Game Plan: Arizona Cardinals at Jaguars
Anquan Boldin; Larry Fitzgerald (Getty)
Anquan Boldin; Larry Fitzgerald (Getty)

Posted Sep 17, 2009
scout.com


The Cardinals need to get their offense clicking on all cylinders to prevent going 0-2. Here is the game plan, injury impact and matchups to watch.

GAME PLAN: The Cardinals need to get the ball to receiver Larry Fitzgerald early. He didn't catch his first pass last week until late in the first half. The club needs to get its running game going to open up play-action to Fitzgerald downfield. Defensively, the Cardinals will concentrate on stopping running back Maurice Jones-Drew. They did a good job last week against the 49ers Frank Gore, who is similar in style.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Cardinals DE Darnell Dockett vs. Jaguars RT Eben Britton. The Cardinals have to dominate this matchup. Dockett is as quick off the ball as any player in the NFL, and he can mean trouble for any offensive tackle, but especially to a rookie.

Jaguars WR Torry Holt vs. Cardinals CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Holt knows the Cardinals well from his days with the Rams and he gave Rodgers-Cromartie some trouble last season. Rodgers-Cromartie is susceptible to double moves because he's anxious to make big plays. Rodgers-Cromartie had a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown later in the year.

Cardinals ILB Gerald Hayes vs. Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew. Hayes is the team's most physical linebacker. He had 10 tackles last week against the 49ers and was a key to containing running back Frank Gore. Like Gore, Jones-Drew is elusive and dangerous in the open field.

INJURY IMPACT: WR Anquan Boldin played last week despite not practicing for most of the previous three weeks. His hamstring is still sore, but Boldin is practicing more this week than last.

--WR Steve Breaston missed last week's game with a knee injury. It was surprise since Breaston practiced all week and was listed as probable. But the knee was swollen on Sunday morning. Breaston isn't going to be 100 percent by Sunday but the Cardinals are hoping he can play.

--WR Early Doucet might be able to play this week after missing the opener with fractured ribs. Doucet practiced some last week and is hopeful of returning.

--S Matt Ware suffered his second stinger in as many weeks and it's questionable if he'll be able to play Sunday. Ware is a good special teams player and also plays safety in dime packages. If he's not able to play, the Cardinals likely will have to use their nickel alignment, which brings Ralph Brown in at corner. Antrel Rolle stays at safety instead of moving down to play the slot receiver.

--DE Kenny Iwebema isn't expected to play because of an ankle sprain. Iwebema is going to miss at least a week.



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WR Anquan Boldin (profile)
WR Steve Breaston (profile)
CB Ralph Brown (profile)
DT Darnell Dockett (profile)
WR Larry Fitzgerald (profile)
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (profile)
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