The Arizona Cardinals made one change at quarterback before the 2010 NFL betting slate started. Is it time for head coach Ken Whisenhunt to make another?
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Here are three games/lessons that stood out to me in NFL betting action last weekend.
The Cardinals need to make a QB change
Other than maybe Buffalo, Arizona is the worst bet in the NFL right now if you are silly enough to back the Cardinals. The Cards were dominated on Sunday in a 41-10 loss at San Diego for their third straight non-cover.
Arizona had only 124 yards of total offense and quarterback Derek Anderson, who was entrusted with the starting job when the team cut former Heisman winner Matt Leinart in the preseason, had a passer rating of 23.2 and has five interceptions (two Sunday) in his last three games. Undrafted rookie Max Hall replaced Anderson and went 8-for-14 for 52 yards but was sacked six times and lost a fumble.
In fairness to both quarterbacks, the running game isn’t healthy and the Cards are down their No. 2 and No. 3 receivers in Steve Breaston and Early Doucet. Coach Ken Whisenhunt is expected to announce on Wednesday whether Hall or Anderson starts this week against New Orleans, which is -7 despite traveling to the desert. Breaston may play against the champs, but so what? Take the Saints.
The Rams could win the NFC West
Sam Bradford is only a rookie with four starts under his belt, but he’s already the best starting quarterback in his division (what, you would take Derek Anderson/Max Hall, Matt Hasselbeck or Alex Smith over him right now?). St. Louis hadn’t won a home game since Week 7 of the 2007 but has now won two in a row there and is in a three-way tie for the wretched NFC West lead with the fellow 2-2 Cardinals and Seahawks.
Bradford completed 22 of 41 passes for 289 yards with two touchdowns and one pick as St. Louis beat Seattle 20-3 for its first win over the Seahawks in the past 10 meetings. That win also ended a 17-game NFC West losing streak for the Rams, who are at .500 for the first time since 2006 (think about that!). Bradford has thrown at least one scoring pass in every game he's played this season, which no other NFC West QB can say.
The Rams have converted at least seven third downs in three of four games this season – they managed it just twice in their previous 33 games. Could a three-game winning streak be upcoming? St. Louis is a 3-point dog at Detroit this week, which just happens to be the one place the Rams won in 2009. Look for the Rams to cover for the fourth week in a row.
The Jets are starting to look scary good
The NFL’s best cornerback, Darrelle Revis, has missed the past two games. A former Super Bowl MVP, receiver Santonio Holmes, has yet to play this season. And yet the Jets are at 3-1 and co-leading the AFC East with the New England Patriots, a team the Jets already handled once.
Many thought the Jets might miss Thomas Jones this season, but LaDainian Tomlinson has been tremendous in leading New York to the NFL’s No. 2 rushing attack. LT rushed for 133 yards with two touchdowns in Sunday’s 38-14 blowout of the Bills. That was Tomlinson’s first 100-yard game since Oct. 26, 2008, when he was with San Diego. It was his 25th career game with at least 100 yards and two TDs, which ties Jim Brown for the NFL record.
Overall the Jets rushed for 273 yards in their third straight win SU and ATS. Holmes is due back for Monday night’s game against Minnesota (Jets -4) and that’s quite a weapon for an offense that is averaging 32.3 points per game over the last three. Holmes caught 79 balls for 1,248 yards and five touchdowns last season.