Arizona Cardinals: Visit to Eagles a trap game?


Is Sunday night’s visit to Philadelphia a trap game?

The Arizona Cardinals are coming off of a close win against a tough Minnesota Vikings team on Thursday Night Football. The next game on the schedule is a visit to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the first place Philadelphia Eagles, albeit they have a 6-7 record. At one point this game seemed like a guaranteed win for the Arizona Cardinals, but now things aren’t as certain.

Heading into this game there are many things the Cardinals will be playing for. First and for foremost, the Cardinals will be looking to win their first NFC West title since 2009, with a win against the Eagles the Cardinals will be celebrating on the field with hats and t-shirts which is something very important to quarterback Carson Palmer. Secondly, if things fall into place and Green Bay loses to Oakland, the Cardinals, with a win, will also have clinched a first round bye for the playoffs.

Through 13 games, the Eagles have generally been poor to  average on both sides of the ball, but still have a chance to represent a weak NFC East in the playoffs. Offensively, the Eagles are ranked 16th overall and defensively 26th. However, the Eagles are currently riding a 2 game win streak, beating Super Bowl contender New England and the playoff hopeful Buffalo Bills. The Eagles are building momentum and are much different team compared to one that was 4-7 just 2 weeks ago.

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In wins against the Patriots and Bills, Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford has thrown for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns with 1 interception with an average passer rating of 88.35. Darren Sproles has been the spark the Eagles have been looking for in the running game and has been the Eagles rushing leader in each of the past 2 games. While Bradford and Sproles have been playing well, they’re not the sole reason for Philadelphia’s sudden return to NFC East contention, it’s their defense. During the last 2 games, the Eagles defense forced 4 turnovers, committed 5 sacks and scored a touchdown on a 99 yard interception return. The Cardinals offense will have their hands full facing a hungry Eagles defense.

The Cardinals and the Eagles have played each other each of the past 4 seasons, with 3 of the 4 wins being decided by 4 points or less. With history dictating that this will be a close game, the Cardinals will need to get off to a fast start and hopefully put the Eagles away early in the game. The Cardinals are still heavily favored to win this game, but time will tell whether they’ll be facing the Eagles team that has been sloppy the first three months of the season or the Eagles team that has been competing and playing with purpose these past 2 weeks.