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Battered and bruised Cardinals prepare for Big Blue

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