Cardinals vs. Eagles: 6 Things We Learned from Arizona's 27-6 Win
In three straight weeks, the Arizona Cardinals have been pegged as the underdogs. As we near the end of Week 3, they are one of only three undefeated teams in the entire league.
This team has come a long way over the past 12 months, and it has taken the league by storm in 2012.
There was a lot of positive, and even still a bit of negative, that the Cardinals can take from this game.
Highlighted over the next few slides are the six things we learned from the Arizona Cardinals' Week 3 victory over the Eagles.
The Kolb Trade Is Not a Bust
Just to clarify: By no means am I saying that Kevin Kolb is the Cardinals' franchise quarterback. What is being said is that it is still too early to call this trade a bust.
As many of you know, Arizona sent Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick to the Eagles for Kolb.
Saying he struggled in his first year is an understatement. He played only half of 2011 before getting injured, and very few believe that he is the man for the job.
Fast forward to Week 3, and Kolb has led Arizona to three wins.
Kolb has had a nice string of games here, solidifying the fact that this trade should not yet be considered a bust.
Arizona Has a Top-10 Defense
Most Cardinals fans had already figured this out following the Week 1 victory over Seattle. That said, this team received zero credit heading into Week 2 and still had some doubters this week.
After completely dominating Philadelphia, however, you cannot ignore the numbers.
Through three games, Arizona has allowed just 40 points despite facing the likes of LeSean McCoy, Marshawn Lynch and Tom Brady.
It has also recorded 12 sacks on the year and did not allow a touchdown in Week 3. This is a great unit that will continue to thrive no matter how the offense performs.
There Is Hope in the Run Game
Despite a 2-0 start, the running game was virtually invisible during the opening two weeks. Both Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams struggled, and Arizona relied heavily on its defense to keep them in these games.
Early on in the contest, it looked like a lot of the same thing: a bunch of running plays with minimal gains.
During the second half, however, Ryan Williams really turned it up. He put together a few solid runs and finished the game with 83 yards on 13 carries (6.4 yards per carry).
There were some plays that broke down, but as the title reads, at least there is hope in the run game.
Larry Fitzgerald Is an Eagle Killer
One thing documented several times throughout the game was the success that Larry Fitzgerald has had against the Philadelphia Eagles in the past.
In three regular season games prior to today, Fitz had caught 17 passes for over 300 yards, reaching the end zone on five separate occasions.
Heading into today, he had just five receptions for 67 yards with no touchdowns. This had many fantasy owners panicking.
Fitzgerald would continue his dominance against the Eagles, though. The 29-year-old became the youngest player to 700 catches today, catching nine balls for 114 yards.
He also dummied Nnamdi Asomugha before catching his first touchdown pass of the year.
The Cardinals Are for Real
Following the Cardinals' upset over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, many fans and analysts called it a “fluke” game.
Every excuse possible was made for the Patriots, and it sounded like Arizona wasn’t even playing and that the Pats just beat themselves.
The Cardinals won that game by two, but made sure that there would be no “fluke” comments this week, winning by 21 points.
Arizona has proven that it can hang with and beat some of the league’s top teams. It is one of only three remaining undefeated teams.
Philadelphia Is Overrated
As featured columnist Shaun Church pointed out in an article a couple of months back, the Eagles are indeed one of the most overrated clubs in football.
There has been way too much hype surrounding this team ever since it signed the likes of Nnamdi Asomugha and Jason Babin in free agency. The only problem is, they haven’t even come close to living up to the hype.
Philadelphia is 10-9 since the beginning of last season, and it has been average so far in 2012.
After seeing the way it played over the past three weeks, it is almost laughable to think of it as a Super Bowl contender.
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