Both of these teams are struggling, but no NFL club has been reeling as bad as the Cardinals over the last two months. Arizona has lost seven straight games and has struggled to keep quarterbacks healthy behind a failing offensive line.
Following are the critical elements of the matchup, along with fantasy options and predictions for the game itself.
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
When: Sunday, Dec. 2 at 1 p.m ET
Live Streaming: NFL Sunday Ticket
Betting Line: Jets -4.5 (via Bovada)
Arizona Injury Report (via CBS Sports)
|DL Calais Campbell ||Calf|
|WR Early Doucet||Ribs|
|TE Todd Heap||Knee|
|QB Kevin Kolb||Ribs|
|RB Alfonso Smith||Illness|
Home Injury Report (via CBS Sports)
|WR Clyde Gates||Concussion
|DB Aaron Berry||Quadriceps|
What's at Stake?
The fifth pick in the 2013 NFL draft could be decided by this game. Both teams have struggled this season and neither has much to look forward to on the field for the balance of the year.
Both clubs need to be looking at quarterbacks in the upcoming draft. The loser will likely end up with the earlier draft pick and the first shot at drafting a potential franchise passer.
Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald
I don't expect a lot of production from Fitzgerald but he's the best option to pick up yards for the Cardinals. Arizona needs to scheme some quick-hit passing options to get Fitzgerald the ball.
Chris Wells is another possible starter, as he could be the only healthy running back on the roster this weekend. He'll get opportunities to run the ball.
New York Jets Defense
It is hard to get excited for any of the offensive players in this game, but the Cardinals offense has been surrendering sacks, turnovers and touchdowns by the fistful in recent weeks.
Ryan Lindley will likely get the start again this weekend. A rookie quarterback who is both shaky and under tight pressure isn't a good combination.
What They're Saying
James Walker covers the AFC East for ESPN.com, a difficult task outside of the New England Patriots. There is hope for the Dolphins going forward, but Buffalo has failed to live up to expectations, and the Jets...what's there to say about their season?
I'll leave that to ESPN.com's blogger:
RT @jameswalkerespn: Cardinals have lost seven straight games. If the Jets can't beat these guys at home, they are even worse than I thought— James Walker (@espn_afceast) November 27, 2012
It is hard to argue with Walker on this point, but Arizona's defense is legit. If the Jets can't force a turnover or three, this game could be more difficult than expected.
Key Matchup: Jets defense vs. Cardinals offensive line
The Jets have been average on defense this season and have been blown out in three of their last four games. But few things do more to help a middling unit than taking on a rookie quarterback without an offensive line in front of him.
The Jets should target at least six sacks and a pair of takeaways in Week 13 and use their defense to get their fifth win on the season.
The Cardinals still have an offensive weapon that can strike at any moment. It only takes a few plays with solid blocking to get Fitzgerald somewhat open and throw the ball up for him. Chris Wells can also pick up yards on the ground.
Arizona can also play tight defense to keep itself in this game.
But the Jets should be good for one touchdown set up by the defense, which will be the difference in the game.
Jets 20, Cardinals 14
Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and Seattle Seahawks.