Arizona Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Preview, prediction
Dec 11, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey (12) carries the ball while under pressure from Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jerraud Powers (25) during the first half of a football game at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports
The Arizona Cardinals are expected to see the return of corner back Jerraud Powers who missed the last 2 games nursing a calf injury. This is great news as Justin Bethel, who was filling in for Powers, has given up chunks of yardage to opposing receivers and it seems was not ready to take on the role of starting corner.
While Powers is back, Rashad Johnson is questionable with an ankle injury. Jefferson will most likely be a game time decision, however it’s questionable if he’ll play. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher says Tyrann Mathieu and Tony Jefferson will most likely rotate be rotating in Johnson’s spot. Despite this, I think the Cardinals secondary will be able to keep the Eagles receivers in check and force Sam Bradford into some bad throws or check downs.
Some more good news on the injury front is that defensive end Frostee Rucker is expected to return after missing the last 3 games with an ankle injury. The Arizona Cardinals’ pass rush has been subpar this season, especially with the absence of Rucker, with Rucker’s return the defensive line should be able to do a better job this week at pressuring the quarterback. The key for the defensive line this week in addition to putting pressure on Sam Bradford is to clog up any running lanes for the Eagles running back committee consisting of DeMarco Murray, Darren Sproles and Ryan Matthews.
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The Arizona Cardinals are visiting Philadelphia on a long week having played on Thursday Night Football last week. This allowed many players including David Johnson get rest and also give extra time for players like Jerraud Powers and Frostee Rucker to return. However, history says that games with the Eagles will always be competitive (excluding Arizona’s 27-6 win in 2012), and with the Eagles riding a 2 game winning streak the Cardinals will most definitely need to be ready for what ever comes their way. Given that this is a road game against a confident Eagles team who has given the Cardinals trouble in the past, expect this to be close game. Cardinals 27 Eagles 21