We know about the Arizona Cardinals defense. We also know how potentially prolific the Philadelphia Eagles offense could be. What we need to know as well is that the Eagles have a very good pass defense.
The folks over at ESPN Stats and Info put together a discussion post and brought up some really interesting points, one that Cardinals fans will smile about, knowing how Ray Horton loves to blitz.
First of all, defensively, Arizona is great when the defense blitzes. The start of this year is actually staggering. In 2011, when Arizona sent five or more rushers, opposing QBs completed over 55 percent of passes for an average of 6.4 yards per attempt and five times there were pass plays of greater than 30 yards.
Through two games of this year? QBs complete under 40 percent of passes and average 2.6 yards per attempt. ON blitzes, the Cardinals have not given up a pass play for 30 or more yards.
Additionally, Vick has been bad against the blitz so far this year. He is completing under 48 percent of his throws when blitzed.
Now, the Philly offense has big play capabilities. In two games, they have had three pass plays for 30+ yards.
Where Philly doesn't get enough credit is in pass defense. They have talented cornerbacks, but it is more than that.
Using ESPN's QBR stat (which I don't buy into yet), over 2011 and 2012, Philly is the best defensively. Opposing QBs have only a 30.3 QBR. They rank ahead of the teams you would expect -- the 49ers, Ravens, Steelers and Texans.
The big thing for Arizona? It is to not give up big plays. Their offense just has not shown they can overtake that. More than one third of the team's rushing yards come from Kevin Kolb, Patrick Peterson and Andre Roberts. They have not had a run over over 20 yards yet. LeSean McCoy has two of his own and had twice as many as the entire Cardinals team had in 2011 (14 to 7).
Who will prevail? Will it be the explosive offense that will bust through or will Arizona's stout defense win again?
Keep up with Cardinals news and opinions when you are not on the site. Follow Revenge of the Birds on Twitter at @revengeofbirds and "like" us on Facebook. You can follow me individually at @senorjessroot.