With the Chicago Bears coming to town, the Arizona Cardinals have a tall task in spoiling Chicago's playoff hopes. At 5-9, Arizona is already out of the picture. Chicago, at 8-6 (after starting the season 7-1) is barely hanging on.
What will it take for the Cards to notch win number six?
Beat the odds and don't turn the ball over
Chicago is the league's best at forcing turnovers. The Cardinals have been picked off 18 times this season. They have a rookie project at quarterback in Ryan Lindley. They HAVE to take care of the ball to have a chance.
Contain Brandon Marshall
Calvin Johnson had 10 catches for 121 yards a week ago, but they were the quietest 20 catches and 121 yards you will see. He was well contained by the Arizona defense. Patrick Peterson has picked off a pass in his last four games and has seven on the season. After Marshall, who has 107 catches, Matt Forte has the next most catches with 41. 41! You contain Marshall, you have contained the biggest threat for the Bears.
Stop the run
Arizona's defense is really good --- at stopping the pass. They aren't so good at stopping opposing teams' running games. Chicago is not great at running the ball, but they rely on it. Force Jay Cutler to throw and you have a chance, especially since he is prone to turn the ball over, and the Cardinals lead the league in interceptions.
Win the punting game
Dave Zastudil had a huge game with six punts downed inside the 20. He will be kicking to someone a little better than Stefan Logan (he has had a very bad two weeks). He will be kicking to Devin Hester. On the other side, Patrick Peterson is still waiting for his first special teams score. Considering how bad both offenses are, whoever either puts their team in good field position because of a return, or the punter/coverage team that keeps the opposing returner at bay, will probably determine the winner.