At 3-5, the Eagles are back at home Sunday to take on the Arizona Cardinals, and more than likely they will go up against former QB Kevin Kolb.
The Cards are coming off a big home win over the Rams in OT, and almost topped the Ravens on the road two weeks back. Below are the keys and predictions for the matchup Sunday afternoon.
1. Get Special – Both teams have punt returners that can change of the course of game in Patrick Peterson and DeSean Jackson. The Cardinals’ return man is already tied for the most punt return touchdowns in club history with three and is one shy of the NFL’s single-season record. Jackson has just 3.7 yards per return on nine attempts t his year, but owns a career average of 10.6 with four touchdowns. Also, Philadelphia has not allowed a punt or kickoff return for a score since Sept. 15, 2008 versus Dallas.
2. Keep Fitz in Check – Philadelphia’s embattled secondary faces a major test in Cards Pro Bowl WR Larry Fitzgerald, who has six touchdowns in three career games versus the Eagles including the playoffs. In the 2008 NFC Championship meeting, the wideout went off for nine catches, 152 yards and three scores.
3. Get LeSean Into a Groove – The Cardinals have been solid against the run this year, but will have their hands full with NFL leading rusher LeSean McCoy, a speedy cutting machine who makes plays on the ground and as a receiver. Arizona faced a similar back in Baltimore’s Ray Rice in Week 8 and held him to 63 yards on 18 carries, but Rice scored three touchdowns.
Prediction – The 3-5 Eagles. Period. They are not the team many thought they would be. They don’t make plays when they need to, and they can’t seem to stop offenses at key points in game. While they are bad, the Cardinals are not that good. They will get a dose of Kevin Kolb, former QB, and that’s not a big deal since he’s banged up and having a poor season anyway. Mike Vick and the Eagles finally have a good day and get a win. Philadelphia 20 Arizona 14