Can Philadelphia Eagles really handle Cards?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 20: Kerwynn Williams
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 20: Kerwynn Williams /

The Philadelphia Eagles could improve to 4-1 on the season with a win over the Arizona Cardinals at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, but will they?

For several reasons, the Philadelphia Eagles need a win on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

Every team wants to win every game they play, but in those games that you should win, you need to take home that ‘W’ each and every time.

Having said that, the idea that the Eagles should have no problems with their former division rival sounds nice, but that certainly doesn’t mean that this game is already won. Even before kickoff, the Eagles give up experience at the quarterback position and that Philly secondary just doesn’t scare anybody right now.

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The Cardinals, on the other hand, have a secondary that scares offensive coordinators all week long before kickoff. The combination of Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu presents an immediate threat to Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, who’s played all of 20 games in the NFL.

If the Eagles running game looks like it did last week against the San – woops, Los Angeles Chargers, then Carson Palmer’s experience over Wentz shouldn’t matter. Then again, the Cardinals have the kind of defensive front that can make life pretty difficult when traveling on the ground and this is why that committee of running backs for the Philadephia Eagles needs to show up in this game.

No running game means that the Eagles receivers won’t be nearly as likely to effect this football game. The flip side of that is that Larry Fitzgerald still looks like a Pro Bowl pass-catcher and he can both move the chains and also make the big play.

Better to keep that Cardinals offense on the sideline and let LeGarrette Blount, Wendell Smallwood, and Corey Clement combine for 150-plus yards on close to 30 carries. If the Philadelphia Eagles offenese can generate the same kind of balance they’ve shown the last couple of weeks, all should be well in the ‘City of Brotherly Love.’

But this is one of those games that looks scarier than it should be. The Cardinals are a veteran football team that probably need this game more than the Eagles do. I already get a sense that there’s some ‘cheese’ being offered to this team at only the one-quarter point of the regular season and we’ll soon find out if head coach Doug Pederson is letting his players eat it.

We’re hearing about how this year’s 3-1 record is better than last year’s 3-1 record and while there’s some valid arguments to that suggestion, there’s also the realization that the Eagles have beaten winless teams the last two weeks by a combined five points.


We’ll see just how valid that 3-1 record is on Sunday.

If the Philadelphia Eagles really are a year better than last, and I think they probably are, then they win this game by more than just a point or two. Show the age of the Cardinals upfront and don’t allow the possibility of Fletcher Cox missing another game or Smallwood maybe sitting out have an effect.

There’s bigger games down the road against opponents that are better than the Cardinals. Win this game, advance to 4-1 and stay in the driver’s seat in an NFC East division that will remain highly competitive down the stretch.