The Philadelphia Eagles are set to play the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on Sunday afternoon. In order to preview this Week 5 matchup, I reached out to our enemies over at Revenge Of The Birds. The saintly Seth Cox took the time to answer my questions about this upcoming battle. Let’s take a look at the answers. [For my answers to Seth’s questions about the Eagles, check out ROTB.]
Our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook have all of the odds for this week’s games.
1 - To what extent are Cardinals fans satisfied with the Zach Ertz trade? How do fans feel about him and do you expect him to be a big part of this week’s plan against his former team?
I think very satisfied. Ertz has been the best tight end weapon the Arizona Cardinals have ever had and you saw that play out statistically last year. Now, with a full off-season, he is even more involved and has become the security blanket for Kyler Murray. He is a big part of the Cardinals game plan week-to-week and should be once again against the Eagles. They like him especially in clutch downs and in the redzone, where his sure hands and big frame play well to the Cardinals playbook.
2 - What’s the confidence level in Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury right now?
Kyler is higher than Kliff, but it varies game to game. The Cardinals slow start on the season and each and every game has made fans restless. So, Kyler’s big second halves against the Raiders and Panthers reminded fans of what he can be, but it also makes fans hesitate towards Kliff. Is Kliff holding Kyler back? Can Kyler be more outside of Kliff’s schemes? These are questions some still have and why you don’t see the a huge confidence in each despite their fresh new contracts.
3 - What is the Cardinals’ biggest strength? How should they be attacking the Eagles?
The Cardinals can control the game offensively with their long drives and ability to chew up clock. That is what we saw against the Los Angeles Rams, except they couldn’t get in the endzone. With the Eagles big play and high scoring offense, the key to this game will be controlling the pace and giving their defense as much help as possible.
They have a good rushing attack and a varied passing game with the ability to attack short and deep and keep the ball away from the Eagles. Now, can they finish drives? That will be the key, but if they have 83 plays and 34 minutes of possession like they did the Rams game, they just need to finish drives with touchdowns instead of field goals or empty possessions.
4 - What is the Cardinals’ biggest weakness? What should the Eagles be looking to exploit?
I mean it depends on the game. Sometimes it is the defense, all games this year it is the first half offense, and the reality is the Cardinals don’t do a great job of rushing the passer.
So, that causes issues.
The Eagles can throw the ball extremely well, they also run the ball well, so if the Cardinals start slow their defense won’t be able to stop the Eagles offense, while their offense won’t be able to come back against the Eagles great pass rush and pass defense.
The Cardinals have to control the possessions and dictate the pace of the game or the Eagles will waltz.
5 - Who wins this game and why? With DraftKings Sportsbook listing the Eagles as 5-point favorites, what’s your score prediction? And what are your expectations for the rest of this Cards season?
Eagles, but I think it’ll be a better game than most expect.
I have it 31-28 Eagles and the Eagles offense and passing game being the difference. If I trusted the Cardinals pass rush more I would take them, but the Eagles just look like too complete and well-rounded of a team.
I think the Cardinals get to 3-3 when DeAndre Hopkins gets back. It will correspond with Antonio Hamilton getting back into rhythm after missing the start of the season with a freak injury, and hopefully the Cardinals mostly healthy. If they are 3-3, I can see them finishing at 10-7 or even 11-6 and fighting for a Wild Card spot. They still have too many question marks for me to consider them true contenders at this juncture, but winning changes everything.
Good luck and good health to the Eagles in this one.