With the Eagles and Cardinals scheduled to face off on Sunday, I reached out to SB Nation Cardinals site Revenge of the Birds. Jess Root kindly took the time to answer my questions.
Let's take a look at the answers.
1) Name a Cardinals player the Eagles need to watch out for on offense.
On offense, things have been going better. I won't pick one -- how about three? You already know about Larry Fitzgerald, who has made a career of destroying Philly defenses, Michael Floyd has been putting up crazy numbers lately. He has gone over 100 yards receiving the last two weeks and has looked like a number one guy. Tight end Rob Housler is suddenly a weapon after nine weeks of invisibility. But the most exciting player on the field is Andre Ellington, who makes an impact both in the running game an in the passing game.
2) Name a Cardinals player the Eagles need to watch out for on defense.
You know all the big names -- Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell and Patrick Peterson, but John Abraham could be the guy to watch. He has picked up seven sacks over the last five weeks. He could make life interesting for Nick Foles. He is looking every bit the dominant player he has been throughout his career, only in Arizona he is doing it at OLB standing up, rather than at DE.
3) The Cardinals aren't as prolific on offense as they have been on defense. Meanwhile, the Eagles defense has played well recently. Philly is the only team to have allowed 21 points or less to their last seven opponents. How will the Cardinals try to attack this Philadelphia defense?
Well, despite the offensive woes earlier in the season, Arizona has scored 27 points or more four straight games, and put up 40 against the Colts. You will see the passing game spread the ball around -- last week, 10 different players caught passes from Carson Palmer. You will see both Rashard Mendenhall and Andre Ellington. You will see the deep ball a few times. But the passing game has come a round nicely. They are taking short and intermediate routes and take their shots when they are available.
4) To what extent do you feel confident about the Cardinals' vaunted defense shutting down the Eagles highly ranked offense? How are you feeling about former Eagles defensive coordinator Todd Bowles?
There was much trepidation about the hiring of Bowles, especially after how things went in Philly. Add on top of that the fact that everyone loved what Ray Horton had done, and you get a healthy dose of skepticism. No one is pining for Horton these days. The defense is a better overall unit than last season.
The defense is playing very well, so I am confident that they can slow the Chip Kelly machine. They have given up 30+ points on three occasions. However, their play against the run has been consistently good all season, and the only exception to that was one bad drive against the 49ers.
That said, McCoy is different than any other back that we have seen. However, the only one to crack 100 yards is Frank Gore....and he gained 101.
5) Prediction time. Who wins and why? (including score)
I think the Cardinals continue on their roll. They are playing every game like it is a playoff game and the offense is gelling. Carson Palmer will not be fazed by the cold weather or rabid fans, having played a long time in the AFC North. Since the Philly defense gives up yards, Arizona will get the ball down the field, and with Floyd and Fitzgerald, those will turn into touchdowns. The defense will play at its regular high level. Arizona comes away with a 30-20 win.