We want the Arizona Cardinals to win on Sunday, like we do every Sunday. The Eagles want to win as well. Let's say Philadelphia does lose to the Cardinals. This is how it will happen, according to Bleeding Green Nation's leader writer, Brandon Gowton.
Philadelphia's running attack finally came alive in Week 6 against the New York Giants. LeSean McCoy broke the 100-yard mark for the first time on the season by gaining 149 yards on 22 attempts (6.6 average). The question now is if the Eagles can manage to sustain that success. Going up against a Cardinals defense that ranks strongly against the run (league-best average 72.5 yards per game) will be a strong challenge. Philadelphia is still without two of their best run blockers; All-Pro starting left guard Evan Mathis is out until Week 10 and athletic starting Jason Kelce still isn't ready to play. The Eagles will have to rely on backup offensive lineman Matt Tobin and David Molk.
The run game is very critical to Philadelphia's offensive success. It sets up play action and subsequently takes pressure off of third-year quarterback Nick Foles, who hasn't been sharp to start the 2014 NFL season. The Eagles will have a hard time winning in the desert if they can't establish the run game.
It should also be noted that the injury status of Darren Sproles is still up in the air. Sproles has been very valuable to the Philadelphia offense despite playing limited snaps. The veteran offensive weapon has accounted for 211 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on just 33 attempts (6.6 average) as well as 16 receptions for 198 receiving yards (12.4 average). I'd be remiss not to mention the value of Sproles as the team's punt returner; he leads the NFL in punt return yards with 280 and has also scored a touchdown.
The Arizona offense isn't as threatening as the Arizona defense. With that said, the Cardinals still have some
legitimate weapons. Running back Andre Ellington is only rushing for 3.8 yards per carry but he is still a threat to catch the ball. Wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd could give fits to an Eagles secondary that has struggled in pass coverage.
The Cardinals have done a very good job of protecting the ball with only four turnovers committed. Carson Palmer has only thrown one interception. Philadelphia's defense will need to generate some turnovers if the Eagles offense continues to turn it over at the rate they have (second most giveaways, 14).
Cardinals fans, what do you think? What chances do you give the Cards on Sunday and what do you think of the scenarios Gowton gives?