Arizona Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Preview, prediction
The Arizona Cardinals travel to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football.
The Cardinals, in their 5th nationally televised game this season, will be taking on the Eagles in Philadelphia. Arizona is looking to clinch its first NFC West title in 6 years with a win, while Philadelphia is looking to stay alive in the race for the NFC East title. The Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) are coming off their second straight win against an AFC East opponent, beating the Buffalo Bills 23-20. The Arizona Cardinals (11-2) survived a last second scare, thanks to veteran Dwight Freeney, against the Minnesota Vikings 23-20.
History: The Eagles and the Cardinals have developed a rivalry of some sorts having played each other in each of the last four seasons, and 6 times during the last last 7 years (including playoffs). The Cardinals and the Eagles have faced each other 115 times in the regular season, and three times in the playoffs. The Cardinals played 30 of these games as the Chicago Cardinals, and 65 of these as the St. Louis Cardinals. Arizona has an all time 58-55-5 record against Philadelphia. The latest win against the Eagles came last season in Week 8. Carson Palmer threw a go ahead 75 yard touchdown bomb to rookie receiver John Brown with less 3 minutes to play. The Cardinals held on for a 24-20 win.
What: Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
When: 6:30 PM Arizona Time (8:30 PM EST)
Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM
Keys to victory:
Carson Palmer is arguably playing the best football of his career and looks to continue this against an Eagles defense that ranks 22nd against the pass, and 26th overall. Against a top 10 Minnesota defense, Palmer threw for 310 yards and 2 touchdowns with a passer rating of 117.6. Palmer should once again have another solid outing, as the offensive line for the most part has done a pretty good job keeping keeping him upright, only giving up 2 sacks against the Vikings. However, the Eagles defense has been on a hot streak these past 2 games forcing 4 turnovers (including a 99 yard interceptions return for a touchdown), and committed 5 sacks. Regardless, Palmer should be able to make necessary adjustments against whatever way the Eagles defense is playing.
In 7 games against the Eagles, receiver Larry Fitzgerald has caught 11 touchdown passes. With Fitzgerald having a knack of torching the Eagles, expect Michael Floyd to do the blocking for Fitzgerald this time around. Speaking of Floyd, he just came off his fourth 100 yard receiving yard game in five games. Let’s not forget about John Brown who is only 105 yards away from his first 100 yard receiving season with 3 games left to play. With the the receiving corp putting up the numbers as much as it has this season, expect Carson Palmer to distribute the ball to many different players (maybe even G Mike Iupati again!)
Last week the Bills were able to rush for 152 yards against the Eagles. This bodes well for Cardinals running back David Johnson who has accumulated 191 rushing yards ever since he became the feature back. The Eagles come into this game with a rushing defense ranked 27th in the league. Bruce Arians said he likes to run the ball at least 20 times in a game, and it’s very likely that Johnson could finish this game with 25+ carries given how weak this Eagles defense is against the run. If the Cardinals can get David Johnson into a rhythm early, they could already have a grasp on the NFC West title by halftime.