The Eagles improved to 3-1 at the quarter pole of the season after taking care of the struggling Chargers in what felt like a home game on the west coast. Now the Arizona Cardinals come to Philly in a 1 o’clock matchup looking to improve on their 2-2 record. Philadelphia is a bit healthier and will look to shut down the aging QB and WR of the Cardinals en route to a 4-1 start. Here is the crew’s predictions for the game.
Tyler Edgerton (3-1)
Once again, injuries for both teams will determine the fate of this game on Sunday. While Fletcher Cox will be out for the second game in a row, last week, Beau Allen did a solid job filling in as the Eagles held premier running back Melvin Gordon to just 22 yards and ultimately forced the Chargers to become one-dimensional. Now a Cardinals team comes in without David Johnson and an offensive line that was missing two key pieces last week and could be without a starting Tackle and Guard. That does not look good for an immobile and aging QB in Carson Palmer.
The key to a win on Sunday is the offense of the Eagles being able to control the time of possession once again. The bottom line is that the Cardinals are an aging team. The QB is old, Larry Fitzgerald is old (but still reliable), and the defense is.. well, old. If the Eagles get ahead and force them to pass, the only way Arizona stick around is by getting the ball out quickly. Even though the speed at wide receiver for the Cardinals is scary, I believe the Eagles will keep the ball in front of them on defense. Finally, the Cardinal have the 30th worst winning % in the Eastern time zone during the modern Super Bowl era at 36% (73-133). The 1 pm kick-off is big for the Eagles. Put your feet up and enjoy.
Final Prediction: Eagles 31, Cardinals 20
John Purificato (4-0)
The Eagles return home to await the 2-2 Cardinals. The Cardinals have struggled this season to find their way on offense without star running back David Johnson. They have wins over two of the worst teams in football in the 49ers and Colts, and both requited overtime wins. Carson Palmer has been inconsistent due to himself and sub-par play of his offensive line. Larry Fitzgerald is still playing at a high level, and the Cardinals have some of the fastest Wide receivers in football which is not a good matchup for the Eagles secondary. On defense, the Cardinals have a strong secondary, yet have struggled to create pressure and stuff the run. The Eagles are going to come out and try to control the clock by running the ball and creating long drives. On defense, the Eagles will plan on hitting Palmer early and often and use the home crowd to their advantage. Eagles win this one by double digits by following their game plan.
Final Prediction: Eagles 28, Cardinals 17
Brett Santos (0-4)
After another nail-biter against the Chargers, the Eagles host another team with an even record in the Cardinals in a game which they are expected to win. The Cardinals offense is in the top half of the league in offensive yards, but the bottom half in points. Their run game has been non-existent since losing David Johnson ranking last in the league in rushing yards per game. I see this trend continuing as the Eagles should be able to do a good job of containing the running game of the Cardinals. The focus for the Cardinals will be moving the ball almost exclusively through the air. Larry Fitzgerald has been known as an “Eagles Killer” which has been one of the top stories all week leading up to the game. Although he will see his share of targets, I believe the Eagles have the pieces to contain Fitzgerald. The problems for them will come on the deep threats which is why I think John Brown will have a big day.
For the Eagles offense, after a big week on the ground in LA, I think the running game takes a step back this week and they are again forced to throw the football. The Cardinals have a very solid defensive unit, but they aren’t quite as good as past years. I think Alshon Jeffery has a breakout game for the Birds and will be up over 100 yards with a TD. This game will be another nail-biter, but after two hard-fought wins against the lower-tier teams for the Eagles, the Cardinals will be too much and play a solid all-around game.
Final Prediction: Eagles 18, Cardinals 24
Matthew Scott (3-1)
In the past few years, the list of ‘Eagle killers’ included the likes of Kirk Cousins and Eli Manning. But the final one on that list? Larry Fitzgerald. The Birds could cross the third off their list Sunday as they take on the Cardinals at the linc. Just like the game plan has been for the past two weeks, the Eagles must run the ball. Statistics have shown once the Eagles run the ball more than 20 times in a game under Doug Pederson their percentage of winning almost triples. The integration, and more so the production of Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz this season has been huge and they need to keep that momentum going into Sunday’s game if they want to beat the “shaky” Cardinals. I believe the final key to Sunday’s game is pressure. If the Eagles front seven can get to Carson Palmer, they’ll win big Sunday. Eagles pull out another close victory as the Cardinals hang around.
Final Prediction: Eagles 26, Cardinals 23
Joe Fabiani (2-2)
The Eagles will return home after a big road win to face the Cardinals. The Eagles showed last week that their willingness to run the ball is going to help the offense tremendously. However, run defense is the Cardinals strength only allowing 88 yards a game. It’ll be interesting to see how the Eagles rotate running backs this week now that Smallwood is out. On the flip side, a big matchup to watch will be the Eagles defensive line against the banged-up Cardinals offensive line. Carson Palmer is a statue in the pocket these days. They also can’t overlook Larry Fitzgerald in the slot even though he is getting up there in age. He is still playing at a high level and if given time, they will look to expose the injured Eagles secondary.
I believe the Eagles will look to use some big plays early in this game to get a lead and then work on establishing the running game. If they are able to get up on the Cardinals and make them one dimensional I believe they will come out victorious in the game.
Final Prediction: Eagles 24, Cardinals 13
Tylar Pomroy (2-2)
Even at 34 years old, the Eagles can never overlook playing against Larry Fitzgerald. We’ve seen him torch the defenders seven times throughout his career – a total of 673 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. Often times he seems ageless and it was just two games ago that he had over 100 yards and a touchdown. Even still, the offense is the biggest downfall for the Cardinals, and the Eagles should look to capitalize on their poor-performing offensive line.
As the Eagles running game begins to find some rhythm, Arizona continues to look for a reliable David Johnson substitute. Blount will most likely see the bulk of the carries in Sunday’s game due to Smallwood nursing a knee injury. It may be tough sledding to start, but the running game will open up if Wentz can put together long drives early.
One comparison between the two teams so far is that neither has put together any definitive wins. Arizona won both of their games in overtime against teams that are currently struggling, and the Eagles as we know have either won off of miracles or battled to the end for each win. That said, it’s an early east coast game for the Cardinals and Carson Palmer is never able to lead the Cardinals in these types of matchups. Both teams have trouble clicking offensively in a lower scoring game.
Final Prediction: Eagles 17, Cardinals 10