to actually debate which of their subpar quarterbacks should start in the week leading up to the game 11 times out of 10. That’s just the way it works. To be completely honest, maybe the Cardinals can do something innovative this week. Take Dockett and line him up on Rob Gronkowski. What is there to lose? Dockett is a superior athlete when compared to average defensive lineman and may be able to jam Gronk at the line. The Patriots’ offense is a product of timing. You disrupt their routes, and you have a chance to stall their offense. While Dockett is manning up Gronk, Patrick Peterson takes Aaron Hernandez. You make Brady beat you with Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, and Stevan Ridley.

Larry Fitzgerald will have to do just about everything as well. As a receiver, running back, probably make a few throws here and there, Fitzy is going to have to dominate this game in every way feasible. The Patriots’ defense is far from fixed. Is it better than last year? Unquestionably. But the secondary wasn’t exactly tested against a Kenny Britt-lee Titans’ sqaud last week. Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams will be useless against one of the best rushing defenses in the league. So Fitzgerald will have to create and challenge this secondary from the first play through the fourth quarter.

What the Patriots Will Need to Do to Win This Game

The Patriots want to control the clock. There is no reason to play this game like a bunch of assholes playing back yard football. Absolutely none. If I see Brady taking five step drops and heaving it 50 yards to Lloyd on more than one occassion, I may need to buy a new television. Control the clock and protect the ball. You don’t want this Cardinals’ defense playing with extra energy and keeping Arizona in the game. You want to dominate, yes, but you also want to work on some things as well. The offensive line still needs to improve. The ground game needs to improve. Brandon Lloyd needs to continue to get acclimated to the offense. While the offense looked good against Tennessee, there is still plenty of room for improvement especially in the earlygoings of 2012. But there is no reason to treat this game like you’ve been spotted 28 points. Turnovers and missed opportunities can take down anyone.

While this may seem like a stretch, I don’t want Zoltan Mesko punting to Peterson. Well, I don’t want the Patriots punting at all but if they are forced to give it back to the Cardinals, I’d rather he put it directly out of bounds. Is Patrick Peterson Devin Hester? No, not by any means. Does he deserve to be treated like Hester? This game, I believe so. He is a threat to run one back at any point and time. The Cardinals cannot beat the Patriots with their offense. I don’t care how bad the Patriots’ defense is, there is no world in which the Cardinals’ offense can go head to head with the Patriots’ and leave victorious. With that being said, don’t give Peterson a chance to get his team on the board. Punt it out of bounds, force the Cardinals to go three and out, and get the ball back. No need to let Peterson even return it into field goal range. Just don’t give him the ball.

Final Prediction

All the points – very few points in comparison, New England. I’m trying to remove as much bias as possible from the equation. I really am. I just don’t see the Patriots losing this game. Remove the fact that I am from Boston and picked the Patriots to win the Super Bowl, because neither of those things have anything to do with the fact that the Patriots are a superior team to the Cardinals. That’s not an insult, it’s just a fact. One team has had the same quarterback at the helm since 2001 (with the exception of 2008) while the Cardinals used three different QBs in 2011 alone. The Cardinals have talent, but I’d argue New England has more talent than any team in the league right now. More than Green Bay, more than San Francisco, more than New Orleans, and more than the Ravens. That’s what happens when your fourth passing option is Brandon Lloyd and you possess the most prolific tight end in league history catching passes from one of the best QBs the game has ever seen. Not your fault, Arizona. You’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time.


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