Much of the unexpectedly rocky start that quarterback Matt Ryan and his team have experienced this season can be attributed to Atlanta's banged-up wide receiving corps. While receiver Roddy White (hamstring) is expected to miss the second game of his career, Ryan will have to depend on Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez to lead the air attack against a good Cardinals secondary.
Luckily for Ryan, Steven Jackson (hamstring) should return to the lineup for the first time since his Week 2 injury against the St. Louis Rams. In Jackson's place, Jacquizz Rodgers has showed how effective a pass catcher he can be. In a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, Rodgers caught eight passes for 46 yards and scored his first two touchdowns of the season.
Much like the Falcons, Arizona's offense has struggled this year. One big difference is that the Cardinals can't blame their issues on injuries alone. Rashard Mendenhall and Andre Ellington have simply proved themselves to be largely ineffective. Mendenhall's best days look to be behind him as the veteran running back is averaging only 3.1 yards per carry this year. Ellington on the other hand has yet to carry the ball more than seven times in a game.
The lack of a running game has led quarterback Carson Palmer to depend on former Pro Bowler Larry Fitzgerald in the receiving game. Fitzgerald is a one-of-a-kind rare talent who has been downgraded by the fantasy owners in recent years, due to Cardinals' unstable quarterbacks. Ever since Kurt Warner retired, the team has been unable to lock down a top QB. That said, things may have finally turned around for Palmer and Fitzgerald last week. Fitzgerald caught six passes for a 117 yards and a touchdown against a tough San Francisco 49ers defense.