GLENDALE, Ariz. (WPRI) — Despite being 6-6, the Patriots are still in the playoff hunt, though the road to get there won’t be an easy one.
It starts with two West Coast games against sub-.500 teams. First they’ll travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals Monday night, followed by a showdown with Josh McDaniels and the Raiders next Sunday. They’ll then finish up the season against three (likely) playoff-bound teams: the Bengals, Dolphins, and Bills.
Monday night’s matchup is the third straight primetime game for New England, and they’ve lost the last two against the Vikings and Bills.
Question marks still surround the Patriots’ offense, with the team currently ranking 24th in the league. The defense has held its ground for the most part, however. It ranks among the top teams in terms of total yards allowed and yards allowed per game.
The defense will be without CB Jalen Mills, while OT Isaiah Wynn and WR Jakobi Meyers have been ruled out on the offensive side and RB Damien Harris is listed as doubtful.
The Cardinals should be well-rested as they come off a by week, but they’re also losers of two straight games heading into Monday night.
WR Rondale Moore and CB Byron Murphy will miss the game for the Cardinals, while WR DeAndre Hopkins’ status is unclear due to illness.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. on ESPN.
12 Sports Director Morey Hershgordon will have a preview of tonight’s game on 12 News starting at 4.
Below are some notes and quotes to get you ready for the game:
- Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury was drafted by the Patriots as a QB back in 2003.
- The Patriots have an all-time record of 8-7 against the Cardinals, including 4-1 under head coach Bill Belichick.
- Their last matchup between the two teams was a 20-17 win for New England at Gillette Stadium in November 2020.
Bill Belichick on the Cardinals: “Long week here to get ready for Arizona, but that’s good. Of course, they have it too. But just kind of getting back into the swing of things here today. The end of a normal week here leading into Monday night starting on Thursday. Yeah, still a team we don’t have a lot of familiarity with, but we did play them a couple years ago. More so than I think some of the other NFC teams. Very explosive team. A lot of fire power. They make plays on offense. Pressure defense. Obviously, a couple of experienced specialists. Those guys probably have as much time together as that whole conference might have. But some, obviously a lot of familiarization work to do, but I’m looking forward to it, to get on track. Ready to roll.”
Belichick on the Patriots’ offense: “Look, I’m not saying that we can’t improve in every area, because we can. We’ll continue to try to do that. So that’s across the board: players, plays, coaches, decisions, etc. We’re always trying to improve all the time. We’ll continue to do that. So that’s where we are. That’s where we have been. That’s probably where we always will be. Just always trying to do a little bit better and try to find the best ways to be successful.”
Belichick on defensive preparations: “I think the schemes have changed. You see the quarterbacks in the shotgun way more than they were 15, 20 years ago and certainly before that. You see way more passes than we’ve seen. If you go back to some of the earlier Super Bowls, 20 passes in a game kind of thing. Now you get that before the end of the first half. So certainly a lot of the passing plays that are extensions of running plays, getting the ball to guys in space whether that’s RPOs, or little bubble passes and things like that, more receivers on the field and fewer blockers on the field, just gives the quarterback more guys to throw to. I think we’ve seen the schemes of the game definitely change to statistically where you see a lot more passes, a lot more completions, a lot more yards, a lot fewer rushing attempts. So yeah, I agree with that.”