Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals Potential Trap Game Preview


Nov 4, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) rushes for a touchdown after catching a pass during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Packers defeated the Cardinals 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

The Atlanta Falcons need to be extremely cautious in their Week 11 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, because this game has ‘trap’ written all over it.

"Trap – something (often something deceptively attractive) that catches you unawares; “the exam was full of trap questions”; “it was all a snare and delusion”"

All season long, I hear the word trap game used, and many times it’s not necessarily in the right situation. But this is the definition of that. The Arizona Cardinals are 4-5, and while they started 4-0, the have cooled off considerably since. Their offense absolutely anemic, but they can still be a dangerous team if for no other reason than being an extremely physical defensive front. They are certainly not a cake walk.

That’s a very quick look at the Cardinals, and I’m not looking at matchups or individuals or anything; it’s a broad look, but I’m being honest that that is my opinion of the Cardinals.

Here is the Falcons point of view– they have just come off of a devastating loss to their divisional arch nemesis the New Orleans Saints. They were within a yard of getting the winning score several times. It’s the type of loss that you can’t help but look over your shoulder at. And in Week 12, the Falcons have to take on the red-hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers, another division opponent. As good as the Falcons have been, and even though they got off to a 8-0 start and just suffered their first loss, the Bucs are only three games back, and the Falcons have to play them twice. To say that Tampa is a going concern would be a tremendous understatement.

See what happened right there? I went from division loss in New Orleans to looking ahead to a critical division matchup in Tampa, and I completely glossed over the Week 11 game against Arizona. It’s at home. It’s comfortable. And it’s against a sub-.500 team. Very easy to overlook, and even more so with what the previous and next week looks like.

I don’t think head coach Mike Smith will allow this to happen. I doubt the Atlanta Falcons will truly overlook the Cardinals. They have gotten to be 8-1 by taking care of their business week in and week out, and by focusing on the task at hand. This week, the task at hand is the Arizona Cardinals.

But the fact remains that it’s easy to overlook this matchup. It’s not the most attractive on in the NFL, and it certainly doesn’t come close to the magnitude or attention of a division game, especially for the fans. And that’s what makes this game so interesting. Will the Falcons continue to take care of business and win the games the should win, or will they overlook a team? Every game has story lines, and I think that is the biggest one for the Falcons in Week 11.