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NFL week 13, Cardinals vs. Jets: What to watch for, keys to the game

What should Cardinals fans be keeping an eye out for as their team takes on the Jets this afternoon?

Christian Petersen

As the Cardinals enter MetLife Stadium to take on the Jets this afternoon, both teams are hungry for a win and actually are quite similar. Each has their issues as quarterback, leading to the defenses being far superior than their offenses. Both Mark Sanchez and Ryan Lindley will want to add this game to their resumes.

Can Lindley improve upon his performance last weekend? He threw four interceptions, including two pick sixes. If he can't, the team will undoubtedly go back to Kevin Kolb once he is healthy again. For Sanchez, the Cardinals need to ensure that they can cash in on his mistakes much like the Patriots did on Thanksgiving weekend. Getting pressure against a sometimes shaky Jets offensive line will be important.

All Lindley needs to do in this game is not lose it for them, which is arguably what he did last week against St. Louis. The Cards, if Beanie Wells is active with his knee injury, may look to feature a heavy dose of the ground game to keep it out of their rookie QB's hands.

The Jets do not feature a strong group of wide receivers, especially with Santonio Holmes out for the season with a Lisfranc injury. I would expect the secondary to shut the receivers down today, leaving the Cards to stack the box and take Bilal Powell and Shonn Greene out of the mix. Daryl Washington, in my estimation, is set for a big day in the tackles category. I would also like to see Adrian Wilson featured more in this game than he has the past couple of weeks. He has a knack for getting to the quarterback while playing in the box.

Perhaps the biggest key will be the Cardinals' offensive line. They need to get more push in the run game, allowing Beanie to gain more yardage. His 2-3 yard average will not suffice in this game.

If Arizona can get on the board early and force Sanchez to air it out, they should win this game.

Overall, this should be a close game given the implications it has for both of these struggling teams.