As the hot seats in the NFL grow hotter, the stock of one college coach seems to soar higher and higher. Oregon’s Chip Kelly will be the college football coach most pursued by NFL teams this upcoming off-season. There is no doubt he has earned the chance to display his lightning fast evolutionary spread offense at the professional level. After inheriting the head coaching position in 2009, Kelly has amassed a 43-6 record, three Pac-12 titles, and created a lethal spread option offense who’s scoring and yards per game have been among the highest in thee NCAA since Kelly started calling the plays as offensive coordinator in 2007.
The NFC West is on the big stage this week on Monday Night Football, as the Arizona Cardinals face the San Francisco 49ers at University of Phoenix Stadium. This is a heated rivalry in the NFC West, with very talented defenses on both sides. Both teams have interesting storylines going into this critical divisional rivalry.
The Cardinals have three straight losses and are desperate to defeat the NFC West division leaders, the 49ers. Injuries have plagued the Cardinals offensive line, which has given up 28 sacks in 4 weeks. The Cardinals running backs have been decimated by injuries, and with the exception of Larod Stevens-Howling's good game against the Vikings, all have struggled to get a ground game going which can as well be attributed to the offensive line not getting a substantial push on running plays.
The Cardinals struggles on the ground have affected their ability to throw the ball. Without a ground game to threaten the defenses, over the last three weeks we have seen the Cardinals beaten by two deep shell defenses that would typically be defeated by running the ball successfully.
Redskins at Giants Preview: RG3's Rushing Ability Meets Osi Umenyiora, Jason Pierre Paul & Justin Tuck Pass Rush
Few rivalries are as passionate and well publicized as those that exist in the NFC East. The Washington Redskins trip to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Giants is as pure of a rivalry as there is in the NFL. Last year, the Redskins defeated the Giants in both of their meetings, despite the Giants eventually winning the Super Bowl. The rivalry has a different feeling this year, with Robert Griffin III now leading the Redskins potent offense, and the NFC East swimming in a pool of parity. This will be Washington’s first divisional game, while the Giants are already 0-2 in the division. The Giants need a win to maintain their lead in the NFC East. While Washington looks to go into New Jersey and hand the Giants a third divisional loss, while taking over the top spot in the East.
Giants Offense vs. Redskins Defense
The Cardinals and Vikings square off in a battle of 4-2 teams at the Mall of America Field in Minnesota on Sunday. The Cardinals have two other teams in their division at 4-2 and need to keep pace. The NFC North is very dangerous as well. The Bears are 4-1 heading into this week, and the Packers should be 4-2 if not for a referee’s botched call in the Packers at Seahawks game earlier this season. The Vikings are tough at Mall of America Field, and the Cardinals are coming off a couple of disastrous losses that have exposed weaknesses in Arizona.
Arizona Offense vs. Minnesota Defense
The Arizona offense is ranked 28th in both passing and rushing. Kevin Kolb will be out a few weeks following his rib injury at the hands of the Bills, and John Skelton will take over. Skelton has shown a stronger arm than Kolb, but has demonstrated inaccuracy problems throughout his career. In his first start coming off an ankle injury, Skelton will be facing a Minnesota defense that is 10th against the pass.
The Buffalo Bills ended the Arizona Cardinals 8-game home winning streak, following a dramatic overtime game at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Bills seemed to correct their defensive woes of the past two weeks. After allowing 1200 total yards and 97 points in their previous two losses, the Bills held the Cardinals to 16 points.
Arizona helped by not capitalizing on opportunities. After Jay Feely kicked a 61-yard field goal to tie the game, a new career long, the Cardinals forced a punt and moved into Buffalo territory, only for Feely to miss a potential game winning 38-yard field goal. The Bills were successful rushing four and keeping both safeties deep guarding the pass, which opened up the running game for Arizona.