Who would have ever thought entering the halfway point of the season that both the Arizona Cardinals and the Carolina Panthers would be leading their divisions? As crazy as it may be, that is exactly where the two teams sit as they get set for their week 8 battle at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers are 5-2, while the Cards come in off their bye week at 4-2.
The teams both have offenses that can do damage. The Panthers last week ran up 30 on the Saints in a big 30-7 home win, and right now they have an offense that is just 16th in the league, but at home have scored 108 points in four games, 27 per game. They seem to run better at home, and the hook-up of Jake Delhomme to Steve Smith seems to be even more effective.
The Carolina defense is what could be the key in this matchup. They are 5th in the league right now, allowing just 275.7 yards per game. They did a nice job vs Drew Brees and the Saints last week, and will look to do that same thing to Kurt Warner and the Cards in this one. Arizona is going to need to spread it out, and should get a boost with the expected return of Anquan Boldin from a broken jaw.
The Cards have the 6th ranked offense, and you can bet Warner is going to look to throw, and this team can win even if they don’t have much or a running game. Right now their run game is ranked 28th in the league, while they have the 2nd ranked passing attack with Warner already going off for 1708 yards and 12 TD’s.
I think though in the end that the Panthers are going to have enough on defense to slow down the high powered Cardinals attack. Look for a close game throughout, and in the end, the Panthers should have just enough on each side of the ball to move to 6-2.