Listen to play-by-play of the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania starting with pre-game at 8:00 PM Thursday night on 105.7 The Fan! (no streaming)
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
After clinching a playoff berth last week, the Arizona Cardinals can put the finishing touches on securing the NFC West title and potentially a first-round bye on Sunday night when they visit the Philadelphia Eagles. A seven-game winning streak has fueled the ascent of Arizona, which can claim its first division title in six years with either a win on Sunday or if second-place Seattle stumbles versus Cleveland.
“Somebody texted me, ‘Hey, you punched your ticket,'” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told reporters. “I said, ‘Yeah, we’re trying to upgrade to first class.'” Carson Palmer resides in the cockpit of the NFL’s top-ranked offense as the MVP candidate tossed a pair of scoring strikes to increase his season total to a franchise-best 31 in a 23-20 victory over Minnesota last week. Philadelphia has won two in a row to place itself in a three-way tie atop the less-than-impressive NFC East. “To start the year the way we did and kind of dig ourselves in a hole, it was unlikely that we would be in this position this late in the year,” quarterback Sam Bradford said.
ABOUT THE CARDINALS (11-2): John Brown, who is just 105 yards shy of his first 1,000-yard season, came up large both last week and in the previous meeting with Philadelphia. The 25-year-old reeled in a 65-yard touchdown pass versus the Vikings and also corralled a 75-yard score in the waning moments of a 24-20 victory over the Eagles last season. Michael Floyd, who has recorded four 100-yard performances in his last five contests, and Larry Fitzgerald could also be in for a big day against an Eagles defense that has yielded 21 touchdowns to wideouts this season.
ABOUT THE EAGLES (6-7): Last season’s rushing champion, DeMarco Murray, has played in just 39 snaps over the last two weeks, with 25 coming in Philadelphia’s 23-20 victory over Buffalo. “I’ve never been concerned with making any individual happy,” coach Chip Kelly said Thursday. “Our focus and goal is always on trying to win the football game. So anywhere I’ve ever been, I’ve never heard any coach ever discuss anything like that.” Murray’s team-leading 603 yards are a far cry from last season’s total (1,845) with Dallas, and the 27-year-old once again finds himself as part of a committee with Ryan Mathews and veteran Darren Sproles.
EXTRA POINTSREAD MORE: Maryland Weather: Alert Day, Severe Afternoon Thunderstorms
1. Philadelphia WR Jordan Matthews (back), who was limited to just 19 receiving yards last week, was a full participant in practice on Thursday.
2. Arizona CB Patrick Peterson (ankle) was limited in practice on Thursday while DEs Corey Redding (ankle) and Frostee Rucker (illness) were absent.
3. The Eagles’ 25 takeaways are second only to undefeated Carolina (33) for the most in the league.
LINE: Cardinals -3.5MORE NEWS: First Alert Forecast: Severe Thunderstorms May Move Into The Area Monday
PREDICTION: Arizona 26, Philadelphia 21