Big Red Blog: Cards look to finish strong

After snapping a nine-game skid against the Lions, Arizona will host the Bears and will look to win their second consecutive outing.

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Cards look to finish strong

Posted by Brad Wilbricht
Sunday, December 23 - 2:00 PM

The Arizona Cardinals will host a foe from the NFC North division for the second time in as many games this week as the Chicago Bears head to the desert on Sunday. Chicago has lost five of its last six contests and need a win to keep their waning playoff hopes alive.

The Cardinals managed to snap a nine-game losing streak last week against the Detroit Lions, but prevailing against the Bears will likely be a much more difficult task. Unlike the Lions, Chicago still has plenty to play for as its still in the think of the playoff race.

The Bears come into Week 16's matchup with a struggling offense, particularly through the air as Chicago boasts the 28th ranked passing offense averaging 186 yards per game. Despite the struggles, QB Jay Cutler and WR Brandon Marshall remain one of the most dangerous tandems in the NFC.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals' pass defense has been a strength all year long as they're allowing less than 200 yards per game, good for fourth best in the league. Patrick Peterson is emerging as one of the better cover cornerbacks around and the rest of the Arizona secondary has been making game-changing plays in recent weeks.

Like it has so many times this year, the fate of the Cardinals will likely come down to the how the offense performs. QB Ryan Lindley will start again under center and has been up and down during his time on the field. Lindley will need to limit his mistakes in order for Arizona to have a chance.

The Cardinals got back on track last week against Detroit, but Chicago has too much on the line not to win this game. Look for Cutler and Marshall to find a way to make plays through the air as the Bears pull out a tough win on the road.

Prediction: Chicago 27 Arizona 21

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