Game Scout: Cardinals at Eagles

Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Arizona Cardinals (7-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-5)
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia - TV: FOX
*TV announcers: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
*Keys to the game: Arizona rides a four-game winning streak into Philly for a game that could prove to have wild-card playoff implications. The Eagles are brutal at home (1-4), but their defense is rested and vastly improved, allowing no more than 21 points in every game since September. Winning on the road typically mandates success running the ball, but Arizona averages 3.6 yards per carry and the Cardinals are more likely to throw it to sustain drives. QB Carson Palmer seeks his third straight 300-yard passing game and has just one interception in his past 111 passes. That's small potatoes to Eagles QB Nick Foles, whose 16-to-0 TD-to-INT ratio has inspired Philadelphia's winning splurge. Foles averages 9.6 yards per attempt and spacing and formation variation limits the number of times he'll have to attack CB Patrick Peterson, a fast, physical shutdown cornerback likely to check DeSean Jackson. NFL leading rusher LeSean McCoy also has six 20-plus-yard catches this season.
*Matchup to watch - Cardinals WR Michael Floyd vs. Eagles CB Cary Williams: Floyd is coming on strong -- 13 receptions for 297 yards the past two games -- and presents problems for most cornerbacks because of his height, long arms and strong hands. Williams has the wingspan to close when Floyd separates off the line and battles for every inch.
*Player spotlight - Cardinals LT Bradley Sowell: Cole, a proven pass rusher, springs off the line of scrimmage and had two sacks in Week 11. Sowell is getting more comfortable and was tested frequently last season by Robert Mathis as a member of the Indianapolis Colts practice squad.
*Fast facts - Foles' 152.8 passer rating in November is the highest posted in any month in NFL history. ... Since 2011, Peterson is the only player in the NFL with at least 12 interceptions and four punt returns for touchdowns.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians labeled the Eagles' system a "college offense." If Arizona's front seven plays at peak level, the Cardinals could fly back home with a five-game winning streak. But in a game of matchups, the Eagles get the edge.
*Our pick: Eagles 25-24

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