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Arizona Cardinals to Win (-500)
Carolina Panthers QB Sam Darnold (shoulder) will have to sit this one out so starting duties will shift to his backup Phillip “P.J.” Walker (below) which puts most of the offensive pressure onto dual-threat back Christian McCaffrey, now healthy and back in the lineup after a hamstring issue, the Panthers a team that will no doubt depend on its 2nd ranked defense for the win.
Sure, the Arizona Cardinals won in Week 9 without quarterback Kyler Murray (ankle) and star receiver DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring), but they could use both on Sunday though they are still listed as questionable, regardless of who suits up this Cardinals team is built to win, right now ranked top-5 on both sides of the ball with playmakers ready for the postseason.
These two NFC rivals have played each other 18 prior times (including 3 postseason games), with the Arizona Cardinals winning 5 of those games and the Carolina Panthers winning 13 of the games.
In Week 3, Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey pulled up lame on a run and has been healing an injured hamstring ever since, returning to the lineup last week against the Patriots, a game the team lost 6-24.
McCaffrey was a historically healthy running back for his first three seasons in the league, appearing in every one of those games during that period, but in 2020 he only appeared in three games due to a shoulder injury and this season he has already missed five weeks of play.
For the 4-5 Panthers to stay relevant in the NFC South, they must start stacking wins in the second half of the season, so a surprise underdog victory in Week 10 would be the perfect way to start.
Injuries are starting to become a serious issue for the Arizona Cardinals, though missing some key players in Week 9 did not prevent them from beating the San Francisco 49ers, 31-17, their next-man-up game apparently strong, their depth of talent not in question.
So for this Week 10 matchup, quarterback Kyler Murray’s injured ankle has him listed as questionable and he will remain a game-time decision for coach Kliff Kingsbury on Sunday, but his backup Colt McCoy proved in the win last week that he is a capable veteran under center.
Also questionable for Sunday’s game are receives A.J. Green (Covid-19) and DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) and listed as doubtful is running back Chase Edmonds (ankle), so it could be yet another chance for some Cardinal backups to shine their way to victory.
With Sam Darnold (shoulder) out as the Panthers’ starter under center, that job now goes to backup quarterback P.J. Walker, a second-year player with a 1-0 record as a starter whose stats are relatively minimal based on his lack of playing time.
In his two seasons with Carolina, Walker has attempted 71 passes and only completed 35 of those, which is just a 49 completion percentage for 401 yards and a touchdown with five interceptions in all that, not a good sign at all.
Speaking of interceptions, before his injury, starting QB Darnold led the league in that category with 11, so one key to a Week 10 victory for the Panthers could be to focus on passing the ball only to players wearing the same uniform.
With two of the team’s best receivers possibly out of this one – DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) and A.J. Green (Covid-19), both questionable – the bulk of the targets could go to the remaining starter, Christian Kirk, already a valuable playmaker on the team.
So far in 2021, Kirk has caught balls for yards and touchdowns, right now ranked against other receivers in the league, the 5’ 11” 200 pound Texas A&M alum using his speed and agility to fight for yards after his receptions.
Now in his fourth NFL season, all with the Cardinals, Kirk has so far played a supplemental role on the roster, his best season in 2019 included 68 receptions for 709 yards and three touchdowns, so this number one receiver role he’ll be taking on in Week 10 is the perfect chance to prove he has the skills to make that step.
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|Panthers vs Cardinals Information|
|What||Carolina Panthers vs Arizona Cardinals|
|Where||State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona|
|When||Sunday, November 14, 2021; 4:05 PM ET|
|How to watch||FOX|
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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