Both teams have been very disappointing. The Philadelphia Eagles were considered Super Bowl contenders with their "Dream Team," as Vince Young declared. The Arizona Cardinals, who despite a 5-11 record in 2010 were only two games behind the division champ Seattle Seahawks. Acquiring Kevin Kolb was supposed to be enough to take back a weak NFC West.
Instead, Philadelphia has found ways to lose games after having leads. The Cardinals have been in position in four separate times to drives the ball down the field at the end of the game to take the lead but have failed. Kolb has been shaky in his play and his poise in the pocket.
Now the two teams face off at 11AM Arizona time.It won't be Kolb leading the Cardinals this week. He is still hampered by a turf toe and foot bone bruise he suffered against the Baltimore Ravens. John Skelton will make his sixth career start.
After a win last week, there is a faction of Cardinals fans ready to declare a QB controversy. Skelton could possibly create a real one if he is very good against Philly.
The problem is that this game looks like a terrible matchup for the Cardinals. The Eagles love the big play, since they have speed to spare in McCoy, Vick, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. The Cardinals love to give up big plays.
Philly has the number one rushing offense, averaging more than 170 yards per game. The Cardinals allow almost 118. The Eagles score over 25 points a game. The Cardinals give up just under 25.
Defensively, Darnell Dockett said that stopping McCoy is goal number one, as he has over 800 yards rushing on the season. At the same time, they have to be disciplined in their assignments and gas because Michael Vick could go nuts running. He averages over eight yards a rushing attempt.
The real tough matchup will likely be Jeremy Maclin. Patrick Peterson will probably face Jackson, but Richard Marshall will have his hands full. Marshall has already been burned this season for big plays, including the 95-yard play by Mike Wallace when the team played the Steelers.
What the Cardinals will have to do is score points. The issue is that with Skelton starting, the offense has produced only four offensive touchdowns in five games. The defense and special teams have scored five, but you can't rely on those all the time.
The Eagles are very susceptible to the run. They allow 124 yards a game. This means the Cardinals will need Beanie Wells to step up and perform, despite sore knee. Luckily, he is feeling very good this weekend -- the best he has felt in weeks. Success by Beanie will do two things. One, it will move the offense down the field and make Skelton's job much easier. It will also limit the opportunities for the Philly offense.
It will be interesting to see how the game ends if the score is close in the fourth quarter. Both teams have been uncannily bad in crunch time. Offensively, the Cardinals have failed four times at the end of games to move down the field and take the lead. The Eagles have given up big leads late in games. Last week's game against the Bears was one of them. Neither team has shown to be particularly clutch.
This game between the Cards and Eagles will be the 116th time in their history. The funny thing that the series record is a tie -- 55-55-5. The last time they faced one another, the Cardinals clinched a berth to into the Super Bowl. They used to play each other twice a year when Arizona was part of the NFC East.
What will happen today? What are your predictions? Chime in below...