The Arizona Cardinals host the New York Jets on Monday Night Football in Week 6 on October 17th. The Jets have actually won six straight meetings with the Cardinals. The latest was a 7-6 home win in 2012.
Arizona (2-3) is coming off a 33-21 road victory over the San Francisco 49ers last Thursday. With backup Drew Stanton forced into action, the Cardinals relied heavily on David Johnson, and he delivered with 157 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the win.
New York (1-4) is coming off its third straight blowout loss in a 13-31 road defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. The defense gave up 380 passing yards and four touchdowns to Ben Roethlisberger in the loss.
Kickoff inside University of Phoenix Stadium is set for 8:30 EST Monday night with ESPN providing the television coverage. Taking a look at the NFL lines, I find Arizona as a 7.5-point favorite over New York with a total set of 47 points.
The biggest reason I like the UNDER in this game is the coaching matchup. Todd Bowles is the former defensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals. He knows what Bruce Arians likes to run, and Arians knows how Bowles likes to attack with his defenses. I think the familiarity of one another’s schemes is going to lead to a low-scoring affair.
Plus, both teams are playing with their backs against the wall and looking at this as a must-win game. I think that will bring out the best in the defenses as both offenses come with a more conservative approach than normal, trying not to make a big mistake in this pressure-packed game.
I know that’s the case for Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw threw nine interceptions over a two-game span before last week’s 13-31 loss to the Steelers. Fitzpatrick did a much better job of protecting the ball against the Steelers as he didn’t throw an interception, but he also took the check down a lot more than normal.
He will continue that approach this week, especially now that he’s without his security blanket in Eric Decker for the rest of the season. Not to mention, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins is questionable with an ankle injury, and center Nick Mangold is questionable with a knee injury that forced him to leave last game.
Don’t expect Carson Palmer to come out guns-a-blazing for the Cardinals, either. He didn’t play last week because of a concussion, and the Cardinals are going to try and protect him in his first game back. Palmer also will take a more conservative approach himself as he has thrown five interceptions against six touchdowns in four games of action.
The Cardinals had success with their running game last week and will lean on David Johnson even more going forward after he rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns against the 49ers last week. The same can be said for the Jets, who will look to get Matt Forte more involved in the running game, because that’s what worked for them for the first two weeks of the season, and they kind of got away from it the last few weeks.
Both of these defenses are top-notch. I know the Jets have given up their fair share of points this season, but a lot of that has had to do with the poor positions that they have been put in due to Fitzpatrick’s turnovers. I have no doubt that this is still one of the best defenses in the NFL, but a brutal schedule thus far hasn’t allowed that to show as much.
The UNDER is 7-0 in Cardinals last seven home games.
The Cardinals are just as good as they have been in the past under Bowles, and even last year. They are giving up just 20.2 points, 308 yards per game and 4.9 yards per play this season. They rank 8th in the NFL in total defense and 10th in scoring defense. Now they’ll be up against a Jets’ offense that has managed just 11.0 points per game the last three weeks.
It’s not like the Cardinals are lighting it up on offense this year, either. They have been held to 21 or fewer points in three of their five games this season. The only exceptions were Tampa Bay and San Francisco, who committed a combined eight turnovers and set the Cardinals up with many easy scoring opportunities.
The UNDER is 5-1 in Jets last six road games. The UNDER is 6-1 in Jets last seven games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game. The UNDER is 5-0 in Cardinals last five Monday games. The UNDER is 7-0 in Cardinals last seven home games. The UNDER is 6-2 in Jets last eight Monday games.
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