In week three the Arizona Cardinals (2-0) and Philadelphia Eagles (2-0) are in a battle of the between two teams that have not been beaten. I for one am extremely excited for this match-up and can’t wait for Sunday. Both teams are looking to stay on top of their respective divisions.
Arizona still has not announced their starting quarterback, but as I said earlier in the week Kevin Kolb will likely be the guy. Philadelphia will bring the dynamic playmaker Michael Vick into town hoping to put an end to all the hype surrounding the Cardinals. So, lets take a look at the probable starting lineups for both teams and highlight three players or coaches from each that will have the biggest impact on the game.
Quarterback: Kevin Kolb
Running back: Beanie Wells
Fullback: Anthony Sherman
Wide Receiver: Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts
Tight end: Jeff King
Offensive Line (from the left): D’Anthony Batiste, Daryn Colledge, Lyle Sendlein, Adam Snyder, Bobbie Massie
Quarterback- Michael Vick
Running Back-LeSean McCoy
Fullback- Stanley Havili
Wide Receiver- DeSean Jackson, Damaris Johnson
Tightend- Brent Celek
Offensive Line (From the left)- Demetress Bell, Evan Mathis, Dallas Reynolds, Danny Watkins, Todd Herremans
Key injuries: Jermey Maclin (out), King Dunlap (out)
Cardinals Defense (Base 3-4)
Defensive Line: DE Calais Campbell, DT Dan Williams, DE Darnell Dockett
Linebackers: OLB O’Brien Schofield, MLB Daryl Washington, MLB Paris Lenon, OLB Sam Acho
Secondary: CB Patrick Peterson, CB William Gay, SS Adrian Wilson, FS Kerry Rhodes
Eagles Defense (Base 4-3)
Defensive line- DE Jason Babin, DT Cullen Jenkins, DT Derek Landry, DE Trent Cole
Linebackers- WLB Akeem Jordan, MLB DeMeco Ryans, SLB Mychal Kendricks
Defensive backs- CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB Nnamdi Asomugha, SS Nate Allen, FS Kurt Coleman
Key players for the Cardinals
Whether Kevin Kolb or John Skelton starts this game they will be very important. Both may struggle against cornerbacks Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha. Kolb will be cautious at first because he does not want to get behind early, but he will need to throw the ball all over the field to have a chance at tripping up this fast Eagles defense. The key is to hold onto the ball as long as possible giving the defense a chance to rest. If Kolb starts he will need to play his game. He needs to play with intensity, but not let the fact that the Eagles traded him away bother him too much.
Defense will be the key for the Cardinals in this game, as it was in week one and two. So, the next key player also happens to be the reigning NFC defensive player of the week. Calais Campbell will have to continue his excellent play in week three and make Michael Vick as uncomfortable in the pocket as possible. Vick has thrown six interceptions in the first two games of the season.
For the second week in a row Patrick Peterson makes the top three. He had an interception against Tom Brady last week. However, Vick throws the ball back to the other team like he caught a home run from the visiting team. Peterson should be excited to play against Vick. I look for Peterson to “go off” in this game and really make a difference, even more so than he has in the first two games of the season.
Key Players for the Eagles
For the Eagles to win this week you would think that Michael Vick would have to take care of the football, right? Apparently that is wrong. There is no way the Eagles should have won a game after Michael Vick threw four interceptions, but they did. Vick is an anomaly. He is on a mission this year. That mission is to get to the Super Bowl at all costs.
There is no doubt in my mind that Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid is better than the Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt. That’s why Reid is on the list this week. He may not be a player, but he is the most important person on the field week after week. The man is absolutely brilliant and has been doing more with less since he joined the Eagles organization.
Finally on the defensive side of the ball, former Cardinals Cornerback, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has two interception in his first two games this season. He is on track to shatter his personal best with 16 interceptions. He won’t get to 16, or close, but I bet you he has a career year this year. He is part of an Eagle defense that has been on the field a lot and has beaten every challenge the opposing team has thrown at them.
There are your key players for Sunday’s game. The Eagles have the advantage on offense and the defenses are too close to call. This year, so far, I have picked the Cardinals to lose every game this year and this week will be no different. I’m just hoping the Cardinals can once again prove me wrong. As always, the cards have been dealt. Who will have the better hand?
Prediction: Arizona 24, Philadelphia 27