TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 2: New England Patriots Vs. Arizona Cardinals

Patriots
Cardinals
New England Patriots v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Oakland Raiders v Arizona Cardinals
Quarterback
Winner The Patriots have their eyes on the Super Bowl prize once again and they may get there because Tom Brady is so sharp and consistent. He does not let down against low-level opponents like the Cardinals.
The Cardinals got an unexpected lift from Kevin Kolb against Seattle after John Skelton went down. Kolb will likely start against the Patriots, and that’s bad news for Arizona even though he threw the game-winning touchdown pass in Week 1.
Offense
Winner The Patriots will look to Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker as the top targets for Brady. While the running game is still developing, the Pats may have the best offensive line in the league.
The Cardinals have one of the best No. 1 receivers in the league in Larry Fitzgerald. Early Doucet is a decent complementary wideout while tight end Todd Heap will hold on to any pass he can touch.
Defense
Winner The Patriots were a poor defensive team last year, but they shut down the Tennessee ground game in Week 1. Jerrod Mayo has become a leader and started the season with nine solo tackles and four assists, while Patrick Chung is a gamechanger.
Winner The Cardinals developed into a surprisingly effective defense in the second half of the 2011 season and they came through with a solid effort against the Seahawks in Week One. Keep your eye on linebacker Darryl Washington, who had 10 tackles and a sack in Week One.
Special Teams
The Patriots don’t have dominant special teams, but they are certainly consistent with placekicker Stephen Gostkowski. Zoltan Mesko is a strong directional punter who dropped three inside the 20 against the Titans.
Winner The Cardinals have the best punt returner in the NFL – sorry Devin Hester – in Patrick Peterson. He returned four punts for touchdowns last year and LaRod Stephens-Howling is a plus kickoff returner.

The Winner Is

New England Patriots v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winner Patriots
3 out of 4

The Cardinals are a scrappy and hustling team. They lack talent at the quarterback position. This is too tough of an assignment for a team that has a deficiency at such an important position. While the Pats have no designs on an undefeated season and will have one or two unimpressive games, this will not be one of them.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. Tyler Seguin (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Loui Eriksson #21 of the Boston Bruins. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Tyler Seguin vs. Bruins Haul From Dallas

    Tyler eguin has exploded offensively in Dallas while the Bruins have struggled to emulate his production, but Boston has been succeeding where it matters (for the most part).

  2. Members of the New England Patriots celebrate with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX. Recording artist Katy Perry performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show.
    Was Super Bowl XLIX Or Katy Perry’s Halftime Show More Exciting?

    I don’t usually watch Super Bowl halftime shows. But when I do, it has Katy Perry. How did her performance measure up to the game?

  3. Hub Network's 1st Annual Halloween Bash - Arrivals billbelichick
    Bill Nye The Science Guy Says Belichick’s DeflateGate Explanation Makes No Sense

    One man is a scientist, the other a legendary football coach. Who’s smarter, and who do you believe?

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,019 other followers