Week 3: This has all the makings of a trap game for the Eagles. They just came off an emotional win over the Ravens and have an NFC East tilt against the New York Giants next on the horizon. It would be easy to overlook a Cardinals team that is a dubious 2-0 with a quarterback that looks like red meat. But Arizona is coming off an unexpected victory of its own – winning at the Patriots. The Cardinals won on the strength of a stout defense that flummoxed Tom Brady and the New England offense. Kevin Kolb, meanwhile, did what he had to do and that was manage the offense without committing too many turnovers (he had one fumble).
The same formula could work this week against the Eagles, but I don’t see it. If the Birds offense can limit its turnovers to, say, just two, they should have enough firepower to score more than the Cards. If they deliver a turnover-free effort, the Eagles could win going away. That being said, there are reasons to worry. The offensive line is hurting. Center Dallas Reynolds and left tackle Demetress Bell will have their struggles, as will running back LeSean McCoy as a result. No Jeremy Maclin (and its starting to look that way) will put additional pressure on DeSean Jackson.
Even if the Eagles can’t score more than 20, I don’t think the Cardinals have the offensive muscle to score more than that. The running game is anemic. If they couldn’t find holes last season against the Eagles’ leaky front seven, what chance does Beanie Wells have with DeMeco Ryans now at middle linebacker? Larry Fitzgerald is the X factor. He’ll get open. The question is: will Kolb be able to get him the ball? I don’t think he’ll have much time even if the Cardinals protect him with quick throws. Kolb is in the crosshairs. He’ll get sacked at least four times. Eagles 20, Cardinals 13.