Baltimore (1-5) at Arizona (4-2)
When: Monday, October 26th 2015
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: ESPN
The Baltimore Ravens brutal road schedule continues tonight in Arizona as they face the Cardinals on Monday Night Football. It will mark the fifth time in seven games that the Ravens are playing away from home and their fourth cross-country trip of the season. Baltimore, which opened the season with road games at Denver and Oakland, is headed west again after losing 25-20 at San Francisco last weekend – its fifth loss by six points or fewer. The big reason for their 1-5 start is their defense, which is giving up an average of 286.2 yards per game through the air. They surrendered 340 yards to a 49ers club that ranked among the league’s worst passing attacks. Joe Flacco is having a tough season with 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, though he is 4-1 on Monday Night Football, throwing for 6 TDs against one pick.. He really has only one reliable target in Steve Smith, who has 36 catches and 3 scores. Running back Justin Forsett started to turn things around with consecutive 100-yard games, but was limited to just 62 yards last week. The Ravens will return home next week for three straight home games against San Diego, Jacksonville, and St. Louis.
The Arizona Cardinals are in the middle of three consecutive games against the NFC North. Arizona lost 25-13 in Pittsburgh last week and will travel to Cleveland next Sunday before entering their bye week. The Cardinals come in averaging 33.8 points per game, second only to New England. Arizona typically moves the ball very well, but its fortunes are tied to how well it executes in the red zone. In their four wins, the Cardinals have scored 16 touchdowns in 17 red-zone opportunities and only 2 of 9 in the two losses. Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown have formed a great dual-threat for Carson Palmer to throw to. They have combined for 73 catches, 1,080 yards, and 8 touchdowns. Palmer is having an outstanding season averaging 289.5 yards passing with 14 TDs and five interceptions. Chris Johnson leads a three-headed running attack that was limited to a season-low 55 yards last week.
The only games the Cardinals lost this year were against good defenses which the Ravens defense is not. Baltimore is just not very good. They lost back-to-back games to Cleveland and San Francisco. That should tell you everything you need to know. I had originally taken the Ravens on our Week 7 Staff Selections, but I’m changing my mind. The Cardinals will roll.
Pick: Cardinals -7.5