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Friday Five: Bengals At Cardinals


A glance at the top storylines for the Cardinals-Bengals game Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium:

**Irresistible force, immovable object, and scoring points

The Cardinals are tops in the league in yards per game and second in points scored. The Bengals have the top scoring defense in the league, and are 11th in yards allowed per game. Something, you figure, must give. Cincinnati has done a nice job hemming in opponents of late; the Bengals have given up exactly 10 points in each of their last three games. While one opponent was the Steelers, the last two were the Browns and Texans, teams that don't come close to the firepower the Cardinals have on hand. After the Cards racked up 39 points against the Seahawks last week, their confidence in scoring will be high.

Taking Eifert away

With Jimmy Graham's star on the fade, it is Tyler Eifert who will be the best tight end the Cardinals will have faced this season. Eifert didn't have a great game Monday, dropping a couple of key passes. But he has been so dangerous, especially in the red zone (with nine touchdowns). The Cards have done a much better job on tight ends, although the Browns' Gary Barnidge made a couple of plays in Cleveland. It's hard to know who exactly will handle Eifert – Honey Badger, anyone? -- but the Cardinals must make sure he doesn't go off.

Patrick Peterson vs. A.J. Green

Peterson and Green will forever be linked. In college, LSU's Peterson covered Georgia's Green in SEC play. Then in 2011, Green was the fourth overall draft selection while Peterson went fifth. Peterson has been very good this season, allowing only 17 receptions for 238 yards in nine games according to, and only one touchdown – and that was on a miscommunication. Green, meanwhile, struggled Monday night against the Texans. If Peterson can hold his own against Green, the Cards will have taken away a major piece of the offense.

Where there's Smoke, there's production

Hamstrings are tricky things. Now two of the Cardinals' top three receivers are dealing with the problem. Michael Floyd has been excellent of late – but when he pulled up late in Seattle, it didn't look good. John "Smokey" Brown has been hampered by a bad hammie for a few weeks now – he hasn't had a catch since he scored a late touchdown against the Ravens Oct. 26. I'd think Brown is the more likely receiver available this week – and if he plays, he'll be needed to continue the roll the offense has been on.

100 isn't just a number

The Cardinals will play their 100th game at University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday, which includes preseason and postseason. Every single one of those games were officially a sellout. So it's somewhat fitting that this one will be an important game, under the national television spotlight, where the home crowd is certain to be electric and loud. A win Sunday for the Cards not only puts them at 8-2 but does so with back-to-back wins on "Sunday Night Football" against two very good teams. It's the kind of game that should be the one representing 100.

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