Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles
Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sunday, December 1, 2013, 1;00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox, NFL Sunday Ticket
Opening Line: Philadelphia -3 (-105)
Current Line: Philadelphia -3 (-125)
Opening Total: 48 1/2
Current Total: 48 1/2
Opening Money Line: Eagles -165 / Cardinals +140
Current Money Line: Eagles -170 / Cardinals +145
The 6-5 Philadelphia Eagles host the 7-4 Arizona Cardinals Sunday in a battle of NFC playoff contenders. The Eagles are a half game behind the 7-5 Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East. The Cowboys beat Oakland on Thursday. The Cardinals are tied with the San Francisco 49ers for the last wild card spot in the NFC playoffs, but San Francisco holds the tiebreaker because they beat Arizona earlier in the season. Both teams are 3 games behind the 10-1 Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. The 49ers host the St. Louis Rams and the Seahawks host the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.
Since 2001, Arizona leads the series against Philadelphia 5-3. The Cardinals have won 3 straight games in the series including 27-6 last year at home. The first game in that winning streak occurred in the 2009 NFC Championship game when the Cardinals beat the Eagles to advance to their first Super Bowl in franchise history. Before the NFL’s current realignment in 2002, these two teams were division rivals in the old NFC East.
Arizona is coached by Bruce Arians. The Cardinals have road losses at the St. Louis Rams 27-24, the New Orleans Saints 31-7, and the San Francisco 49ers 32-20, along with a home loss to the Seattle Seahawks 34-22. Arizona has home wins over the Detroit Lions 25-21, the Carolina Panthers 22-6, the Atlanta Flacons 27-13, the Houston Texans 27-24 and last week against the Indianapolis Colts 40-11, along with road wins at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-10 and Jacksonville Jaguars 27-14. The Cardinals have won 4 straight games. Arizona is 7-4 ATS and the total is 6-5 this season. The Cardinals were 3.5 point favorites at home against the Colts and the total was 44.5.
Arians was the interim coach for 9 games last season for the Colts while Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano underwent treatment for cancer. I guess it it safe to say he knew what Indianapolis was going to do. The Colts kicked a field goal late in the first quarter to make it 7-3 Cardinals. Arizona then scored 27 unanswered points over the second and third quarters to take a 34-3 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Colts scored a touchdown and converted for two early in the fourth to make it 34-11. They would not score again, but the Cardinals would add two more field goals to complete the rout 40-11. Indianapolis could only manage 239 total yards against the stifling Arizona defense including 159 passing yards. Arizona had 410 total yards including 290 passing yards. The Colts had the only turnover of the game. The two teams combined for 15 penalties for 173 yards.
Arizona is being outscored 23-20 this season. Arizona is #18 in scoring and #8 in points allowed. The Cardinals are averaging 334 yards per game including 245.3 passing and 88.7 rushing yards. Arizona is #24 in rushing. On defense, the Cardinals are allowing 317.1 total yards per game including 235.8 passing and 81.3 rushing yards. Arizona is #2 in rush defense and #8 in total defense. The Cardinals are +2 in turnovers. Arizona is 47/141 on third and fourth down conversions. Cardinal opponents are 63/167 on third and fourth down conversions. Arizona has forced 29 sacks and allowed 30 this season. Arizona has three defensive touchdown and has allowed one. The Cardinals average 47 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 62.
Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer has completed 63.3% of his passes for 2,887 yards with 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He has been sacked 30 times this season. Palmer is probable with a hand injury. Drew Stanton and Ryan Lindley are the back-ups but neither has taken a snap this season.
Rookie running back Andre Ellington has 73 carries for 441 yards and 2 touchdown, along with 28 catches, 247 yards and a touchdown. Ellington is questionable with a knee injury. Rashard Mendenhall has 130 carries, 391 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 15 catches for 112 yards. He missed some time with a toe injury and was supplanted as the feature back by Ellington. Stepfan Taylor and Alfonso Smith will also get some carries and catches. Smith has a rushing touchdown. He is probable with an ankle injury.
Receiver Michael Floyd has 49 catches for 761 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is probable with a shoulder injury. Larry Fitzgerald has 50 catches, 606 yards and 8 touchdowns. Andre Roberts has 31 catches for 320 yards and a touchdown. Rob Housler has 28 catches for 313 yards and a touchdown. Arizona has 16 players listed on the injury report including 4 linebackers and 3 defensive backs.
Philadelphia is coached by Chip Kelly. The Eagles have road wins at the Washington Redskins 33-27, New York Giants 36-21, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-20 Oakland Raiders 49-20 and at the Green Bay Packers 27-13. In their last game two weeks ago, the Eagles beat the Washington Redskins at home 24-16. The win snapped a 10 game home losing streak for the Eagles dating back to last season. The Eagles were on the bye last week and have won three straight games. Philadelphia has home losses to the San Diego Chargers 33-30, the Kansas City Chiefs 26-16, Dallas Cowboys 17-3, and against the New York Giants 15-7, along with a road loss at the Denver Broncos 52-20. Philadelphia is 6-5 ATS and the total is 6-5 this season. The Eagles were 4.5 point favorites against the Redskins and the total was 54.5.
The Eagles took a 24-0 lead against the Redskins going into the fourth quarter. The Redskins made it interesting by scoring two touchdowns and converting for two points twice to make it 24-16 with 5:57 left. Washington got the ball back at their own four yard line after a Philadelphia punt with 3:26 left. The Redskins drove to the Eagles’ 27 but quarterback Robert Griffin III threw an interception in the end zone to end any Washington hopes. The Redskins had 427 yards including 191 rushing yards. Philadelphia had 402 total yards including 276 passing yards. Washington had the only two turnovers of the game. The Eagles overcame 9 penalties for 68 yards.
Philadelphia is outscoring teams 25-24 this season. The Eagles are #8 in scoring and #16 in points allowed in the NFL. Philadelphia is averaging 412.5 yards per game on offense including 261.5 passing and 151 rushing yards. The Eagles are #4 in total offense, #2 in rushing and #9 in passing. On defense, Philadelphia is allowing 417.9 yards per game including 300.1 passing and 117.8 rushing yards. The Eagles are #31 in total defense and #32 against the pass. The run defense is #21 in the league. Philadelphia is +4 in turnovers. The Eagles are 61/156 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 71/177. Philadelphia has forced 24 sacks and allowed 30 this season. The Eagles have 2 defensive/special teams touchdowns and have allowed 4 this season. Philadelphia is averaging 58 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 65.
The Eagles have used three quarterbacks season, along with the Bills, Browns, Texans, Packers and Vikings. Michael Vick started the season at quarterback but injured his hamstring a few games into the season. Nick Foles started some games , but suffered a concussion in the Dallas game. Vick came back too soon from his hamstring injury, and had to be replaced by Matt Barkley, Barkley also replaced Foles in the Dallas game. Vick is questionable this week and Foles will start. Foles will remain the starter for the rest of the year. Foles has completed 63.6% of his passes for 1,554 yards with 16 touchdowns and no picks, along with 123 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. He has been sacked 12 times this season. Vick has completed 54.6% of his passes for 1,215 yards with 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, along with 34 carries for 308 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has been sacked 15 times this season. Barkley has thrown for 300 yards with 4 interceptions. He has been sacked 3 times this season.
Running back LeSean McCoy has 213 carries for 1,009 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 34 catches for 399 yards and a touchdown. Bryce Brown will also get some carries and catches. Chris Polk has a rushing touchdown.
Receiver DeSean Jackson has 58 catches for 985 yards and 7 touchdowns. Riley Cooper has 31 catches, 592 yards and 7 touchdowns. Jason Avant has 28 catches for 316 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Brent Celek has 19 catches for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns. Zach Ertz has 19 catches for 243 yards and a touchdown. Seven defensive players are listed on the injury report for the Eagles.
Arizona is 6-2 ATS in Week 13, 7-3 on grass, 2-5 after allowing less than 15 points, 1-4 after scoring more than 30 points, and after allowing less than 250 total yards, and 0-5 after a straight up win of 14 points or more. The over is 13-5 in this series recently, including 6-2 in Philadelphia. The Cardinals have covered four of the last five against the Eagles.
Philadelphia is 13-3 ATS in Week 13, 5-2 overall and against NFC teams, 10-4 after a bye week, 7-15-1 on grass, 6-13-1 after gaining more than 350 total yards, 4-10 after allowing more than 150 rushing yards, 3-9 after passing for more than 250 yards, 6-20-1 at home, 1-7-1 after allowing more than 350 total yards, 1-8-1 against teams with winning records, and 0-6-1 against teams with winning road records. The home team is 5-1 ATS in this series recently. The Eagles are 5-2 ATS in the last seven in Philadelphia against the Cardinals.
Philadelphia is still struggling on defense, but the offense is clicking under Foles. Arizona is a legitimate playoff contender largely thanks to a suffocating defense. It is no secret the Eagles struggle at home, but with home games against the Cards and Lions in the next two weeks they need to solve that issue in a hurry. I know the Cardinals have to travel to the East Coast for an early kick-off, but I think they pull off the upset on the road.