Eagles And Cardinals: Two Very Different 2-0 Teams

Rich Schultz - Getty Images

Two weeks into this new NFL season, there might not be two teams more interesting right now than the Philadelphia Eagles and the Arizona Cardinals.

The Eagles have broken every NFL rule on the way to their first 2 wins- they turned the ball over, were careless with it in the redzone and committed penalties. The Cardinals have won 2 games with John Skelton and Kevin Kolb at quarterback, and beat the New England Patriots on the road despite turning the ball over in the final 2 minutes when they were running up the clock.

In all reality, neither team should be 2-0.

But while both teams currently stand undefeated, make no mistake about it- the Eagles and Cardinals are two very different 2-0 teams.

Is it impressive the Cardinals have wins against a good Seattle team and New England on the road? Absolutely. But the different between the Cardinals 2 wins and the Eagles 2 wins is that the Cardinals were lucky to win the games they did. The Eagles, on the other hand, created their own luck and won games in the last minutes by making plays.

Against Seattle, the Cardinals were lucky that Braylon Edwards dropped the game winning touchdown. He beat the Cardinals defense, but just dropped the ball. Against New England, the Cardinals won because normally-clutch Stephen Gotkowski missed a game winning field goal that he would normally make 9 out of 10 times.

Did both teams have plays happen before the end of the games that were lucky? Yes. Ask Nnamdi Asomugha about the 2nd touchdown he should have allowed to Jacoby Jones. Or Michael Vick about LJ Forts pass catching ability. But the Eagles overcame the plays that should have gone against them to win at the end. The Cardinals didn't do anything to overcome Edwards drop or Gotkowski's miss.

Of course, the Cardinals 2 wins count just as much as the Eagles. But the Eagles have been far more impressive and have reason to be hopeful going forward. The Cardinals, meanwhile, have been mediocre at best.

For all of the talk about the Cardinals defense, they currently rank 13th in the NFL in total yards allowed. Against the run they are 14th, and 10th against the pass. In comparison, the Eagles are 4th in total yards allowed, 4th against the pass, and 16th against the run. The Cardinals defense is improved, but it is not in the same class as the Eagles defense.

On offense, there really is no comparison between the two units. The Cardinals offense tries to not lose the game- the Eagles offense has gone out, moved the ball with ease, and made plays late to win them. The Eagles have the number one offense in the league right now, while the Cardinals are near the bottom in every statistical category.

As for the Eagles Achilles heal- turnovers- the Cardinals have only a slightly better +/- on turnovers through 2 games (-3 to -1) than the Eagles.

The fact is that the Eagles should easily beat the Cardinals on Sunday. They are without question the better team, despite what the records say.

Any fan base of an NFL team that is having early success always asks themselves- is my team for real? The answer to that question for every team is not yet known, and won't be for a long time.

But looking at the Cardinals and the Eagles, the Eagles fanbase has reason to be excited about an undefeated team that is winning with defense and clutch plays. The Cardinals fanbase, on the other hand, should feel like Kevin Kolb supposedly does in the pocket: scared.

Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks

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