Week 3: Arizona Cardinals Vs. Philadelphia Eagles
- QuarterbackThe Cardinals earned full marks for having the moxie to travel to Foxboro and come up with a victory in what may be the toughest place for any visitor to play. Kevin Kolb is a much-maligned quarterback but he has led the Cardinals to wins in their first two games and he is playing for respect.Michael Vick has not been shy at the start of the season. The Eagles are 2-0 with a pair of one-point victories over the Browns and Ravens. Beating Baltimore showed the Eagles great heart. Vick threw for 371 yards and a touchdown. He also threw two picks, and has six for the young season.
- OffenseThe Cardinals have perhaps the No. 2 wide receiver in the NFL. Larry Fitzgerald is fast, explosive, runs great routes and is dependable. Beanie Wells is not a star but he is a dependable running back. Todd Heap is the Cardinals’ go-to guy on third-and short.The Eagles have a slew of great offensive weapons on their side. The best may be running back LeSean McCoy who can run inside, outside and catch passes. The Eagles wideouts can go downfield and get it while tight end Brent Celek is dependable and athletic.
- DefenseDefensive end Calais Campbell may be the most underrated player in football. He is a superstar who registered two sacks of Tom Brady and he must be accounted for on every play. Linebacker Darryl Washington is a tackling machine (13 stops vs. New England).The Eagles struggled to contain the Baltimore offense, but they did keep battling for 60 minutes. Free safety Nate Allen is an instinctive player and a good tackler. Linebacker DeMeco Ryans is the heart and soul of the Philadelphia defense.
- Special TeamsThe Cardinals were beneficiaries of a gaffe by New England placekicker Stephen Gostkowski. Could Campbell’s reputation as a kick blocker have led to the shank? Patrick Peterson and LaRod Stephens-Howling are always threats to break big returns.The Eagles are ordinary at special teams play. Alex Henery is decent but should the Eagles really have let David Akers go a couple of years ago? Chas Henry was quite ordinary against the Ravens, averaging 39.2 yards per punt.
The Eagles have not been anywhere near their best through the first two weeks of the season, but they are still 2-0. They have to watch their tendency to turn the ball over or the Cardinals will jump on them. The win at New England was a huge confidence booster for Ken Whisenhunt’s team.