Friday, September 14, 2012
ESPN's Patriots-Cards prediction roundup
A roundup of how ESPN's analysts see Sunday’s Patriots-Cardinals game (1 p.m., on Fox) playing out.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Tedy Bruschi: Patriots 27, Cardinals 14. The Patriots are at home and Troy Brown is getting into the Patriots Hall of Fame. This team needs to capitalize on the emotion in that stadium and start to establish Gillette as a place where opponents fear playing. I see a Cardinals team that will try to establish the run and play keep-away from the Patriots' offense.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss: Patriots 31, Cardinals 14. I like the Patriots in this game, as they are heavily favored and should win. The Cardinals' defense could present some issues that keep the game close initially, but in the end, I see the Patriots having too much firepower. Defensively, the opportunity is there to control the line of scrimmage against an offensive line that has some backup-caliber players in key roles. And then there are the questions the Cardinals have at quarterback. No questions from the Patriots in that area.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Jackie MacMullan: Patriots 33, Arizona 14. The Cardinals are 3-13 over the past two seasons on the road. With Kevin Kolb under center, they won't be able to buck the trend.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Rodak: Patriots 27, Cardinals 10. Yes, the Cardinals have Larry Fitzgerald. Yes, they are one of the NFL's hottest teams dating back to late last season. Yes, the Patriots have allowed fill-in quarterbacks such as Matt Flynn and Dan Orlovsky to come into Gillette Stadium and put up big numbers. But the Patriots' defense began to show last week that it has improved. The Patriots' offense is rarely stopped on its home turf. Chalk another one up for New England.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Field Yates: Patriots 30, Cardinals 10. It's just Week 2, but already the Patriots have much rolling in their favor as they prepare to host the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards will be without starting quarterback John Skelton, will have traveled some 3,000 miles and having to adjust their body clocks to the time difference, and the Patriots looked sharp in their debut 2012 performance. Brady & Co. will find a way to keep Arizona's explosive defensive players contained, and look for the defense to be able to force turnovers against Kevin Kolb. The Patriots won't disappoint the home crowd at Gillette Stadium.
* NFL Live: Both Mark Schlereth and Herm Edwards pick the Patriots (video below).
* Madden 13 simulation: Patriots 23, Cardinals 10. Kevin Kolb won a lot of his old supporters back with his brilliant performance last week in relief of the injured John Skelton. And when the Cardinals jump out to an early 10-0 lead against the high-powered Patriots, it looks like Kolb could end up earning that crazy contract after all. But then New England starts pounding the ball on the ground with running back Stevan Ridley, and the game completely changes complexion as the Patriots score 23 unanswered points to win.