Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta (turf, indoors)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
Spread: Falcons by 9.5
Records: Cardinals (Overall: 4-5, NFC West: 1-2); Falcons (Overall: 8-1, NFC South: 1-1)
Past results: Two most recent meetings -- Sept. 19, 2010: Falcons 41, Cardinals 7; Jan. 3, 2008: Cardinals 30, Falcons 24, (wild card round playoffs). Series record: Cardinals lead 14-11, but Falcons have won five of the past seven.
What matters: At this point, for Arizona, pride. The Cardinals are among the walking wounded, but losers of five straight, there is little sympathy. Arizona has taken the bye week to regroup and try to bolster depth at positions that have been hit the hardest by injuries, but the Cardinals need to translate that to the field Sunday. With a team reeling from such a confidence-beating losing streak, Arizona needs to find success early against Atlanta, which could prove difficult vs. one of the top teams in the NFL.
Who matters: WR Larry Fitzgerald. With the Arizona passing game struggling to find any rhythm, Fitzgerald has one 100-yard performance this year. A strong showing against the Falcons is a must because the Cardinals won't be able to eke it out against a passing game as good as Atlanta's.
Key Matchups: QB John Skelton vs. Atlanta defensive backfield. Asante Samuel and Co. draw what has been one of the most frenetic passing attacks in the league with Arizona relying on the pass with RBs Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams sidelined. Skelton is coming off a 306-yard game, which followed a 290-yard performance, but he threw a combined one touchdown in those two outings. Unless Skelton can hit a couple deep balls, the Atlanta defense will be able to keep him honest.
Injuries of note: DE Calais Campbell improved enough during the week to practice on a limited basis Friday, but he remains questionable with a calf injury and it is unlikely he will play. David Carter all but acknowledged on Friday he will start in Campbell's place. Normally a NT, Carter has been getting reps at DE to give the line some depth, but he hasn't played the position sicne he was a freshman at UCLA so Campbell's absence could be costly.
Inside stuff: The Cardinals' running game has hit its nadir the last two weeks after a momentary rebirth. After LaRod Stephens-Howling's 100-yard performance in a loss to Minnesota in Week 7, the Cardinals have just 58 yards the past two weeks combined. Atlanta can strike quickly, and Arizona needs to generate some positive yardage on the ground to strike back and keep the Falcons offense off the field.
Connections: Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff was a scout for the Browns when Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt was the special teams coach in Cleveland in 1999. Whisenhunt was a 12th-round draft pick of the Falcons in 1985 and played four seasons there. PK Jay Feely (2001-04), S James Sanders (2011) and OT D’Anthony Batiste (2007) all played for Atlanta at one point in their careers.
Stat you should know: After a shaky restart to his season after returning from injury, Skelton could be on an upward swing. His 858 yards over the past three weeks is reminiscent of his close to the 2011 season, when the Cardinals went 2-1 behind his 981 passing yards. But many of those yards have come in garbage time after the Cardinals were out of games.
Looking ahead: Arizona hosts division rival St. Louis next Sunday.
Prediction: Falcons 38, Cardinals 21
For more news and analysis from Cardinals blogger Jon Gold, follow @CBSCardinals on Twitter.