Two teams apparently heading in opposite directions will face each other at the Meadowlands this Sunday when the New York Giants play host to the Arizona Cardinals.
The Giants were embarrassed at home last week by the Falcons, 34-20, while the Cardinals defeated the Bears, 20-7.
New York (2-4) comes into the game on a two-game losing streak and have all sorts of problems. The offense has been anemic, ranking 13th in the NFC in passing, 14th in rushing and last in total offense. To make matters worse, their once dominating defense is decimated by injuries.
The Giants might start the game with a secondary completely different than the one that led them to the NFC East title last year. Jason Sehorn and Sam Garnes are out while Phillipi Sparks and Tito Wooten are listed as questionable.
"That's pro football," Giants coach Jim Fassel said. "Sometimes you get an abnormal amount of injuries in a position. You've got to be ready."
The Cardinals (3-3) on the other hand have built confidence and momentum, having won three of their last four games. The reason for the improvement is the Arizona defense, which, despie giving up 444 yards to Dallas on opening day, is ranked eighth overall in the NFL, only giving up 296.7 yards per game. They also lead the NFL in takeaways with 19, which is one less than they had all of last season.
| Arizona's Ronald McKinnon (center) is congratulated by Tommy Bennett (28) and Andre Wadsworth against the Bears last week. (AP) |
With the addition of rookie Andre Wadsworth, the defensive line has managed to produce 11 sacks, eight pass deflections and five fumble recoveries in the last four weeks.
"We're young guys and we have to continue to work hard," defensive lineman Eric Swann said. "Right now we're in the foundation stage of our defense. We're still building, and we have a lot of years ahead of ourselves and a lot of time together. I'm pretty sure this organization will do everything in their power to keep this defense together."
With the NFC East having a down year, this game has important implications on the division. Arizona trails the Cowboys by one game for first-place, while the Giants find themselves two games back.
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