Week 13 for the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals signifies a matchup of teams that are impressing many these days with both their overall play and achievement. They were projected to be bottom-of-the-division teams fighting to improve, yet unready to make an impact. Now, surprise, both have come into their own much sooner than expected and are making noise in their respective divisions.
Under new head coach Chip Kelly and defensive coordinator Billy Davis, the Eagles look different and effective on both sides of the ball. It took a while for the potent offense to find its stride, but now they seem to be working consistently on all cylinders. The defensive production has been the biggest addition for the team. Beginning the season, they were expected to be severely subpar, but after a short learning curve, they have created a supportive piece to pair with the offense, making the Eagles a viable option in a weak NFC East division.
The Cardinals, also under a new head coach, have taken the NFC West by storm sitting tied in second place with last year’s Super Bowl participant, the San Francisco 49ers. They are still in the chase trying to catch the Seattle Seahawks for the division lead, but in the meantime have done well setting themselves up for a Wild Card spot. The more consistent play of Carson Palmer has really provided some stability and an opportunity for the offense to make the most of its abilities. Paired with a superb run defense, the Cardinals have become the talk of the league with their play.
Each team needs to continue to roll which makes this weekend’s matchup that much more intriguing. The Cardinals have won the last three meetings between the teams, but if the Eagles have any plans on making a run at the division, they’ll need to snatch a victory at home to keep up with the Dallas Cowboys and really make a statement that they’re ready for the pressure and challenges that come along with an end-of-the-season run toward the playoffs.