New England Patriots welcome Arizona Cardinals to the Gillette Stadium in Foxboro this weekend, with the teams meeting for the first time since 2016. Both teams are third in their divisions, but the Cardinals have a 6-4 record while the Patriots stand at 4-6. Both teams lost in their last outings so will want to return to winning ways on Sunday. The Patriots have a good record under Bill Belichick’s coaching, having a 3-1 record during their current head coach’s tenure.
Cardinals might rush to victory
This game could well come down to which offense runs the ball best. The Patriots have a strong running game and the Cardinals’ defense has been hit hard by injuries in recent times. Defensive tackle Corey Peters is their latest casualty, and he has now been ruled out for the season with a knee injury. Defensive tackle Richard Lawrence could return this weekend, but defensive ends Jordan Phillips (hamstring) and Zach Allen (ankle) will still be missing. The Cardinals are 23rd in the NFL against the run, allowing 124.7 yards per game. Patriots running back Damien Harris was off form last time out but will be looking to hit the Cardinals defense hard in tandem with Josh McDaniels on Sunday.
The Cardinals have a good rushing game of their own when it comes to offense. Mobile quarterback Kyler Murray has overseen a rushing game that is second in the NFL, averaging 157.7 yards per game. They are also first in yards per rush, averaging 5.15. Murray is trying to shake off a shoulder problem, though, and may well be a tough less mobile than usual. The Patriots new defensive set-up with Carl Davis in the middle of Byron Cowart and Lawrence Guy has looked stronger in recent weeks, and they will need to be on form on Sunday.
The Patriots will also need to watch for the Cardinals’ passing game, with Murray able to link with the superb DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins has 72 catches this season for 912 yards and four touchdowns. Murray has thrown eight interceptions this season, though, so if the Patriots can put him under pressure he may creak a little.
Our Pick: Cardinals to win by 7-12
Our tip is that the Cardinals will win this game by 7-12 points. 888Sport are offering odds of +460 on that prediction being accurate. We suspect that the Cardinals’ offensive strength, especially when it comes to their running game, will overpower the Patriots. While the Patriots have a decent rushing game of their own, the Cardinals are strong on defense too and will have just enough to stay in front before making the victory look more emphatic in the last quarter of the game.
Our pick: Cardinals by 7-12 @ +460 with 888Sport