The 4-1 Arizona Cardinals host the 2-3 Buffalo Bills at University of Phoenix Stadium. Both are coming off of embarrassing losses. The Cardinals lost 17-3 on national television two Thursdays ago against the St. Louis Rams, when Kevin Kolb was sacked nine times and hit more than a dozen other times. The Bills were routed by the San Francisco 49ers 45-3, a week after they gave up over 50 points to the New England Patriots in a loss.
This game is somewhat of a turning point for both teams because the Cardinals, after the Bills, face a four-game stretch that is probably their most difficult of the season. Buffalo, on the other hand, would fall to 2-4 on the season with a loss, which would be their third straight, and they would be a bit behind in the standings to be able to recover and make the playoffs.
What do you want to know about the game?
Arizona has allowed a total of 78 points this season. The Bills have given up 73 in the fourth quarter alone and 176 overall. That defense will try and get better against a Cardinals offense that has only scored 94. Conversely, Buffalo has put up 118 points.
Arizona has only allowed six touchdowns this season. It is tied with the Seattle Seahawks as the lowest total given up in the league. Buffalo has allowed 23 in five games.
On defense, Arizona has gone 13 straight games without allowing a 100-yard rusher. Buffalo brings in Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller as dangerous backs. Spiller leads the league in yards per carry at 7.6. He has carried the ball 48 times.
Arizona has won eight straight games at home. A win on Sunday would tie the franchise record. They have had great success against the AFC at home under head coach Ken Whisenhunt, with a record of 9-2.
The Arizona pass rush will face a solid offensive line statistically, although it is banged up. The Cardinals have 17 sacks on the season, one off the league lead for a team. However, Buffalo has only allowed five sacks.
Arizona's offensive line has given up 23 sacks, 17 in the past two weeks. However, Buffalo has only 10 sacks as a team.
The Cardinals only rush for a little more than 63 yards per game. Buffalo allows almost 172 yards per game.
The two teams have only met nine times. Buffalo holds a 5-4 advantage, but the Cardinals won the last time they played, in 2008. It was a 41-17 win in which fans will remember because at the start of the game, safety Adrian Wilson leveled quarterback Trent Edwards and knocked him out of the game. Buffalo was 4-0 at that point and suffered their first loss of the season.
There are no players on either team that played for the other, but there are, nonetheless, connections.
Buffalo starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick grew up in Gilbert, Arizona and played for Highland High School. He grew up a fan of the Cardinals.
Cardinals receivers coach Frank Reich was the backup quarterback to Hall of Famer Jim Kelly for many years in Buffalo, and he led the greatest playoff comeback in history. Down 35-3, he led the Bills to a 41-38 overtime win.