Cardinals vs. Jets 2012 game preview: New York, Arizona both limp into Week 13 contest

Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Someone (probably) has to win when the Jets, hanging by a thread in the AFC playoff picture, host the Cardinals, who have lost seven straight games, on Sunday.

Two teams that have endured their fair share of struggles this season square off in Week 13 when the New York Jets host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Since starting the season 4-0, the Cardinals have lost seven consecutive games, going through three quarterbacks – Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and now rookie Ryan Lindley – in the process. The Jets, on the other hand, have dropped four of their last five contests as their failures are, as usual, magnified to a higher degree.

Both head coaches, Arizona's Ken Whisenhunt and New York's Rex Ryan, are on their own respective hot seats, and a strong finish to either of their regular seasons could help towards keeping them on their team's sidelines.

Meet the New York Jets

The last time we saw the Jets, they were nearly imploding on Thanksgiving night, where their rivals, the New England Patriots, scorched New York, 49-19, scoring 35 points in the second quarter of the contest. At 4-7, the Jets are currently 11th in the AFC, tied with the Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans and San Diego Chargers.

Once one of the team's stronger points, New York's defense ranks 19th in the league in yards allowed, giving up an average of 354.1 yards per game. Additionally, their average of 26.4 points allowed per game ranks 26th in the NFL.

Meet the Arizona Cardinals

Arizona's latest loss came at home to the St. Louis Rams, 31-17, in Week 12. Lindley threw two interceptions that were both returned for touchdowns by the Rams' Janoris Jenkins. Lindley finished the game going 31-of-52 for 312 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions.

Running back Beanie Wells, however, returned to action for the first time since late September, rushing for 48 yards on 17 carries, scoring two rushing touchdowns to boot. If Wells, who is listed as questionable this week, can consistently return to action, it could help the Cardinals' rushing attack, which ranks 30th in the league with an average of 81.5 yards per game.

Local Takes: Jets

Tito Javier from Gang Green Nation says it might be time for the Jets to move on from quarterback Mark Sanchez:

"That said, it's no secret that the Jets must move in a different direction. In his fourth year, Mark Sanchez is still making careless mistakes with the football, that at this point, are intolerable. He hasn't proven to the fan base, NFL analyst, and for that matter, the organization, that he is capable of leading this team to a championship."

Local Takes: Cardinals

Jess Root from Revenge of the Birds thinks that the Cardinals shouldn't fire head coach Ken Whisenhunt:

"Firing Whiz doesn't make sense. I believe that he has the talent here and based on his track record (citing he Super Bowl and the 2011 turnaround) warrants one more year to show that it is the injuries that were the issue.

Firing Whiz just doesn't do anything to help the team. Be mad, be upset, feel that someone should be punished. But give Whiz one more year to prove his mettle."

Follow the Fun

Be sure to check out SB Nation's team blogs, Gang Green Nation and Revenge of the Birds, for more analysis and highlights from the game.

Add these fine follows to your Twitter timeline:

@GangGreenNation

@revengeofbirds

@KristianRDyer - Kristian Dyer, covers the Jets for Yahoo! Sports.

@theAdamGreen - Adam Green, writer at http://ArizonaSports.com.

Prediction

From the Week 13 picks:

Oh man. This is such a sad game. The Cards were 4-0 at one point, and have now lost seven in a row. The Jets are just a depressing team. I would avoid this game at all costs.

The pick: 20-17, Jets.

Odds

New York opened the week as three-point favorites, according to OddsShark, but the line has since moved, with the Jets now favored by 4½ points over the Cardinals. The over/under point total began at 37½ but has dipped slightly, now sitting at 36½.

Next Week

In Week 14, the Jets begin a two-game road trip as they head to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars. The Cardinals, on the other hand, head out to Seattle to their face division rival Seahawks next week.


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