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Eagles vs. Cardinals 2015: Game Predictions

It's Eagles-Cardinals game day. Who are you taking to win?

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Philadelphia Eagles versus Arizona Cardinals game day is here. The Eagles are playing their second of three straight home games in a row. It's Black Sunday, which means the Eagles will be wearing their all-black uniforms.

This is a bit of a weird game. It's almost meaningless since, no matter what happens tonight, the Eagles can still clinch the NFC East by winning their final two games. On the other hand, a win over the Cardinals could potentially allow the Eagles to clinch as soon as Week 16. The Eagles also need both the Giants to lose to the Panthers and Washington to lose to the Bills for that clinch situation to happen. The Eagles would have to beat Washington in Philadelphia next week to seal the deal.

Beyond the potential playoff impact, this game is meaningful from a measuring stick perspective. Just how good are the Eagles? Philly is coming off two straight wins, but it was only a few weeks ago when they got blown out and it looked like their season was over. Now it's up to the Eagles to show their recent success hasn't been a fluke and they're truly a legitimate playoff contender.

Proving their worth will be easier said than done. The Cardinals are a very good team. They're much better than the Eagles on paper. It's hard to look at this Arizona squad and find a lot of weaknesses. The offense is lethal. Carson Palmer is playing at an MVP level. The Cardinals are averaging 31.2 points scored per game, which is second best in the NFL. They are first in yards per game with 417.5. Philadelphia's defense has looked much less horrible over the past two weeks, but they'll be majorly tested in this one. Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, and Michael Floyd will test an Eagles secondary that's less than 100%. Byron Maxwell and Eric Rowe are both probable to play, but each starting cornerback has been dealing with some nagging injuries.

Attacking Arizona's defense won't be so easy, either. The Cardinals have a lot of talented players on that side of the ball as well. Defensive backs Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu are bound to make plays on the ball. Massive starting defensive end Calais Campbell can cause problems. The Cardinals blitz more than any other team in the NFL, so Sam Bradford and the Eagles offensive line will be put to the test.

There aren't many areas where Philadelphia has a clear advantage over the Cardinals. The Eagles are going to need a complete team effort in this one, and maybe then some. This is a spot where Bradford needs to show up big. Philadelphia's rushing attack needs to be better than it was last week when it only averaged 3.4 yards per carry. It'll be interesting to see how carries are divided among Ryan Mathews, DeMarco Murray, Darren Sproles, and Kenjon Barner (?). The Eagles defense is going to need to come up with some turnovers in this one. Special teams has been a big factor in Philadelphia's recent wins and they'll probably need more from that unit again this week.

It's hard to bet against the Cardinals here. They clearly appear to be the superior team, and they're coming off extra rest having played on Thursday Night Football last week. I think the Eagles will show fight and keep the game close, but ultimately Arizona will win.

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My predictions:

Score prediction: 30-24, Eagles lose.
Bold prediction: For the first time ever, Larry Fitzgerald doesn't score a touchdown in an Eagles-Cardinals game.

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