Through the first five weeks of this season, Riley Cooper looked like he was playing in the wrong league. He managed to scrape together eight catches for 93 yards in that span, looking completely talentless in the process. It turns out he was just playing with the wrong quarterback, however, because things changed very quickly when Nick Foles took over for Michael Vick.
Foles and Cooper seemed to click instantly, hooking up for 120 yards and a touchdown in Foles’ first start, and they’ve been great together ever since. Aside from his 3-37 line against the Washington Redskins a couple weeks ago, Cooper has at least 88 yards in every other game Foles has started this season with a combined six touchdowns in those games as well. Coming off their bye week, they’ll look to get it going again when they take on the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Arizona has one of the toughest, stingiest defenses in the league, so the matchup is far from favourable. Still, Cooper should benefit from Patrick Peterson shadowing DeSean Jackson for most of the afternoon. Peterson has done an excellent job of shutting down the opposing teams’ best wideouts this season, so Jackson has his work cut out for him.
It’s entirely possible that he’ll be able to break free a few times because of his incredible speed, but he’ll probably be bottled up for most of this game otherwise. That should leave plenty of field and extra opportunities for Cooper to work with, giving him a strong chance of a very solid game.
Though the matchup is daunting, Cooper is in a position to step up and make big plays this week. Since he clearly already has the trust of his quarterback, he’ll be targeted heavily and I fully expect him to make the most of the opportunities.