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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Sep 29, 2011 - 5:11 pm

Battered and bruised Cardinals prepare for Big Blue

New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs (27) runs away from St. Louis Rams free safety Quintin Mikell (27) for a touchdown during the third quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Giants won the game 28-16. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Returning home, the 1-2 Arizona Cardinals have the pleasure of taking on their second NFC East foe in three weeks.

Known for a physical brand of football on the right coast, the Giants like to pound the ball and beat you up.

Sounds good.

Offensively the Giants use a 1-2 punch at running back, with both Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs receiving carries.

"They execute very well," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "They're a good run-blocking team, they've got good backs.

"We've got to make sure that we fit it the right way and don't make any mistakes, you know, have some our fast, athletic guys like Darnell [Dockett} and Calais [Campbell] and Daryl Washington and Paris [Lenon] and some of those guys in pursuit, get these guys down."

Even then, the Cardinals can't afford to make mistakes or try to do too much.

"You've got to play the scheme of your defense and you've go to trust your keys," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "Your gap fits have got to be good, you have to be able to use your speed to compensate for that."

In other words, the Cardinals will need to use their speed to counteract the Giants' strength.

And, should they hold the run game in check, they'll have to worry about Eli Manning and the passing game.

After a slow start, Manning has begun to resemble the QB that won a Super Bowl in Glendale, having thrown for six touchdowns and just one interception over the team's last two games, both of which were wins.

"I think Eli's got a very good feel and understanding of what defenses are trying to do to him," Whisenhunt said, noting how the QB benefits from playing in the same offense for years. "He understands when he has to get rid of the ball, when he can hold it, how they're working their run checks, their pass checks."

The Giants can move the ball on the ground and through the air, presenting a good challenge for a defense still finding its way.

Arizona Sports' Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed to this report


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