Larry Fitzgerald (Chris McGrath/Getty)
The Cardinals return home with a 2-2 record to take on the Bills, but for Arizona it’s all about the red. Sunday marks the Cardinals’ second home game of the young season. Arizona sits with a pretty 7-2 record at home under the Ken Whisenhunt era and will look to continue its four-game home winning streak. The Bills don’t expect anything less, but for the Cardinals to play well in the desert.
The Buffalo Bills only need to look at week four’s numbers to know that if the Cardinals get in trouble, they will abandon the run and throw the ball, a lot. Kurt Warner threw three picks and fumbled four times in the Cardinals loss to the New York Jets, but passed for 472 yards.
Warner’s performance was reminiscent of a far off place where he didn’t produce a perfect quarterback rating like in week two against the Miami Dolphins. Last week’s showing begs the question which Warner will show up on Sunday?
Warner’s dissatisfaction with his game is written all over his face when he doesn’t take care of the football or commits another signal caller sin, but it’s Warner’s guys down the stretch that the Bills are worried about.
“They’re good playmakers, they have guys that go out there and consistently make plays every week,” Corner back Jabari Greer said. “We know that they’re going to make plays, but we have to know that we have the opportunity to make more plays than they do.”
Whether the Bills can put up the same numbers in the air is unlikely. They sit in the mid range of the league in passing yards per game (217.5). The Cardinals are fourth in the league (290.8). But Arizona will likely do without Anquan Boldin (head) on Sunday. Number three receiver Steve Breaston will be under tremendous pressure to produce. He showed his stealth against the Jets when he hauled in 122 yards.
Jerheme Urban is bound to see an increased role if Boldin sits as well. He earned his first touchdown this season against the Jets. Early Doucet, who has remained inactive all season, could see his first regular season action as well.
Cornerback Leodis McKelvin is focused on Larry Fitzgerald.
“He’s a great guy,” McKelvin said. “I watched him in college and I watched him when I was growing up. He’s been in the league for about five years and he has more experience than me. Basically, I’m just going to go in there and play my technique and play my heart out. I’m just going to go in there and be relentless. If he catches the ball in front of me, I’ll just go up and tackle him and do my best.”
The receiving cards are up in the air, but there are other things for the Bills to worry about, including playing the Cardinals at Arizona.
“Any time you play a team at home, they have the home-field advantage,” Greer said. “It’s all psychological. If they make a play, they get the momentum, they get the crowd, and one thing we have to do is just to go in there and make a play and take the momentum away and feed off of the momentum we can get on our side and hopefully come out with the win.”
One way the Bills look to accomplish their fifth victory of the season is by quieting the Cardinal’s defense, which is bound to have a few ruffled feathers.
“We know that their defense is going to come out really fired up, really inspired,” WR Lee Evans said. “Anytime you have a bad game you make it a point to try to come back and play much better the next week, so we know this week is going to be a tremendous challenge.”