The Colts travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals and their head coach Bruce Arians, formerly the Colts offensive coordinator and interim head coach. The game will be broadcast on CBS at 4:05 p.m. eastern time by Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts, and it will be broadcast on the radio locally on WFNI and WHLK by Bob Lamey and Jim Sorgi. Here's everything you need to know to get you ready for the game on Sunday:
What Happened Last Week?
It was a tale of two halves yet again for the Colts, as they went into halftime down 17-6 but came back to win 30-27. In the second half, the Colts' offense was the best they have looked since losing Reggie Wayne, so the hope is that they can keep that up, but the concerning thing continues to be slow starts, which plagued the Colts yet again last week. The positive is that they have Andrew Luck, who brings them back much more often than he doesn't.
For the second straight week, the Colts will be playing a team coming off of playing the Jaguars. While the Titans lost to the Jaguars before facing the Colts, the Cardinals handled them and won 27-14. Arizona scored the last 20 points of the game and Carson Palmer completed 30 of 42 passes for 419 yards and 2 scores, while Michael Floyd had a career day with 6 catches for 193 yards and a score. Granted, it was against the Jaguars, but the Cardinals looked pretty good.
These Teams Have Plenty of Connections:
Because of the fact that the Cardinals' head coach is Bruce Arians, it is expected that there would be plenty of connections between the two teams. We'll list them for you here:
- Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians was the Colts offensive coordinator and interim head coach in 2012 and the team's quarterbacks coach from 1998-2001. Earlier this week, I wrote about Arians facing the Colts.
- Cardinals assistant head coach and offensive coach Tom Moore was the Colts offensive coordinator from 1998-2009 and was an offensive assistant in 2010.
- Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin was the Colts offensive line coach in 2012.
- Cardinals outside linebackers coach James Bettcher was the assistant to Colts head coach Chuck Pagano in 2012.
- Cardinals cornerback Jerraud Powers was drafted by the Colts in 2009 and spent the 2009-2012 seasons in Indianapolis.
- Cardinals left tackle Bradley Sowell was with the Colts in 2012 and in training camp this season.
- Cardinals wide receiver Teddy Williams (who tore his achilles last week, ending his season) was with the Colts in 2012 and in training camp this season.
- Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton spent 2012 with the Colts.
- Colts cornerback Greg Toler (who won't play Sunday due to an injury) was drafted by the Cardinals in 2009 and spent the 2009-2012 seasons in Arizona.
Chuck Pagano on Facing Bruce Arians:
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was asked on Friday (and other times throughout the week, too) about facing his good friend Bruce Arians. Here's how he replied (hint: it's exactly what you'd expect him to say):
Going against Bruce Arians this week and having already faced your brother this season, do you enjoy these moments going up against someone you're close with?
"Really, it's there, the relationship's there, we all know what happened and what transpired and all that stuff. But it's about our players. It's about the Colts playing the Cards. It's about two teams trying to get another win. It's playoff football, that's the mindset. Like we said, we'll shake some hands before the game. But then it's about our players. It's about their players. It's about the game. It's about trying to win a football game."
Do you even think about that kind of stuff until the media brings it up to you?"
You don't have time. It's only when you guys ask. You really don't have time. You're spending our time just like they're spending their time, and that's game planning and preparing and practicing and meeting and doing the things that you have to do to give yourself a chance to win."
Stanley Havili, FB (concussion)
Greg Toler, CB (groin)
Kavell Conner, LB (ankle)
Josh Gordy, CB (groin)
LaRon Landry, S (toe)
Trent Richardson, RB (calf)
Daniel "Boom" Herron, RB (ankle)
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR (ankle)
Delano Howell, S (neck)
** Additionally, OLB Erik Walden will miss this game due to his one game suspension from the NFL.
For more on the injury situations, read my notes from yesterday's press conference with Chuck Pagano.
The Cardinals are actually favored in this game last I checked, being favored by 1.5-2 points. I think that is absolutely fair. The Cardinals are 6-4 and right in the thick of the NFC playoff hunt and really 'need' to win this one. They have the skill to beat the Colts, too, and the duo of Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd against this Colts defense scares me. I think the Cardinals could have a good day throwing the football. Before the season, I said this could be a "trap game." I wouldn't call it that anymore - the Cardinals are a legitimate threat to the Colts this Sunday. And I'm actually picking them to win it at home. COLTS 24, CARDINALS 27