Saturday, January 17, 2009
The Philadelphia Eagles will be playing the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium in the NFC Championship Game. The Eagles are favored in this game by four points. Personally, I think they will win by more than that. But let's break down these two teams.
The Eagles have a first class rusher in Brian Westbrook, but he is not 100%. Westbrook will most likely play in this game but maybe in a limited role. He may need the help of backup Correll Buckhalter. The Eagles need Westbrook to be more of a factor in this game than he was in the previous two playoff games.
The Cardinals have a aging Edgerrin James at running back, complemented by Tim Hightower. I am pretty sure the Eagles defense will have no problem with this running game (or lack there of). The Eagles have stopped the likes of Adrian Peterson and Brandon Jacobs. They should be able to keep James in check.
Donovan McNabb needs to have a great game for the Eagles to win. It is as simple as that. He has been playing superb in the last two playoff games. It was good news to hear that wideout Jason Avant will be playing tomorrow afternoon, after suffering an injury. Avant has been a key receiver on third downs. McNabb needs to run a lot a screens to Westbrook to keep the Arizona defense honest. I do think that tightend Brent Celek will have a big game on Sunday.
Arizona's passing game is one of the finest in the entire league. Kurt Warner is playing very well. Heck, it's not that hard when you have guys like Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald on your side. I notice that Warner has played very well only when he has had two great wideouts on his team. When he was in Saint Louis he had Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. Now he has Boldin and Fitz.
The Eagles defense is the reason that the Eagles keep coming back for more. They have kept the offense in the game. Just when it looks like the game may slip away, the defense comes up with a big stop or turnover to give the Eagles the momentum. Asante Samuel is absolutely on fire. He is the MVP of the Eagles playoff run so far. No doubt about it.
The Cardinals defense has been playing surprisingly well lately. The Eagles may have a little trouble with them. The Eagles played against two very good defenses in the first two rounds, so I think they will be able to handle these guys.
My Prediction: Eagles 35