Five to Watch: Packers @ Cardinals
(Getty)
(Getty)
AzRedReport.com
Posted Jan 2, 2010


This year’s season finale brings the Green Bay Packers into the desert to challenge the reigning NFC Champions. The Cardinals still have an outside chance of securing a first round bye, needing a win, coupled with losses by Minnesota and Philadelphia. Here are the five players that will have a say on whether the Cardinals can hold up their end of the bargain.

Anquan Boldin:

Boldin enters this week’s game needing a mere 14 yards to ensure a franchise record fifth 1,000-yard receiving season. If Minnesota wins the early game, his minutes will be limited. Keep an eye on Boldin and look for an early impact. The Packers defense recently surrendered over 500 yards to Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. This bodes well for Boldin’s chances of snagging another Cardinals franchise record.

Darnell Dockett:

The home squad will be in need of a quality stopper on the front line. With the presence of Ryan Grant in the Packers’ backfield, Dockett must be on his game in order to prevent another stellar day from the running back. Grant has scored five touchdowns in his last three games and has 10 total touchdowns on the season. As a recently dubbed Pro Bowler, Dockett needs to show exactly why he was selected.


Matt Leinart
(Getty)

Matt Leinart:

If Minnesota does win, look for Leinart to have another extended outing. It is arguable as to whether Coach Whisenhunt wants to keep Leinart for the long run, as he was a draft pick of Dennis Green, not his staff.

Leinart was average in his lone start this season, completing 21 of 31 with no interceptions and no touchdowns. If he gets another shot this week, he will have to show more than that if he is going to persuade Whisenhunt to seriously consider him the future.

Tim Hightower/Beanie Wells:

The running back core must protect the football in the season finale. Coach Whisenhunt will undoubtedly be watching to determine which of his backs he can trust the most once playoffs get under way.

This year the backs have combined for a total of seven fumbles, most of those coming from Hightower. Ball security is definitely the top priority heading into the week 17 and will play a large role in deciding the post season depth chart.

Jeremy Bridges:

With the loss of Mike Gandy for the remainder of the season, Bridges must prove that he can step in and fill the void. Bridges did an incredible job against the vaunted Vikings defense and has remained solid since. He has allowed two sacks this season, but has yet to commit a penalty. The lack of mental lapses is a trait that must be a breath of fresh air for Whisenhunt. The Cardinals are one of the top ten most penalized teams in the National Football League.

Questions or Comments? Contact Tyson Qualls at tysonqsports@gmail.com


Related Stories
Game Scout: Packers (10-5) @ Cardinals (10-5)
 -by AZRedReport.com  Jan 2, 2010
The Bright Side: Packers @ Cardinals
 -by AZRedReport.com  Jan 3, 2010
Cardinals, Whisenhunt Focus On Big Picture
 -by AZRedReport.com  Jan 4, 2010

PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION INCLUDES
> Members-only Forums
> Insider Information
> Free Agency &
   Draft News
> Expert Chats

Sign Up Today!

Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from AZRedReport.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
WR Anquan Boldin (profile)
DT Darnell Dockett (profile)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (profile)
[View My HotList]