Cardinals football is beginning to gain some respect around the league after eleven weeks of the season, respect as to getting win predictions from national media around the globe. Picks are being made and regardless of a Vegas spread the Cardinals are being looked at as a legit contender in the NFC race for the playoffs.
But before we crown our beloved team a legit contender lets make sure we are not pretenders, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. The Cardinals defense has far proven to be real and not a season phase, because they have consistently been at the top of the league in most defensive categories, currently number 2 in run defense and 17 at stopping the pass and 8th overall, and could easily be the best defense in the league.
The offense has done just enough to get the Cardinals past some mediocre competition early in the season, but the team has played good competition as well beating teams the likes of the Carolina Panthers and Detroit Lions early in the season, and remember, these two teams were not what they are now but nevertheless the Cardinals did what they had to do to beat those teams, in fact, the same point can be made of this Cardinals team having not been the team they are right now at that point of the season, with the early offensive struggles with turnovers and no timing etc. so it all evens out in the end.
The Cardinals have a lot more to prove being in the running for the playoffs and being a top contender in the NFC, the marker will be offensive consistency. In the game against Philly this morning the Cardinals can make a serious statement on the road, if they impress the way they have the last two games on offense and get to 8-4 then they have a shot at challenging in the tough NFC.
But are the eagles a real challenge, lets face it, they have not faced a defense the likes of the Cardinals all season long, yes, they faced a good defensive Kansas City Chiefs team early in the season but have not gotten close to the pressure the Cardinals defense will present them, wining this game on the road will lift the Cardinals to legit because the Eagles are on a roll as of late and have scored a lot of points, but again, not against good defenses, and their defense (Philly) has still given up a lot of points as well being 31st overall right now.
Predicting this game by the numbers say easily the Cardinals should win this game and shut down the hot Nick Foles at quarterback and bring him back down to earth as he has lit the league up in good fashion throwing 16 touchdowns and no interceptions sense taking over for the injured Michael Vick.
Defense will be the key to this win but the offense has to take care of the ball, and in my opinion will move the ball up and down the field at will, and scoring touchdowns in the red zone will be a key issue for the redbirds, if they score three touchdowns and a few filed goals then their defense will do enough to allow that to be sufficient to win the game by 7-10 points.
The games that will propel the Cardinals into serious contenders has yet to be played and those games reside in their own division starting next week at home to the hot Rams, and the final two against the power houses of the division, you beat them and then you will turn heads to the point they start talking deep playoff run but for now we will take the little recognition we are getting so far as a playoff contender. GO CARDS.
In Philadelphia? Grab Cards vs. Eagles tickets now!