Skip to main content

Arizona Cardinals Home: The official source of the latest Cardinals headlines, news, videos, photos, tickets, rosters and game day information

Friday Five: Patriots At Cardinals

Check out the top storylines for Sunday's game


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

**No slouch, but making sure Jimmy G isn't Brady

Former teammate-turned-guy-who-wants-to-sack-him Chandler Jones said Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo may not be Brady but "he's no slouch." Fair enough. Garappolo is inexperienced, however, and even though there is an air of mystery to what the Cardinals will see, it's still favorable to facing down Brady. The Cardinals need to keep that going once the game starts, getting in Garoppolo's face and forcing the young QB into decisions he may not want to make.

Full coverage – from Gronk to BWill

Rookie cornerback Brandon Williams won't be matched up on all-everything tight end Rob Gronkowski. But both men figure to play big roles in how this game turns out. Gronkowski – who is dealing with a problem hamstring -- is the Patriots' top weapon, essentially an oversized receiver that can cause all kinds of chaos after the catch. He's going to make some plays. You just don't want it to be 150 yards worth. Meanwhile, Williams will start the first game of his rookie season and will likely be targeted by Garoppolo, so he'll have to show early and often he can hold up under the bright lights of "Sunday Night Football."

David Johnson makes his first move

There will be scrutiny on quarterback Carson Palmer after the way last season ended and his bumpy preseason. But it is running back David Johnson who everyone waits for, the one for which big predictions have been made. Running , catching, Johnson is expected to do it all. It doesn't mean he'll have 35 touches – not with this skill group – but the way the Cards have been running the ball in the preseason, Johnson should be the tip of a very effective spear. There have been some lofty comparisons made along the way for Johnson. Here's where we get to see if they make sense.

B.A. versus The Hoodie

Bruce Arians is as outspoken as Bill Belichick is not. But they are two of the most successful head coaches in the league, and Arians knows Belichick will have his team prepared regardless of what players he does not have. Belichick is about exploiting weakness – better than perhaps other coaches – and in-game adjustments are crucial. Arians has met up with Belichick before, but never as a head coach. Now, we'll see how "No risk it, no biscuit" plays against Belichick's vast knowledge.

Meeting expectations under the lights

It's the marquee matchup of the NFL weekend. The Cardinals are on "Sunday Night Football" for the world to watch exactly what they have in 2016. Last year, their fantastic season got started with a rather non-descript afternoon game against the Saints. The wattage will be turned up quite a bit more this time around. Given that the Cardinals were 5-0 in prime time games a season ago and have many of the same players back, they have showed the night lights aren't too bright. Still, they'll have to prove it again. It's a new year.

If you are still looking for tickets to Sunday's sold-out New England-Cardinals matchup, check out the NFL Ticket Exchange by clicking here.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.