Battle of the Birds: Eagles vs Cardinals Preview by Daniel Farr. Can the Eagles Take Control of the
A week since rabid Philadelphia Eagles fans took over the StubHub Center, Philadelphia gets another home game against the Arizona Cardinals. Philadelphia has a 3-1 record and sits atop the NFC East, while Arizona has a 2-2 record, their two wins came against the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers. The Eagles continues to sneak up on the NFL, but their team always felt confident going into this year. Last season in the Eagles final game, then rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, told his defensive star Fletcher cox, “Next year we go.” Wentz was talking about making the playoffs, and his play has not disappointed one bit. The sophomore quarterback has throw six-touchdowns, nearly 1,100 yards and two interceptions. A knock against the budding quarterback has been his turnovers, but his two picks happened in weeks one and two. He is now showing he has supreme control over Doug Pederson’s offense. The Eagles’ head coach deserves credit for changing the culture in Philadelphia. He has made the team mesh greatly and instilled them with belief. Before the season Pederson said “We probably have more talent, right?” He believes his team now has more talent than his old Super Bowl winning Green Bay Packers. When the franchise you coach has a quarterback like the Eagles do, it’s easy to believe you can compete in every NFL game. The Cardinals look like their window is shut, but they are still a team worth watching out for. Philadelphia has a depleted secondary and even though Carson Palmer appears to be in his last season, he does have terrific weapons, even without arguably the best running back in football David Johnson. Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald still produces at a high level and John Brown and J.J. Nelson can get loose on any secondary. The Eagles secondary will have their hands full, so it is key their defensive line applies constant pressure on Palmer. The defensive line of the Eagles has proven to be one of their strongest units, and they will have a plentiful day on Sunday. Palmer has been sacked 17-times in four games, he is on pace to be sacked an eyeopening 68-times. Expect the Eagles defense to improve as the season goes on, it appears they will get starting corner Ronald Darby back in week-seven, and rookie cornerback Sidney Jones may make his NFL debut in the near future. The Eagles now have a run game, which helps out their whole team. It takes weight off of Wentz, and gives their defense longer breaks. The running back by committee strategy is working well for the Eagles, even without Darren Sproles. Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement, and Legarrette Blount have all showed they are worthy of carrying the football. The Eagles passing game has been working, and in large part to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery getting comfortable on his new team, he has been making clutch catches all year, and has 17-catches and two touchdowns through four games. The Eagles will control both lines and are playing at home, Philadelphia wins 23-13.