The NFL season has a way of avoiding predictability. The Arizona Cardinals are now fully in the playoff hunt. The AFC’s fight for the sixth playoff spot is even more of a mess these days.
Indianapolis Colts @ Arizona Cardinals
This is a game that features an expected playoff team (Indianapolis) against a surprise contender (Arizona). The Cardinals have caught the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West with a 6-4 record. One should point out in this game that Arizona’s offense is quite vulnerable, even more than the offense of the St. Louis Rams, a team that trails Arizona in the NFC West. St. Louis was able to hit big plays time after time against Indianapolis with speedy receivers such as Tavon Austin, who were able to catch passes in space and outrun slower Colt defenders on the perimeter. The Rams have a threatening offense, but Arizona’s attack – aside from superstar receiver Larry Fitzgerald – is fairly ordinary. Arizona’s defense will need to win this game for the Cardinals.
Carolina Panthers @ Miami Dolphins
This is a game that isn’t easy to bet on. The Panthers could be inspired after their Monday Night Football game against the New England Patriots, or they could be headed for a big letdown. The Dolphins won against the San Diego Chargers this past Sunday, but will this team continue to play with every ounce of passing imaginable? The Panthers’ defensive line should be able to enjoy a matchup advantage in this game, and Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been very disappointing over the past few weeks. It will be up to Miami’s defense to make enough high-impact plays to change the way in which this game unfolds.
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
This is a game in which the continued absence of Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers will enable the Vikings to be competitive for 60 minutes. However, do the Vikings – who have had a penchant for cracking under pressure this season – own the belief needed to finish off a win in the fourth quarter, especially on the road?
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