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NFL Game Preview – Arizona Cardinals @ Kansas City Chiefs (-8)

Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs are tied for first in the AFC WestBetting Overview:

Anyone in the football betting world would be lying if they said that the struggles of the Arizona Cardinals surprise them. As soon as quarterback Kurt Warner retired, everyone knew the NFL betting would tilt away from the Cardinals. The NFL predictions on quarterback Matt Leinart were not favorable to begin with, and Leinart wound up losing the starting job to Derek Anderson. But Anderson has not been nearly as reliable as the Cardinals were hoping for. Arizona even started second-year quarterback Max Hall in an attempt to do something on offense. So far, nothing has worked.

The Kansas City Chiefs are headed in a direction opposite that of the Cardinals. Last year it seemed like the Chiefs could not buy a win, but this year they are tied for first place in the AFC West at 5-4 with the Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs are led by a fierce two-headed running attack consisting of running backs Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles. With an efficient offense and opportunistic defense, the Chiefs look to make some more noise in the AFC playoff picture.

Offense:

The Kansas City Chiefs’ running back tandem has combined for over 1,300 rushing yards and five touchdowns. When an opposing defense has Jamaal Charles and his power figured out, the Chiefs throw Thomas Jones and his speed out there. Alternate that kind of punch all day long and you will get results. Quarterback Matt Cassel is not setting the world on fire with passing yardage, but he has thrown 16 touchdown passes. Cassel is asked to be efficient and not flashy. He fills that role perfectly by only throwing four interceptions so far this season.

The Arizona Cardinals knew that a good offense is anchored by an effective quarterback. But after years of being spoiled by the efficiency of Kurt Warner, the Cardinals are living the other side of the coin by having a bad offense with no quarterback. Everyone in the Arizona offense is struggling with the ineffectiveness at the quarterback position. Running back Tim Hightower only has 376 rushing yards this season and running back Beanie Wells only has 231 rushing yards. The only offensive player having any kind of a season is wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, but that is more of a testament to Fitzgerald’s incredible talent than any abilities of the quarterback.

Defense:

The Arizona defense is matching the offense with terrible play. The Cardinals have the 30th ranked defense in the league giving up an average of 402 yards per game. The Cardinals do it all on defense; they give up yards and big plays on the ground and in the air. Perhaps the most distressing defensive statistic for Cardinals fans is the 29 points per game that the defense is giving up on average.

The Chiefs do not have the greatest defense in the league, but they can punish an opposing offense. The front seven of the Chiefs hits hard and so does the secondary. The secondary is very opportunistic and could become a nightmare for a bad passing attack like the one the Cardinals have.

The Bottom Line:

Until the Cardinals get a quarterback in place, they will be underdogs to just about any team they play this season.

Pick: Kansas City Chiefs

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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