PANTHERS AT CARDINALS
- 2:05 p.m. Sunday
- State Farm Stadium
- Line: Cardinals -10 (For more details see BetMGM.com)
The three biggest things to watch for Sunday when the Cardinals play the Panthers at State Farm Stadium:
Kyler Or Colt?
Kyler Murray is feeling much better with his injured ankle, but once again, the Cardinals are going into the weekend with the quarterback position up in the air. Perhaps Murray, who practice some Friday, is able to find his way to the field. Perhaps it's more likely Colt McCoy will get his second consecutive start, this time at home. Murray is anxious to return to the field but the Cards want to make sure he's ready to play – and with a division game next week against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, perhaps one more game off would make sense. Kliff Kingsbury made it clear that if Murray can play, he will play. So what is their definition of "can play?" The good news – after McCoy's excellent performance against the 49ers, there is confidence that he could lead the Cards to another win.
Coming After Christian
The Panthers are starting P.J. Walker at quarterback, which may or may not be an upgrade given the way starter Sam Darnold had been playing of late before he got injured. No, Cam Newton won't start this week (although could he be the backup? After all, current backup Matt Barkley only has about a 48-hour head start on learning the playbook.) The Panthers would have leaned on running back Christian McCaffery anyway, and now it would seem to be even more important. In McCaffery's only game against the Cards (he was hurt last year), he went off for 153 yards on 24 carries in 2019. Vance Joseph's defense is a lot different (and a lot better) than it was then.
Finding A Full Roster
The Cardinals' injury report was a long one this week. Even Kliff Kingsbury started talking about getting his team to the bye – which comes in two weeks, after Sunday and then a trip to Seattle – and hopefully rest enough to make the stretch run. The Cards of course will be able to run a team out on the field but how many starters will be out is another part of the conversation. Yes, they won that way against the 49ers and yes, they can do it again. But at some point, getting the team's best players on the field will be crucial to making a push deep in the playoffs.