Carson Palmer is out. And Arizona will take on San Francisco tonight needing Drew Stanton to beat the 49ers in what might as well be a must-win for a team that had Super Bowl aspirations, but now sits at 1-3.
Because it’s getting late pretty early for Arizona. And they’ve got a beast ahead of them — with the Jets, Seahawks, Panthers, Vikings and Falcons all before December — and they’re already two games behind the Rams and Seahawks in the NFC West.
So it’s on Stanton — who struggled last week, intercepted twice on 13 snaps. And it’s on the Cardinals offense, who haven’t been what we thought they’d be this season. And that’s before they turned the keys over to Stanton — a guy who failed to score 20 points in 6 of his 8 starts in 2014, and a back-up that many thought needed upgrading, especially with Palmer’s durability issues.
But we’ll find out if the Cardinals are legit tonight. Because they need to win this football game. And if you want to stake a claim for being a Super Bowl contender, you need to beat a Niners team that’s looking farther and farther away from the team we saw bludgeon the Rams in Week 1.
Because they’ve still got David Johnson. They’ve still got the ageless Larry Fitzgerald and a talented receiving corps. They’ve still got a defense that should do more than hold its own against Blaine Gabbert.
2-3 is a slow start. 1-4? That’s something entirely different. But that’s where the loser of tonight’s game goes — and it’s a place not to many teams come back from.
Must-win for the Cards. Because you don’t stack these two football teams up and see an even football game. Even with Stanton starting. The Cards are banged up. And scuffling. And going with a backup they probably can’t trust.. But…they are a huge jungle team, and if the karma is going anywhere this week, it’s going to the Cards. They will find a way to get out of town with a win: the Karma guarantees it for that crew. It has never failed. Anyone. Ever. And it’s not failing Arizona tonight.