The Cardinals, the team that stands in first place in the West Division of the National Football Conference (NFC), won the hard-fought battle by just eight points. The final score was 26-18. The contest was in doubt until the very end and the home team that plays in the desert expended lots of energy before prevailing as had been expected.
And now, the Cardinals face a short practice week and a long flight eastward because they are scheduled to compete against the Cleveland Browns this Sunday afternoon. The Cardinals sport a Won-Loss record of 5-2 while the upstart Browns have lost five of the seven games they have played.
The team from Cleveland has been competitive in every game it has played, but is still learning how to successfully close out games. The Browns have a very good, hard-hitting defense and an inconsistent offense that lacks a franchise quarterback.
Nevertheless, the visitors may be entering “a hornet’s nest” when they take the field at 1 PM, Eastern Time, a few days from now. The home team Browns are hungry and rested. The visitors from the Arizona desert will be playing their second game in six days and, because they are comfortably in first place in their division, may be a little bit unprepared for “the storm” that awaits them.
If the game could be decided solely on the skill levels and experience of the players on the roster, this get-together would favor the visitors. And, in fact, the Arizona Cardinals are favored to win even though they are traveling across the country, a fact that tends to work against west coast teams.
That said, if Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer brings his “A” game, and unleashes accurate passes to Larry Fitzgerald and the squad’s other receivers, the result will very likely be favorable. If, however, the Cardinals perform indifferently, they will find themselves with another loss on their record when they fly home late Sunday afternoon.
This game, like so many others that take place every Sunday in the National Football League (NFL), looks like a mismatch and an easy win for the visitors. But if final scores could be guaranteed based on the rosters of competing teams, there would be no need to actually play the games.
There is no doubt that the Cleveland Browns are an improving team that already features a stout defense. Wins have been difficult to come by, but if the Cardinals believe they need simply show up to get another “W,” that “W” will almost certainly be earned by the young and improving Cleveland Browns.
Courtesy of Bleacher Report