These next two games will really tell us where the Eagles are at. It will tell us the progression they have made and the work that is still needed to be done. Of course we know they still need a better secondary and a linebacker on defense and on offense they still have a question at quarterback who could also use another receiver to throw to besides DeSean.
The Cardinals defense poses the biggest challenge that Foles will have played this year. They solid against both the pass and the run as well as being big and fast. They will likely match up Patrick Peterson on DeSean Jackson as much as they can because Peterson is just as fast as Jackson and is a big physical freak. Chip Kelly will need to find away to get Jackson open and in space by moving him around on the field.
Last time the Eagles played the Cardinals, Darnell Dockett and Calais Cambell were batting passes down because they are massive in stature and they pushed our offensive line around in controlling the game at the line of scrimmage. In order to offset these good players the Eagles will need to keep them off balanced by mixing up the run and pass and focusing plays towards them that forces them to commit one way or another.
Linebacker Karlos Dansby is playing at a pro bowl level right now and has been reading opposing quarterbacks like a book over the middle versus the pass. He got a pick-six against the the Colts in a blow out win. He plays alongside another good middle line backer in Daryl Washington. Washington is a very athletic player who can stay with any TE the Eagles have.
On offense the Cardinals may have finally found stability at the quarterback spot with Carson Palmer. The Cardinals 4 game winning streak is due in large part because Palmer has been able to lead this offense alongside with the defense. Although Larry Fitzgerald isn’t having another career year his presence is a huge impact on opposing defenses because he is that good. Fitzgerald always does well against the Eagles so it will be interesting to see what this Eagles defense is able to do to stop him and force Michael Floyd to beat them. The guy that I think actually posses the most difficult task for the Eagles will be slot receiver Andre Roberts. Hopefully Brandon Boykin will continue his solid play and shut Roberts down.
So how do the Eagles attack this Cardinals defense that is so dominant? Well for one you grind it out. Every inch will be a dog fight. More specifically I would look for the Eagles to spread out the defense of the Cardinals and try to get their two OLB out in coverage. Both Abraham and Shaughnessy who were both DE before coming to Arizona. To counter the Cardinals bringing pressure Foles will need to keep the high up-tempo and tire the defense of Arizona. Also if the Eagles aren’t able to move the ball on the ground when they need to or at least enough to keep the Cardinals honest.
The Cardinals enter this game riding a four game winning streak with a huge blowout win against the Colts their last game and the Eagles are coming off their bye week. Like I said before I think this game and next weeks games versus the Lions will be the Eagles toughest challenges for the rest of the season. A split of the two would be ideal if they can’t win both. The Eagles need this game most importantly to keep pace with the Dallas Cowboy sin the division,