The Philadelphia Eagles will carry a two game winning streak into Sunday Night Football for their game against the Arizona Cardinals. Despite a losing record at 6-7, the Eagles remain in a three-way tie for first place in the NFC East. The point spread is currently favoring the Cardinals at -3.5.
Sunday Night Football: Arizona Cardinals vs. Philadephia Eagles
Point Spread: Cardinals -3.5 Over/under: 50 Date: Sunday, December 20, 8:30pm ET Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
The Cardinals offense is scoring a league best 31.2 points per game, which makes them -3.5 favorites when matched against an Eagles offense that is allowing a bottom-of-the-league 24.8 points per game on defense. With Carson Palmer a top candidate for Comeback Player of the Year, it’s hard to envision Arizona’s offense being slowed with all three top receivers, Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and Michael Floyd, healthy and getting better as the season wears on.
Arizona’s defense could give Philadelphia’s inconsistent offense fits. The Cardinals are giving up just 87 yards per game rushing, making the Eagles bread and butter, their running game, likely to have a difficult day. If they can contain Ryan Matthews, Darren Sproles and DeMarco Murray, they can let a strong Arizona secondary blanket the Eagles, who lack a true number one receiver. A team as complete as the Cardinals appear to be right now, it’s hard to believe they’re only favored by -3.5.
With a win each week meaning more in the playoff picture that continues to take shape, Philadelphia’s offense needs to get hot and be consistent. The verdict is still out on Sam Bradford, who has flashes of being a competent quarterback, but turns the ball over a lot. Head coach Chip Kelly loves to use a stable of running backs, but could be forced to rely on Bradford if Arizona is able to stop the run. Without the ability to run, the Eagles could find themselves behind in a hurry.
The Eagles defense needs to have one of its best games of the season if they hope to win. A suspect run defense that is allowing 126 yards per game can relax a bit knowing Chris Johnson is unavailable due to injury, but needs to find a way to contain an air attack that is averaging nearly 300 yards passing each game. Palmer is one of the least sacked quarterbacks in the league. The Eagles will need to change that this week in order to slow down the passing game enough to get the win.
Sunday Night Football Prediction
The Cardinals are the most explosive offense in the league right now, making a game against the enigma that is the Philadelphia Eagles seem like an easy win. But it’s hard to go into Lincoln Financial Field and get a win in prime time, no less. Expect the environment to be harsh, but when all is said and done, Arizona will have their 12th win of the season.