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3 Keys to a Giants victory against the Cardinals

12-21-Keys.jpg gives three keys for the Giants to come away with a win on Sunday

The Giants head to the desert in Week 16.

There they will face the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium, the site of their Super Bowl XLII victory against New England. The Cardinals, who lost at Washington last week, are third in the NFC West at 6-8. The Giants, meanwhile, are coming off their best offensive performance of the last two seasons, but it was not enough as they fell to 2-12 with two games to go.

"You learn quick in football that nothing carries over from week to week," quarterback Eli Manning said about repeating last week's offensive outburst. "It's about we're going against an uncommon opponent. We haven't played Arizona in a while, so we got to have a great preparation and that's starting with me. But everybody just understanding their schemes, what they're going to do and we just got to execute."

The visiting team has won the last four games in this series, the Giants in 2008 and 2011, the Cardinals in 2009 and 2014. Here's how the Giants can win another on the road:


Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan was able to confuse the Eagles a little bit last week with going up-tempo, and the result was 29 points, 27 first downs, 504 yards, and going 10-for-18 on third down. Manning's 434 passing yards were the fourth-highest total of his 14-year career.

"He looked pretty damn good last week," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. "I watched that film and looked like himself. They're up-tempo and he plays very good in the up-tempo system. So I thought he played one of his best games and looking at the season, not grading him throughout the season, I've always been a great fan of his."

Pace, when mixed in properly, can also neutralize pass rushers. And Arizona boasts Chandler Jones, who leads the NFL with 15.0 sacks.

WIN 1-ON-1'S

Another reason the Giants were so successful on offense last week was their receivers winning one-on-one matchups as four players racked up at least 70 yards. Sterling Shepard led the way with 11 receptions for 139 yards, including a 67-yard score. Tavarres King also added two touchdowns, but he remains in the concussion protocol.

"I thought last week they were winning some of their one-on-ones and that's what you need to do," Manning said. "They didn't win all of them, but they won the majority of them and that's how you can get some big plays. They're working hard and doing some good things and we just got to keep, again, know the coverages, know the style this week, know your opponent and how we can get open."


The Giants last week hit the unwanted trifecta of having three kicks blocked: an extra point, a field goal, and a punt. They also gave up a sack on a two-point conversion attempt that would have tied the game late in the third quarter, and right tackle Bobby Hart was called for a false start on the potential game-winning drive, pushing a fourth-and-goal back to the 11. Big Blue is operating with a small margin for error, so it needs to play sound, situational football to come away with a win in Arizona.

A look at the key playmakers from the Cardinals roster heading into Week 16

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