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Cardinals vs. Eagles preview: HIstory, stats, connections and possible milestones

A look at the prime time game.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Game day is finally here and we are all excited about the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and the Philadelphia Eagles. It could be a playoff preview, as the Cardinals' magic number for clinching the NFC West title is one game. A Cardinals win, a Seattle loss or a combination of wins by the Bengals and Saints, combined with losses by the Cowboys and Steelers will give them the title. Arizona can clinch a first round bye with one win and a Green Bay loss.

The Eagles don't have to beat the Cardinals to win the NFC East. They can still do that by winning their final two games, both against division rivals.

Let's take a look at the Cards/Eagles matchup.


Arizona holds a slight advantage in the all-time series. Their record against Philadelphia is 56-54-5. Since Bruce Arians and Chip Kelly have been coaching for both teams, they have split two games -- Philly having won at home in 2013 and the Cardinals getting the victory at home last year. Both games were very close.

The Cardinals are 26-29-3 on the road against the Eagles. They last won in Philadelphia in 2011, a 21-17 win with John Skelton at quarterback.

The two teams seemingly face one another each season. This will be the fifth straight year and the seventh out of the last eight that they play one another. They used to be division rivals, playing twice yearly, before conference realignment and Arizona was part of the NFC East.

Arizona holds a 2-1 advantage in the postseason, with their last meeting being in the NFC Championship Game in Arizona after the 2008 season. Arizona won that game to get to the Super Bowl.


Arizona second in the NFL in points per game with 31.2, but they are the number one scoring offense. They are number one in the NFL in yards per game, averaging more than 417 per contest. They are 10th in the NFL in rushing, gaining more than 118 per game, and third in passing, averaging nearly 300 yards per game. They have scored 47 touchdowns, 43 by the offense.

The Eagles are 14th in scoring, averaging a little over 23 points per game, but six of their 35 touchdowns on the season have been returns, which is tops in the league. They rush for more than 115 yards per game, but throw for only 236. They are 16th in the league in yards.

Arizona holds the ball longer than anyone else in the game at more than 32 minutes a game. Philly is dead last, possessing the football just over 26 minutes a game.

Defensively, the Cardinals are also a top team. They are fourth in yards allowed, making them one of only two teams (the other being Seattle) to rank in the top five in both offense and defense. They give up fewer than 20 points per game. Opponents rush for fewer than 88 yards per game and pass for nearly 235 per game.

Philly is 14th in points allowed, giving up nearly 25 per game. They allow more than 385 yards per contest -- almost 127 per game on the ground and almost 259 through the air. They have allowed 29 passing touchdowns.

One player who has absolutely dominated the Eagles is receiver Larry Fitzgerald. In seven career games, he has 47 receptions, 802 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has scored at least one touchdown in every single game. Only two other players have had more touchdown catches against the Eagles, but they were players who played against the Eagles at least 20 times. The record is 14.


The Eagles have no former Cardinals player, but their defensive coordinator, Billy Davis, was the defensive coordinator for the Cardinals in 2009-2010.

The Cardinals have some former Eagles. Quarterback Matt Barkley was a fourth round pick by the Eagles in 2014. He was traded to Arizona after the preseason this year. Center A.Q. Shipley spent the 2010 season on the Eagles practice squad and also was with the Eagles in 2011.

Tight end Ifeanyi Momah, who is on injured reserve, was an undrafted rookie for Philly in 2013.

Possible milestones:

Arizona can set a franchise record in wins with a victory. They have never had 12 wins in a regular season. They did reach 12 wins in the 2008 season, winning nine in the regular season and three in the postseason. A win also clinches a division title, which would be the first since 2009 and the fifth since 1970.

A win would be their eighth straight, which would be the second-longest winning streak in team history. They won 10 straight in 1948.

A win would set a franchise record for road victories with seven.

If the Cardinals score at least 23 points, they will set a team record for points in a season. The current record is 427, set in 2008. Doing basic math, that means the Cardinals have scored 405 so far this season.

Larry Fitzgerald needs four receptions to reach 100 for the season. He would be just the ninth player in NFL history to reach that plateau in at least three seasons. With eight receptions, he would set a career-high for catches in a season. His best year so far was 2005, when he led the NFL with 103 receptions.

If he has a touchdown catch, it would be the eighth straight game against the Eagles he has had at least one.

Quarterback Carson Palmer needs two touchdown passes to set a career high. He has 31 this season, already a team record. He has 32 in 2005. He can set a career high in yards with 272.

Kicker Chandler Catanzaro needs nine points to pass Jay Feely for the second-most points scored in a season.

Running back David Johnson will tie the team's rookie record for touchdowns in a season with his next score. With a touchdown reception, he would be only the fifth running back in team history to have at least five in a season. Larry Centers had seven in 1996 and Charley Trippi had five in 1949.