After three straight losses, the Cardinals are back in the underdog column. This is a team that excels with its back against the wall and they will be looking for a second half similar to the one they had in 2011.
Arizona has a very tough schedule coming up and it has to be on its “A” game if it wants to keep up with the rest of the division.
Highlighted over the next few slides are game-by-game predictions for the Arizona Cardinals over the second half of 2012.
Both Seattle and San Francisco got a bit lucky in terms of scheduling. They were able to face a struggling Packers team early in the season. Arizona and St. Louis, on the other hand, are running into this team at the wrong time.
Aaron Rodgers has thrown for 680 yards with nine touchdowns and no interceptions over those two games.
Prediction: This will be the Cardinals' toughest task to date. They have a great defense, but they will be on the field too much to shut down the Packers offense. Chalk this one up as a loss.
The Cardinals' Week 11 matchup against Atlanta is the complete opposite of the one against the Packers. While Arizona faces Green Bay at a bad time, they will take on the Falcons at a great time.
This will be another tough game, but a rested Arizona team will have an advantage over a bruised and battered Falcons squad.
Prediction: With two weeks to prepare, Ray Horton and company will have a great game plan to stop Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense. This is my pick for upset of the week.
The final matchup between the Rams and Cardinals will take place in Week 12. Arizona will be returning home following a tough road game against Atlanta.
They will be looking to avenge an ugly loss suffered in primetime at the hands of this Rams team. This is one of the easier games on the Cards' schedule and they cannot afford to lose.
Beanie Wells will be eligible to return in this game, and we may see Kevin Kolb back as well. This would be a huge boost to an offense that has struggled as of late.
Prediction: St. Louis has struggled away from home this season and that trend will continue this week. Arizona wins and avoids the sweep.
A quick stop at home and the Arizona Cardinals are back on the road in Week 13. Their first stop is in New York to take on the Jets.
This is a game that is very tough to predict. The Jets are an absolute mess and you never really know what team is going to show up. In fact, we don’t even know who is going to be starting at quarterback for New York by Week 13.
Prediction: Whether it is Sanchez, Tebow or even Greg McElroy, the Cardinals will shut down the Jets and push their winning streak to three games.
Arizona will return to Seattle for the first time since early last season. They lost that game 13-10, but have since won two straight over the Seahawks.
Riding a three-game winning streak, the Cardinals will be looking to sweep Seahawks for the first time since 2009.
Arizona has a little bit of a break in their schedule against the Rams and Jets, but playing in Seattle is never an easy task.
Prediction: The Cards will keep it close, but the Seahawks will get the win and split the season series.
There are a lot of things to watch for in this game. It has the potential to have huge wild-card implications. It will also feature the two best wide receivers in football and it will be Patrick Peterson’s biggest test of his young career.
If the Cardinals offense is still struggling at this point in the year, then this is the game in which they can get going. Detroit has a very weak secondary that Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts should be able to pick apart.
Prediction: If the Lions continue to play the way they have been playing, Arizona wins this game and stays in the playoff hunt.
There are very few people that will have Arizona winning this game, but I will be one of those people. Chicago is not nearly as good as its record indicates and will be exposed in the second half of the season.
The Cardinals defense will walk through the Bears' offensive line and Cutler will be crying earlier than he normally does. His meltdown will impact the entire offense and their defense can only hold on for so long.
Prediction: The Cardinals win and will be either 9-6 or 10-5 heading into the final week of the season.
If their Monday Night Football matchup with San Francisco is the most important game of the year, then this game would be No. 2.
Arizona finishes the year on the road, travelling to Candlestick Park to battle the 49ers. There is a lot of bad blood between both teams and they will both have something to play for.
The Cardinals split last year against San Francisco, winning at home and losing on the road. They should be happy if this trend continues because the 49ers are expected to sweep.
Prediction: Even if Arizona wins on Monday night, I don’t see them winning in San Francisco. They will finish 5-3 over their final eight games.