The Arizona Cardinals can do some major damage through the air this Sunday if quarterback Carson Palmer receives protection
The secret of the Arizona Cardinals is out. Injuries have left their running game powerless, which essentially has made them a one-dimensional offense. Luckily for them, a potent running attack may not be necessary to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles this week.
When examining the game’s matchups, Arizona’s wide receivers appear to have a distinct advantage over the current lot of Philadelphia cornerbacks. Larry Fitzgerald and Jaron Brown are causing headaches for defensive coordinators. John Brown and J.J Nelson, though hobbled, have speed that must be respected.
If the Cardinals are to take advantage however, they must protect quarterback Carson Palmer much better than they have throughout the first four games. The squad’s offensive line has given up a boatload of sacks and pressures, more than any other team in the league as a matter of fact. It will not get any easier this Sunday in the “City of Brotherly Love”.
The Cards will have their hands full with an Eagles’ defensive line featuring Tim Jernigan, Brandon Graham, Beau Allen, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry and veteran Chris Long. The best player of that group, Fletcher Cox, was not mentioned because there’s a good chance that he’ll miss the contest with a calf injury. That would be a huge break for Arizona’s offensive line if the big guy does sit this one out.
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Back in August, the Eagles realized they were in desperate need of a talented corner. To remedy the situation, the club’s front office made a trade with the Buffalo Bills. Ronald Darby was acquired for wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a third-round draft pick, and was immediately anointed the franchise’s number-one cover guy.
Unfortunately for Philadelphia, and fortunately for the Cards, Darby will not be on the field this weekend. The 23-year old has been out since suffering a gruesome-looking ankle injury in the season opener. The Eagles have given up a bunch of pass yards since Darby was hurt, and hopefully that trend will continue versus the Cardinals.
Philly’s other options at the position include Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas, Patrick Robinson and Dexter McDougle. With that kind of unimpressive depth, you can see why they needed to orchestrate a deal for the talented Darby.
While Philadelphia may be without two of their best defenders, Arizona’s offense may be the recipient of some good news. Left guard Alex Boone may be ahead of schedule in his recovery after injuring a pectoral muscle on September 25th. There’s a chance the veteran will be back in the lineup this weekend.
So that’s where they are. If the Cards can give their signal-caller time to throw, they may very well leave South Philly victorious. And perhaps even reward Palmer with a pain-free Monday for a change.