A Quick Look: Arizona Cardinals @ Indianapolis Colts
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INDIANAPOLIS – For the second straight week, the Colts are catching a major break with their opponent.
All-Pro running back David Johnson suffered a wrist injury in last Sunday’s season opener, and is now on injured reserve.
Johnson, who had more than 2,100 yards from scrimmage last season, is easily one of the NFL’s most versatile running backs and a major focal point for what the Arizona Cardinals want to do offensively.
With Johnson out this week, marking the second straight week the Colts have played a team missing its best player, Bruce Arians’ return to Indianapolis becomes a bit more difficult.
Arians and the Cardinals are trying to get back to the team that made positive strides in each of his first three seasons in Arizona.
Last year’s 7-8-1 campaign for the Cardinals was the first time that an Arians’ coached-team had not reached double-digit victories.
Veteran quarterback Carson Palmer is still slinging in at the age of 37, with leading receiver Larry Fitzgerald continuing to be a major threat, despite reaching the age of 34.
The Cardinals have complemented Fitzgerald with plenty of speed at receiver, with Arians always eager to hit on several deep balls over the course of a game.
A middle of the pack Cardinals’ defense saw the Lions score 28 points in a two-quarter span, leading to a 35-23 Week One defeat for Arizona.
Arizona’s 10-0 lead lasted into the latter stages of the first quarter, before things started to unravel for the visiting Cardinals.
This week will mark a second straight Eastern Time Zone trip for the Cardinals to start the 2017 season.
Sunday will be Arians’ first game in Indianapolis as a visiting head coach. In 2012, Arians helped the Colts to a 9-3 run and a Wild Card berth, while head coach Chuck Pagano was in the hospital with leukemia.
In 2013 with the Cardinals, Arians beat Pagano and the Colts, 40-11.
2017 Record: 0-1, tied for 2nd place in the NFC West.
Head Coach: Bruce Arians (5th season as an NFL head coach, including interim stint, 50-25-1 overall in regular season, 1-2 overall in postseason).
2017 NFL Rankings: Offense – Overall, 15th (309.0); Rushing, 27th (45.0); Passing, 9th (264.0). Defense – Overall, 22nd (367.0); Rushing, 15th (82.0); Passing, 24th (285.0).
2017 Leading Quarterback: Carson Palmer (27-of-48 comp., 269 yards, 56.3 pct., 1 TD, 3 INTs, 53.2 rating).
2017 Leading Running Back: David Johnson (11 carries, 23 yards, 0 TDs).
2017 Leading Receiver: Larry Fitzgerald (6 receptions, 74 yards, 0 TDs).
2017 Leading Sacker: Chandler Jones (1.0).
2017 Turnover Breakdown: Minus 3 (28th in the NFL).
2017 NFL Draft Results: Drafting 13th overall, the Cardinals nabbed one of the draft’s risers in versatile Temple linebacker Haason Reddick. The defensive theme for the Cardinals continued in Round Two with the choice of Washington safety Budda Baker. Arizona then went offense with its next four picks, two on the offensive line.
2016 Review: The Cardinals were one of the more disappointing teams in the NFL last year. One season removed from an NFC Championship appearance, the Cardinals went 7-8-1, starting 1-3, and never climbing above the .500 mark throughout the year. Sitting at 4-4-1 just past the midway point of the year, the Cardinals then lost four of their next five, thus ending any shot at a playoff berth. The Cardinals had won 10, 11, and 13 games in Bruce Arians’ first three seasons as head coach, before winning just seven last year.
Last time in Playoffs: 2015 season. Lost to the Carolinas Panthers, 49-15, in the NFC Championship.
Last time in Super Bowl: 2008 season. Lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-23, in Super Bowl XLIII.
Super Bowl Championships: None.
2016 Pro Bowl Selections: WR-Larry Fitzgerald, RB-David Johnson, CB-Patrick Peterson.