For Bettcher, specifically, the return to Indianapolis is significant.
Arizona is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 week 2 matchups and 22-10 ATS in their last 32 games against a team with a losing record while the over is 8-0 in their last 8 games overall.
Multiple Cardinals have called it a must-win. Luck has said himself, he feels "concerned" they won't put pieces into place around him.
Health is a major concern, as four starters - Johnson, wide receiver John Brown, left tackle D.J.
Gresham is also not a surprise.
Brown, bothered by the quadriceps through most of training camp, played in last week's opener, with four catches for 32 yards, but didn't practice all week. Rookie wide receiver Chad Williams will make his National Football League debut with Brown sidelined.
"You have to make some adjustments", offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski said. "From that game, I was able to build off that, someone who can fill in". Indy is trying to avoid third straight 0-2 start by winning eighth straight game following loss.
Those physical tools include a big arm that could help keep the Cardinals defense honest and potentially make the going a little easier for the Indianapolis running backs. After last week's nearly comedic performance, in which Tolzien threw a pick-six on his first attempt (one of two pick-sixes, actually), amassed a measly 128 passing yards, and ended up getting benched in the fourth quarter of a 46-9 spanking, Chuck Pagano has to start the newly acquired Jacoby Brissett.
"I don't listen or read or hear or follow rumors, reports or sources", Pagano said. "He's fast and he's going to be a heck of a player". Chandler (Jones) doesn't have to get every sack. "He's been here a week, so getting to know him is as important as him getting to know the playbook. We've got to understand that we've got a good group back there and we've got to trust each other". At age 37, and after battling back from two reconstructive knee surgeries, Palmer is here because he wants to win. The next few months will be challenging without Johnson to lean on, but the Cardinals aren't waving a white flag. Brissett didn't get much action with the game out of hand and in the fourth quarter, but the offense never looked more alive. "The soccer and lacrosse seasons are ending, and we go into lull before the fall season". Brissett is going to bring a different dynamic to the Indianapolis offense. It's probably just for competitive advantages even though the game plan/prep for Sunday is all but over for both teams. It's got to be a group effort.