With three games left in the 2013 season, the 8-5 Arizona Cardinals could win out and still miss the playoffs, depending how the NFC shakes out. With that in mind, each game is critical in the team's quest for the postseason.
The Cardinals still have to face two strong division rivals, the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, one time each, but first they hit the road against the 5-8 Tennessee Titans on Sunday. While the matchup appears to be the easiest game left for Arizona, team play-by-play announcer Dave Pasch said Friday on the Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta that the Cardinals would be wise to not overlook the Titans.
"With the last two games against division opponents and the game in Seattle next week, this one is the one that kind of scares me," Pasch said. "I think you know what you're getting up in Seattle, and the one against the 49ers as well. But the Titans, they've been up and down."
Pasch said the Cardinals won't quite know what to expect from a team they haven't played in the regular season since 2009. He said the AFC is comprised of "three really good teams and everybody else." The Titans would fall into the latter category, but Pasch said they're far from a "bottom feeder."
The Cardinals are expected to face frigid conditions at LP Field in Nashville. Pasch said a strong first quarter would go a long way towards an Arizona victory Sunday, and that starting quarterback Carson Palmer needs to utilize all of his assets on offense for the team to play effectively.
"The lengthy scoring drives to start games, (the Cardinals) couldn't do that the last few years. And I think getting off to a good start will be huge in this game, in my opinion," the broadcaster said. "To me, Michael Floyd is really emerging as a big-play guy, as is (Andre) Ellington. And I think if you could find ways to take advantage of those weapons, you should win on Sunday."