Eagles Understand Cards Boast Full Deck

The Philadelphia Eagles embarrassed the Cardinals on Thanksgiving night, dishing out a 48-20 defeat. The Cardinals are eager to prove the Turkey Day showdown was a fluke. From what the Eagles are saying, it sounds like the Cardinals have made believers out of Philadelphia too.

Philadelphia Eagles Coach Andy Reid understands the circumstances of the Cardinals and Eagles last meeting. The Cardinals were coming off a short week after hosting the New York Giants on Sunday in week 12. Four days later, the Cardinals were on the East Coast facing an Eagles team with a quarterback looking for vindication.

The week prior, Donovan McNabb was benched at the half due to a poor performance again the Baltimore Ravens. McNabb rebounded, and the Eagles mix between the run and pass made the offense click.

Nearly two months later, the NFC title is up for grabs and the Cardinals appear to have the advantage, home field that is.

"We know against this football team we're going to need every advantage we can get," Kurt Warner said, "and that's the benefit of playing at home that you'll have some of those advantages."

The Eagles have yet to face a crowd quite like the Cardinals fans who are grinning from ear-to-ear and yelling "we told you so" to whoever will listen.

"It's important now that we turn our focus to Arizona and what a great job they have done, really throughout the season and into the playoffs," Reid said. "Their coaching staff and players obviously have done a nice job."

The Cardinals have done a nice job. But at home, they've done an excellent job, falling just twice all season at University of Phoenix Stadium (Giants and Minnesota Vikings).

Arizona plans on not making that mistake again. Whether it's stopping the Cardinals emerging run game or establishing their own run, the Eagles are up for the challenge.

"I think they are banking on Edgerrin (James) more than what they were doing before," Reid said. "He might be healthier, I don't know what the situation was, but you are talking about one of the greats to play the running back position when he was with the Colts. And he is running hard and he's seeing things. That offensive line is doing a nice job for him. So, I think with that, they are utilizing the run a little bit more. Then they have another kid and he's pretty good too. So, they can take two shots at you there with two good running backs."

Reid explains his own team's ground game.

"Well, without getting into the details, we can run it a little better when we have an opportunity," Reid said. "I don't want to get into the details, but we have to be more efficient. We can do a better job schematically from a coaching standpoint, and then everybody else, the players, they have to each take that responsibility upon themselves."

The Cardinals definitely have plenty of defensive power to shutdown RB Brian Westbrook.

"They're playing well and they're playing fast on defense," McNabb said earlier this year. "It's going to be a challenge for us on the offensive side, obviously, in this situation of trying to kick-start what we started earlier in the year to where we are right now. To get things going with those guys by just making sure that we're making plays and moving the chains, it's going to be a challenge, but we're up for it."


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