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Giants At Cardinals: When Arizona Has The Ball

(Sports Network) – Though they’ve yet to put it all together, the Cardinals have the makings of a becoming a dangerous and balanced offense once Kevin Kolb (812 passing yards, 5 TD, 3 INT) gets fully acclimated to his new surroundings. The fifth-year quarterback, acquired in a blockbuster offseason trade with Philadelphia, has had an up-and- down start to his Arizona career, highlighted by a 309-yard, two-touchdown display in the season opener and the low point coming in last week’s defeat in which he tossed two costly interceptions. The 27-year-old doesn’t lack quality weapons to throw to, as perennial Pro Bowl Larry Fitzgerald (15 receptions, 259 yards, 2 TD) is near the top of the league’s upper echelon of wide receivers, tight end Todd Heap (9 receptions) is an established veteran with nearly 500 career catches and young wideout Early Doucet (10 receptions, 1 TD) has shown signs of a possible breakout year over the first handful of games. Wells (183 rushing yards, 2 TD, 4 receptions) has provided a viable running threat to the mix in the two contests he’s played, with the 230-pound back averaging a healthy 5.7 yards per carry on the young season. The Cardinals will be keeping their fingers crossed he’s ready to go on Sunday, as virtual unknown Alphonso Smith (54 rushing yards, 3 receptions) and declining veteran Chester Taylor (20 rushing yards) are both serious drop-offs in talent.

After encountering trouble attempting to contain the pass in games against Washington and St. Louis, the Giants’ defense came through with an improved effort in that aspect during last weekend’s win, limiting the explosive Eagles to few big plays and cornerback Aaron Ross (11 tackles, 2 INT, 6 PD) garnering a pair of interceptions of Michael Vick. Emerging star defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (17 tackles, 4.5 sacks) added two sacks of the Philadelphia quarterback and is one of several high-caliber pass rushers on the New York roster, with both Tuck (6 tackles, 1.5 sacks) and Umenyiora owning three seasons of double-digit sack totals during their Big Blue careers. The Giants gave up 177 rushing yards to the speedy Eagles last week but have been mostly solid against the run, with outside linebackers Michael Boley (16 tackles) and Mathias Kiwanuka (12 tackles) heading a front seven that held the opposition to 3.6 yards per rush attempt. The team’s leading tackler is safety Antrel Rolle (23 tackles), a first-round pick of the Cardinals in 2005 who spent his first five seasons in Arizona before signing a lucrative free-agent contract with the Giants last year.