The Arizona Cardinals Week 17 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons won't mean much for either team considering both squads have already been eliminated from playoff contention. Still, that won't prevent these teams from going out and doing their best to win this game, so let's take a look at our Cardinals Week 17 predictions as this game draws near.

The Cardinals 2022 season hasn't gone as expected, as they have dealt with injuries and poor play all season long. Things completely fell apart when Kyler Murray tore his ACL in Week 14 against the New England Patriots, and if the focus hadn't completely shifted to the 2023 season yet, it did when Murray was ruled out for the rest of the season shortly after that game.

The Falcons were a surprise contender in the NFC South early on this season, but have completely collapsed over the second half of the season, and were officially eliminated from playoff contention after losing to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 16. Still, this game figures to be competitive between two teams desperate for a win, so without further ado, let's dive into our Cardinals Week 17 predictions.

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3. Cardinals DE J.J. Watt will eclipse the 10-sack mark on the season

We only recently found out that the 2022 season would be the last of J.J. Watt's career, and he's putting together quite the farewell season with the Cardinals. Watt has turned back the clock after three seasons where he struggled, and he has led Arizona's pass rush in a season where they desperately needed someone to step up for them.

Watt's 2022 campaign is the best he has looked since 2018, when he racked up 16 sacks and finished second in the league's Comeback Player of the Year race. Watt is up to 9.5 sacks on the season, and there's a decent chance that he will be able to eclipse the ten sack mark for the first time since his dominant 2018 campaign.

It says here that Watt will achieve that feat in this game against the Falcons. Atlanta's offense isn't exactly good, and Watt has been playing some inspired football over the past few weeks. Watt is already putting together a very strong season, but he will continue to put an exclamation point on his playing career with another strong outing against the Falcons.

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2. Cardinals QB Colt McCoy will fire a pair of touchdowns

Arizona's offense struggled pretty mightily in Week 16 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers without Colt McCoy, but the good news is that the veteran signal caller is in line to start against the Falcons in Week 17. McCoy obviously isn't the greatest quarterback ever, but the gap between him and Trace McSorley appears to be quite large.

McCoy has been solid when he's played for the Cardinals this season, and he has shown an ability to keep the offense moving when he's under center for them. That makes sense when you consider that McCoy has a pair of top targets in DeAndre Hopkins and Marquise Brown at his disposal, but it's always easier said than done to play quarterback in the NFL.

McCoy will have a strong outing against the Falcons in this one, and he will find both of his top targets in Hopkins and Brown for a touchdown in this game, giving him his first multi-touchdown game of the season. McCoy is obviously nothing more than a backup quarterback at this stage of his career, but he will prove his worth against the Falcons in this one.

1. The Cardinals will pull out a shocking 28-24 victory over the Falcons

The Cardinals and Falcons have taken relatively different paths to get to where they are right now, but this is still a pretty interesting matchup even though there is nothing at stake in this game. Will the veteran McCoy be able to lead his team to victory, or will the rookie Desmond Ridder show his development against a beat up Cardinals squad?

In a sense, the answer to that pair of questions would be the same; yes. Ridder hasn't been great early on in his tenure as starter for the Falcons, but with a strong run game aiding him, Ridder will help Atlanta control this game for the most part and take a commanding 24-14 lead into the fourth quarter.

After the Cardinals relied on James Conner (who scored their first two touchdowns of the game) early on, McCoy takes over and leads a pair of touchdown drives that culminate in scores for Hopkins and Brown. The defense will be asked to get a stop close the game out, and they get just that when Isaiah Simmons forces a fumble from Tyler Allgeier to seal the 28-24 victory for the Cardinals and end their five-game losing streak.