The Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers will face one another Sunday afternoon at Bank of America Stadium. Kickoff is at 1:05 p.m. Arizona time.
Both teams seek to even their record. For the Cardinals, a win means keeping a nervous fanbase’s attention after a slow start. It would also mean ending a losing streak against the Panthers, whom they have not beaten since 2013.
Who will win this game?
Below, we have expert predictions from writers from Cards Wire and reporters from the Arizona Republic in their preview video. Check them out.
Jess Root, Cards Wire
Cardinals 24, Panthers 20
The Cardinals will win a tough game. The difference in this game will be getting points in the first quarter. This will be the first time they will be able to stick to their offensive game plan.
The defense has done its job over the last game and a half. It will continue to do so against a Panthers team that has not yet cracked 300 yards in a game.
Christian McCaffrey will be tough to defend but his impact will be mitigated as the Cardinal play with a lead for the first time.
Baker Mayfield has not been playing well and Kyler Murray has bested him in both matchups.
The defense gets a takeaway and the offense protects the football and grinds out a win on the road to go to 2-2.
Alex Sutton, Cards Wire
Cardinals 20, Panthers 17
I do not want to imagine the fanbase’s reaction if the Cardinals drop to 1-3, failing to beat the Panthers for the thousandth time. While I do believe the game will be close, the Cardinals have more star power than the Panthers do and that should come in clutch at the end. Baker Mayfield has not been good this season despite winning last week, where the Saints gift-wrapped a victory for them. The Cardinals, while also showing signs of struggles, had multiple opportunities to take control of the game against the Rams. A Marco Wilson dropped interception and a Zach Ertz dropped touchdown are two plays that changed the outcome of the game.
The Panthers’ defense is an underrated young, athletic group that has given Kliff Kingsbury fits in the past. They have the speed to contain guys like Kyler Murray and Hollywood Brown, but often lack the discipline of a veteran defense. Given the injuries at wide receiver, this is certainly the biggest concern for the Cards as a whole. I do anticipate the Cardinals finally establishing their rushing attack behind James Conner. Their running back room as a whole is far too talented to be throwing 55 times a game, particularly with the lack of DeAndre Hopkins and other receivers that are missing time.
The Cardinals will get their first interception of the season this Sunday, courtesy of Baker Mayfield. Their primary receiving threat, D.J. Moore, will likely be shadowed by Byron Murphy, who has been outstanding to start the season. Marco Wilson, who has also improved from last season, will be tasked with Robbie Anderson. I like both of those matchups for the Cardinals.
Pass rush has been a concern, but I do believe J.J. Watt plays in this game. Still, this team is going to need to add an edge rusher if this defense is going to take a step forward and help propel them to the playoffs. Hopefully, Steve Keim has another trade deadline move up his sleeve because this team needs it.
Bob McManaman, AZCentral Sports
Cardinals 23, Panthers 20
I think they can win this game on their own merits because their backs are against the wall. I think everyone looks at the Cardinals as a much better team than what they are showing. Yes, they are depleted but they’ve got the end this misery stretch here and be the team we thought they were and they though they were.
José Romero, AZCentral Sports
I think if you have a limited McCaffrey, this is the Cardinals’ chance. History says it’s not likely because the Panthers have gotten their number. This is a must-win game here. You have to look at it like that and I think the Cardinals will respond if they can get that running game going.