KXNT_35x90 cbssports1140-horizontal-small

TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Arizona Cardinals At Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Arizona Cardinals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
cardinalscredit1.jpg
tampacredit1.jpg
Quarterback
Winner Quarterback Carson Palmer had a difficult time in Week 3 against the Saints in the Superdome, and that’s not a huge surprise. While he threw two interceptions, it’s not time to write off Palmer yet. He can survey the defense, find the open receiver and make the proper throw if his offensive line can protect him.
You have to wonder how much more Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano has to see from Josh Freeman. He continues to string bad games together and the pressure is impacting his ability to make proper decisions and throw the ball accurately. While Freeman is a solid physical specimen, he appears to be in way over his head and he is not a competent NFL starting quarterback.
Offense
Winner The Cardinals have the ability to play well on offense, but they can’t do it if they are dependent on Palmer. They need to get running back Rashard Mendenhall a few cracks to run through and produce at least 75 rushing yards. That will make life a lot easier for Larry Fitzgerald. Michael Floyd would also be a beneficiary because he will only get single coverage.
Winner Opposing defense load up against Doug Martin, but he still managed 88 yards against New England in Week 3. Once the Bucs got behind in the second half, the Tampa Bay running game was no longer a credible option. Vincent Jackson had to leave the game with an abdominal injury. If he can’t go, the Bucs will be severely limited.
Defense
Winner While the Cardinals had a very difficult time slowing down Drew Brees and the Saints, they should have a much easier time in this game. Karlos Dansby is the kind of linebacker who has the range to make plays all over the field. Tyrann Mathieu appears to be a difference maker because he had 10 tackles and an interception against the Saints.
The Bucs have played fairly well on defense to this point in the season, but they have not been successful because of mistakes at inopportune times. Lavonte David’s untimely late-hit penalty in Week 1 against the Jets cost the team a victory and it has been downhill since then. Strong safety Mark Barron had 11 tackles, an interception and 1/2 sack against the Pats in Week 3.
Special Teams
Patrick Peterson should be a big-time weapon for the Cardinals in the return game. He has explosive speed and he can string moves together, but he has yet to make any big plays in that area this season. Jay Feely is a strong-legged placekicker, while Dave Zastudil can drop his punts inside the 20.
Winner The Bucs don’t have any major threats in the return game, but they rate the edge in this category because they are much better in coverage than the Cardinals. Michael Koenen is a solid punter who gets excellent distance and height on his kicks.

The Winner Is

cardinalscredit1.jpg
Winner Arizona Cardinals
3 out of 4

The feeling here is that the Bucs are in big trouble as long as Freeman remains at quarterbacks. He makes too many mistakes and his confidence is at a low point. Mike Glennon may not have a track record, but he would be a better alternative. The Cardinals are the better team here.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers v Carolina Panthers Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns
    Tale Of The Tape: Carolina Panthers At Baltimore Ravens

    The Panthers suffered a somewhat-surprising and one-sided defeat in Week Three at home against the Steelers.

  2. Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Detroit Lions At New York Jets

    The Lions have long been one of the most difficult teams in the NFL to figure out, but they look somewhat better early in the 2014 season.

  3. Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Green Bay Packers At Chicago Bears

    The Packers have had an edge in this series, and the superb play of Aaron Rodgers is one of the main reasons they have been able to exert their influence.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,049 other followers