By Brandon Pemberton
Catch me on Twitter @BrandonOnSports
The Eagles are coming off an loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football and face a weak Arizona Cardinals team without starting quarterback Kevin Kolb, who out with turf toe. This should be a easy win for the Eagles, but whether they win or not, the story will be DeSean Jackson. Jackson missed a team meeting yesterday and was informed that he will be inactive for today’s game. I don’t know if this is Jackson’s way of showing his frustration with his contract situation and the way his season is going, but this could turn into a bad thing.The Eagles are at 3-5 through eight games, and a loss today would definitely end the season for sure.
Philadelphia: The Eagles sport the third ranked offense in all of football and it looks good on paper, but it has only produced three wins on the season. The Bears did a great job changing up coverage and confusing Vick last week, while jamming Eagles receivers at the line of scrimmage, throwing the timing off of their passing game. LeSean McCoy( 16 carries 71 yards 1 TD, 5 catches 46 yards) had a nice game, but was held in check for the most part. The Bears did a great job swarming to ball , not allowing Shady to cut back and making tackles.
Philadelphia should have no problem putting up points today even though Jackson won’t be on the field to stretch the defense today. The Cardinals have the 28th ranked defense in football, allowing over 398 yards per game. I say this weekly, as long as the Eagles hold on to the ball, they will put up more then enough points to win the game. I expect a offensive explosion today, big games from Vick, Maclin, and McCoy.
Arizona: The Cardinals traded for quarterback Kevin Kolb during the offseason and haven’t gotten what they bargained for. Kolb is out for today’s game, but he wasn’t having a great season before being injured. Completing 56.8% of his passes, while throwing 8 TD’s and 8 INT’s is plain mediocre. Bottom line is the Eagles got over on this trade. The Cardinals have the 26th ranked offense in the NFL and if you have watched them play, they have problems moving the ball.
John Skelton, the second year quarterback from Fordham University, will get the start today. He has a big arm, and the ability to throw the ball downfield, but he is a second year player from a small school. Expect him to target Larry Fitzgerald early and often, whether it be on short passes or deep down the field. The Eagles obviously have been having problems stopping the run, so I would expect a heavy dose of running back Beanie Wells today. If the Cards have any chance of winning this game, they will have to be able to run the ball.
Philadelphia: The Eagles basically got their asses kicked up front Monday against the Bears. Jay Cutler just stood in the pocket and picked the Eagles apart and Matt Forte gashed the defense for 133 yards on 24 carries. Also they allowed Earl Bennett(5 catches 95 yards) to burn them consistently on third downs in the middle of the field. This week the task at hand should be much easier going up against the Cards, but I said the same thing in previous weeks and they came up small. The Cardinals offensive line isn’t great at all, so the Eagles need to stop the run, force the Cards to pass the ball and get Skelton on the ground.
Arizona: The Cards defense has been bad this season, and it will take a great effort to stop the Eagles today. Their job will be a bit easier today since DeSean Jackson will not being playing today. Arizona will be able to stack the box a bit more with Safety Adrian Wilson in order to stop Shady McCoy since the threat of Jackson going deep will be missing. I’m looking forward to seeing the matchup of rookie cornerback Patrick Peterson versus Eagles number one wide receiver Jeremy Maclin today. By the numbers, they do a nice job getting to the quarterback, with 20 sacks overall as a team, and I expect them to blitz the Eagles at a high rate. The Eagles lead the NFL with 19 turnovers, so expect the Cardinals to try to take the ball away.
Prediction: The Eagles come into this game as a 13 point favorite, and that’s a big number for a 3-5 team. The Cardinals are starting a second year quarterback and will need to have a running game in order to protect him. I see a big game offensively today for the Eagles, they get up early and win this game. Eagles 30 Cardinals 17