The Eagles celebrate this Thanksgiving holiday by welcoming the Arizona Cardinals to town. What most Eagles fan chalked up as an easy win before the start of the season will now be a tough game to pull out, even in the friendly confines of Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles bring their amazing 5-5-1 record into this game against the Cardinals, who appear to have the NFC West locked up, despite their loss last weekend. The Eagles have seen more turmoil this past week than all other times of the Andy Reid-era combined. Donovan McNabb is the starter for this game, fresh off his benching last weekend against the Ravens. Everyone is calling for Andy Reid’s or Donovan McNabb’s respective head on a platter for dinner this Thanksgiving, and here at Kotite’s Corner, we have done our fair share of Andy Reid bashing.
The Eagles appear to have multiple problems on offense coming into this game. The offense is not going against a very good defense, so hopefully they can get back on track. This has to start with Donovan McNabb, who must get off to a good start this game. Part of any quarterback playing well involves having a rushing attack that is actually a threat to run the ball. This means that Westbrook, or whoever is in the game at running back must get the ball early to set the tempo. This should take some pressure off of McNabb and the play calling, as the Eagles can go to play action if they can run the ball early. Unfortunately, the receivers still have to get off the line, and catch the ball. The Eagles currently lead the league in dropped passes, and it seems like we lead the league in that category every year. Hopefully the offense can get on track early, and drive down the field to get some points on the opening drive, which should relieve some of the pressure on them.
The Eagles defense faces a very tough challenge from this Cardinals team, which is one of the best offensive teams in football. Cardinals QB, Kurt Warner, is have a resurgent season, and is an MVP candidate. It helps that he has maybe the two best receivers in the game in Anquan Boldin and former Pittsburgh Panther, Larry Fitzgerald. How good would one of them look in an Eagles uniform. They also have a very good 3rd wide receiver in Steve Breaston, and run the ball effectively on the goal line with rookie Tim Hightower. All of this creates a lot of problems for the Eagles defense. We believe the Eagles should match Asante Samuel on Larry Fitzgerald, and the more physical cornerback Sheldon Brown on the more physical receiver, Anquan Boldin. Once again, the Eagles will need to rely on a heavy pass rush to disrupt Kurt Warner. If Warner is given time, he will pick the Eagles secondary apart.
The Eagles will try to give Philadelphia fans everywhere a Happy Thanksgiving, and save their own jobs by getting a win and getting their record back over .500.