The Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles are soaring high nowadays. Both teams are on winning-streaks as they get set to do battle on the field this Sunday. Arizona is on a season-high 4-game win streak while Philadelphia is on a 3-game streak of their own.
If the Cardinals hope to extend their streak, they must find a way to limit the productivity of the Eagles’ most dangerous offensive weapon, RB LeSean McCoy.
McCoy ranks first in the NFL in rushing with 1,009 yards on the year. Lost in his gaudy rushing statistics is McCoy’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. McCoy has 34 receptions for 399 yards and 1 touchdown on the season. His speed, athleticism and agility always make him a tough cover for the defense.
What bodes well for Arizona is their defense. The Cardinals rank second in the league against the run, allowing a stingy 81.3 yards a contest. I would expect veterans such as, Darnell Dockett and Jonathan Abraham, to stack the box and bring the pressure up front to try and contain McCoy. Abraham has a team-high 7 sacks on the year after a slow start to his season. However, Arizona must be aware of where McCoy is on the field.
It’s a very simple defensive game-plan for the Cardinals, one that I’m sure most teams use when squaring off against the Eagles. What makes it so tough to stop McCoy is the other weapons Philadelphia has on offense.
Nick Foles, the University of Arizona product, has secured the starting job for the foreseeable future and is a major reason Philly has played their best football of the season lately. He has thrived in Chip Kelly’s “see-coast offense.” The speedy WR Desean Jackson has the ability to gash the defense with his speed and has 985 yards and 7 touchdowns on the year. Arizona must also watch out for Riley Cooper, who has thrived since Foles secured the reigns on offense.
It’s no mystery that the Eagles put a very quick and athletic team on the field offensively. But the Cardinals are well-equipped to match that speed with their defense. Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu are some of he quickest athletes in the NFL and certainly have the ability to keep up with Philadelphia’s offensive threats. Calais Campbell, Darnell Dockett and Jonathan Abraham can wreak havoc on the field as well. If they can pressure the QB and contain McCoy’s productivity, Arizona will have a great chance to win their fifth straight game.