Finally it is football team and these games actually count. No more half games from starters, it is time to put up or shut up. And the Panthers have had to hit the road for their season opener heading out west to play the Arizona Cardinals. Like the Panthers with Cam Newton, the Cards have a new quarterback in Kevin Kolb and he is playing in his first ever game with Arizona since coming over in a trade from the Eagles.
And here to fill us in about what the Cardinals have going on is Scott Allen of Raising Zona.
1. This is Kevin Kolb’s first ever game as the Cardinals starting quarterback. The Cardinals traded a lot to get him and he got the big contract in the offseason. What do you expect from him? Do you think he will live up to the hype and pressure of the contract?
I think Kolb will be just fine. The reaction to his acquisition has been mixed around here. I don’t know why. He’s a million percent better than what we had last year. I don’t think he will come out and shock the world immediately, but his numbers should be just fine.
2. With rookie Ryan Williams going down early and Tim Hightower in Washington there is not a lot of depth behind starting running back Beanie Wells. Is he ready to be the main back and not share carries anymore?
Beanie had a good preseason. That being said, it was just preseason. I think Beanie is ready. The question is will he be able to stay healthy? That is the main concern now.
3. Being in Carolina, we have a lot of NC State fans around so Adrian Wilson is always talked about. He has been one of the only consistencies for the Cardinals since they drafted him in 2001 and has been one of the league best safeties. Does he still have a lot of gas in the tank and how should this defense be this year?
A-Dub had a down year last year and he will be the first to admit it. He suffered a torn biceps injury in training camp, but he is going to give it a go against the Panthers. He has looked like he has lost a step, but I think he still has plenty to offer. The defense overall will be another question. How does bringing in Ray Horton as the DC from the Pittsburgh Steelers change things? I can tell you the attitude will change. Whether the results follow, remains to be seen.
4. Who is your X Factor to watch out for this Sunday?
Cardinals pass rush. It has been maligned a little during the off-season and rightfully so. Will they be able to apply enough pressure to get to Cam Newton who will be playing his first regular season game?
5. What is your prediction for the game?
Not the blow out some people expect or want I think, but I’ll still give the Cards the edge at home. Cards 27 Carolina 13 . Of course when these two teams get together, you never know what’s going to happen really.