LOOKING to build on our first place standing in the NFC East, the Eagles come back to the Linc this Sunday, to defend the home turf against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards find themselves 3rd out of 4th in the NFC West, chasing the first place Rams, with whom we’ll have at, Week 14.
The Cards are by no means a good or complete team. You know how a scarecrow has the shape of a person, but has hay and stuff poking out of different places? Especially after once it’s seen some use? That’s the Cardinals as a team. They look like a team with legit parts (such as QB Carson Palmer and FS Tyrann Mathieu). Smart birds however, can see past the window dressing, and will not be deterred in going about their business.
So let’s talk about the Four Things we need to focus on this week versus the Cardinals :
1) Jailbreak!: No team in the sport allows more hits on their QB than the Cardinals. No team allows more sacks, either. Unlike our Carson, their Carson has all the mobility of a 1971 Zenith.
We need to find a way to get to him.
2) Keep things straight: Don’t let WR Larry Fitzgerald run uncontested slants. He’s the Cards leading receiver, but it’s not like he can run away from anyone anymore. He (and Arizona’s passing game) gets by on quick hitters. If he crosses into the middle make sure he’s greeted by a LB. We already retired (long-time Cardinal) Anquan Boldin, so lets finish the job, and send him his old partner.
3) Hit it hard: Arizona has the NFL’s 10th best run defense, but it’s an undersized front that CAN BE overpowered. In fact, 250 pounds of angry man, sounds like just the instrument of destruction needed to do that job. Especially if it’s an 80 degree day like the forecast calls for.
4) Full throat: This one is for the 12th Man. Noise carries farther and fades slower in warm weather. Arizona is the NFL’s dead last rushing offense. Everything they do is dependent on throwing the ball, which requires being able to hear intricate play-calls. Stay loud, regardless of how things go. You may literally be able to yell the team back into the game if we get down.
If we do all these things, we’re just about guaranteed to win. Now that we’ve covered what should happen, let’s get into what likely will happen:
Remember the Detroit game last year? This is a lot like that game. It’s a totally winnable trap game, against a conference opponent. Players had a hard time getting emotionally up for that Detroit game. We came out flat, played that game on auto-pilot, and it cost us. I suspect this game will be similar, unless the fans can pump the players up.
Making the playoffs is about winning the games you should win, and splitting some of the harder games. This is a game we should win. The Cards don’t have enough tools to hang with us, but if our guys play flat, that will lend life to Arizona. Especially their passing game. The game should keep you interested, but we should get control of it well before the end.
PREDICTION: EAGLES 27 – Cardinals 21