When the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles face one another on Sunday, it will be the first time since Arizona clinched the NFC championship in 2009 and sent themselves to the Super Bowl. However, this time, the teams' situations are much different and so is the personnel.
Back then it was Kurt Warner against Donovan McNabb at quarterback. Now it is likely John Skelton against Michael Vick.
Back then it was for a Super Bowl berth. This time the Cardinals are 2-6 and the Eagles are 3-5.
As the two teams face off on Sunday, there are some matchups that will make a difference in this game.
Patrick Peterson vs. DeSean Jackson
The Philadelphia wide receiving corp is so very fast between Jackson and teammate Jeremy Maclin. Peterson will likely be the matchup against Jackson because of his speed and ability to make big plays down the field. Peterson's coverage has gotten better and better each week and he is quickly developing into potentially an elite cover corner.
Michael Vick vs. Ray Horton
The task of keeping Vick contained is a tall one. The Cardinals have done it before. It was 2004 and Clancy Pendergast who schemed the defense to hold him to 10 rushing yards. Defensive coordinator Ray Horton will have his hands full calling a game that will put his defensive players in place to make plays and keep Vick from disrupting the entire defense.
LeSean McCoy vs. Daryl Washington
McCoy has quickly become one of the league's top running backs. Daryl Washington has been making plays all over the field for the Cardinals. He has been making plays in the backfield against the run. Washington's speed and instincts will need to be utilized to keep the Eagles from running the ball effectively and the Cardinals offense off the field.
Cardinals receivers vs. DRC, Asante Samuel and Nnamdi Asomugha
The cover skills that the Eagles CBs have is undeniable. However, neither Samuels nor DRC like to make tackles. This year they have not been a dominating factor. Can the Arizona receivers find space and can the QB (Kolb or Skelton) deliver the ball on time and in the right spot?
Arizona Cardinals vs. injuries
All teams have to deal with injuries, but Arizona has suffered injuries at key positions. Starting cornerback Greg Toler and second-round draft pick RB Ryan Williams are out for the year with knee injuries. Starting QB Kevin Kolb is recovering from turf toe. Starting TE Todd Heap is recovering from a hamstring injury. Starting FS Kerry Rhodes has a broken foot. Starting RB Beanie Wells has a bum knee. It seems that if you are a starter for the Cardinals, you are bound to spend time on the sideline having gotten hurt.
For more Cardinals coverage, head on over to Revenge of the Birds.