The Arizona Cardinals look to start their season with a 3-0 record, the first time they would have done so since moving to Arizona from St. Louis. While defeating the Patriots was a quality victory for the underdog Red Birds, the Eagles will be no walk in the park.
Philadelphia is also 2-0 and they sport one of the best pass rushes in the NFL, along with a dynamic offense led by an enigma for a quarterback in Michael Vick. So far this season, Vick has struggled, turning the ball over six times by himself. But with the talent he has, he could break out at any given time. Stopping him will be just one of the few things the Cardinals need to do in order to win this afternoon.
On top of containing Vick, the Cards must also keep his running back, LeSean McCoy, from hurting them too badly. McCoy is one of the premiere rushers in the NFL and can hurt both on the ground and as a receiver out of the backfield on screen passes, swing routes, etc. The guy does it all. Stopping those two is impossible. The Cardinals can only hope to limit the damage with their stellar defense.
Speaking of stellar defenses, the Eagles have a pretty good one themselves. Their 4-3 front gets to the opposing quarterback with ease. Jason Babin and Trent Cole are top of the line edge rushers and up the middle, they have great talent in Cullen Jenkins and Fletcher Cox. The Cardinals' shaky offensive line will have their work cut out for them, but will need to limit the pressure on Kevin Kolb in order to be successful.
Getting Larry Fitzgerald more involved in this game should be atop the Cardinals' to-do list. Last weekend, Fitzgerald only managed to snag one catch for a total of four yards, the lowest since his rookie season. Arizona needs to feed him the ball, despite the talent that Nnamdi Asomugha, the guy who will be covering Fitzgerald, has.
I feel that if the Cardinals are unable to run the ball themselves, they are not going to win this game. Ryan Williams and Beanie Wells have been unimpressive thus far. The offensive line needs to get some push to allow these two players to be more successful. With the Eagles being one of the worst run defending teams in the league last season, there is no reason why the Cardinals could not exploit that again.
If the Cardinals can manage to do all of this, they can walk out of University of Phoenix Stadium with their heads held high and a new franchise record to be proud of.