Week Eight Prediction, A Reality Check For Cardinals Defense
Jun 17, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Running back Darren Sproles (43) runs drills during mini camp at the Philadelphia Eagles NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
The Arizona Cardinals have played the Philadelphia Eagles Five times since their 2008 magical super-bowl run, the Cardinals have won three of the Five games including the 32-25 playoff win of that 08 season.
The 2013 season was the first year of the Chip Kelly era in the city of brotherly love, where the Eagles won a close 3pt win to edge out the Cardinals. The 2014 season the Eagles are on the Cardinals schedule once again, in week eight at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
This game has a few elements that will explain the outcome fairly quickly. One, is Darren Sproles out of the backfield. Two, Darren Sproles lined up in slot. Three, Darren Sproles on artificial turf in a dome. Get the picture, this game will be a Darren Sproles showcase simply because of the lack of speed with a line-backer position that’s missing of course Daryl Washington.
The Eagles also have a pretty good running back in LeSean McCoy, who may be neutralized by the Cardinals run defense, but the Sproles element will be hard to cover along with the tight end Zach Ertz who is emerging during training camp.
This game will have to be won on the defensive end, the Cards secondary will be fine against Nick Foles passing game, but the lack of pressure because of the speed of Sproles and Ertz in that Chip Kelly offense will be over whelming. The Cardinals have to match that speed with rookie safety Deone Bucannon and the ball hawking Tyrann Mathieu, who may be just returning to the team off his season ending knee injury last year and may not be up to full speed.
Cardinals offense will put up some decent numbers in this games as the Eagles defense is not that over-whelming, the Cards have a backfield weapon as well in second year Andre Ellington who will be doing almost the same thing Sproles will do for the eagles.
Which defense will make the stand is the question, but its been proven that the Cardinals without Washington are a totally different defensive unit, and who really knows how the current guys at the position will work out, but being tested with Sproles and McCoy may not be easy to pass.
Look for a close road win for the new look Eagles and the Cardinals dropping to 4-3 on the year, this game will probably be close, and for the Cardinals it will demonstrate just how important Daryl Washington was to their defensive unit.