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Eagles-Cardinals scouting report

Recent history: The Cardinals defeated the Eagles last Nov. 13 at the Linc, 21-17, and lead the all-time series, 56-54-5.

Michael Vick has engineered back-to-back, fourth-quarter comebacks. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Michael Vick has engineered back-to-back, fourth-quarter comebacks. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)Read more

Recent history: The Cardinals defeated the Eagles last Nov. 13 at the Linc, 21-17, and lead the all-time series, 56-54-5.

OFFENSE

Eagles: 471 yards per game (1st)

Cardinals: 249 yards per game (3oth)

QUARTERBACK

Eagles: Michael Vick has engineered back-to-back, fourth-quarter comebacks. But one of the reasons those comebacks have been necessary is because he's thrown a league-high six interceptions in 88 attempts. The Ravens only blitzed Vick nine times, and he handled it pretty well. Arizona likely will blitz him much more.

Cardinals: John Skelton beat out Kevin Kolb for the starting job in the preseason, but suffered an ankle injury in Week 1. Kolb has put together two pretty solid outings. His numbers - 5.89 yards per attempt, two TD passes - aren't great. But he hasn't thrown an interception in 35 attempts.

Pick: Even

RUNNING BACK

Eagles: The injuries to the offensive line are starting to have a ripple effect on LeSean McCoy. He averaged just 3.2 yards per carry vs. the Ravens. With All-Pro LT Jason Peters out, the lion's share of McCoy's runs have been to the right side. Seventy of his 81 rushing yards last week were on runs to the right side.

Cardinals: The Cardinals' run game hasn't been very productive. Beanie Wells is averaging 2.8 yards per carry and Ryan Williams 1.2. They combined for just 57 yards on 24 carries last week vs. Patriots. Third-down back LaRod Stephens-Howling is an underrated player who is dangerous in space on screen passes and draws.

Pick: Eagles

RECEIVING

Eagles: The Eagles use two-tight end sets about a third of the time, and could use them more due to injuries to C Jason Kelce and WR Jeremy Maclin. Tight end Brent Celek already has been targeted 19 times and has a team-high 12 catches. No. 2 TE Clay Harbor had a key, 19-yard reception on the game-winning drive vs. the Ravens.

Cardinals: Larry Fitzgerald killed the Eagles last season, catching seven passes for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Cardinals' victory. Through two games, though, he's got just five catches for 67 yards. Kevin Kolb likes to throw to his tight end, Todd Heap, who was targeted nine times (5 catches) vs. Patriots.

Pick: Eagles

OFFENSIVE LINE

Eagles: C Dallas Reynolds is facing a huge challenge in his first NFL start. The Cardinals like to bring a lot of pressure up the middle. LT Demetress Bell, who lost his starting job after the first preseason game, finally seems to be getting the hang of Howard Mudd's blocking technique. He is expected to start.

Cardinals: Their three interior guys - G's Daryn Colledge and Adam Snyder and C Lyle Sendlein - are the strength of this unit. None of them is a Pro Bowler, but they're decent players. Arizona is vulnerable at the tackle spots. LT D'Anthony Batiste has made just six starts in seven NFL seasons, only two at LT.

Pick: Even

DEFENSE

Eagles: 267.5 yards per game (4th)

Cardinals: 320.5 yards per game (13th)

DEFENSIVE LINE

Eagles: Rookie DT Fletcher Cox played 51 of 65 snaps against the Ravens last week and was on the field for the fourth-quarter defensive stand. Jim Washburn's unit has just four sacks in the first two games, but has been getting consistent pressure on the quarterback. DEs Jason Babin and Trent Cole have a combined 21 hurries.

Cardinals: Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett are one of the best 3-4 d-end tandems in the league. Unlike many 3-4 ends, they aren't just block-occupiers. Both are playmakers and they have been dominant in the first two games. The 6-8 Campbell gives blockers a lot of problems because of his size. He batted down nine passes last season.

Pick: Eagles

LINEBACKER

Eagles: MLB DeMeco Ryans has been everything the Eagles hoped he'd be in the first two games. He has a team-high 18 tackles, including five for losses, and had an interception and sack vs. Baltimore. Rookie SLB Mychal Kendricks has done a nice job setting the edge against the run and covering tight ends and running backs.

Cardinals: This is a fast, athletic unit. WILB Daryl Washington is the best of the bunch. He's fast and never comes out of the game. He's an excellent blitzer and is also very good in coverage. Thirty-four-year-old SILB Paris Lanon is a smart, steady guy. ROLB Sam Acho is a very good pass-rusher who had seven sacks as a rookie.

Pick: Even

SECONDARY

Eagles: The Eagles already have five interceptions and have held their first two opponents to a .442 completion percentage and 35.1 passer rating. Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie both are excellent press corners. Asomugha and rookie Brandon Boykin held Ravens WR Anquan Boldin to two catches for 7 yards.

Cardinals: Patrick Peterson has the skills to be an elite corner. The other starting corner, William Gay, is a solid player who moves inside in nickel. Rookie fourth-round pick Jamell Fleming replaces him outside. Kerry Rhodes and Adrian Wilson are a formidable safety tandem.

Pick: Eagles

SPECIAL TEAMS

Eagles: P Chas Henry continues to have bouts of inconsistency. He averaged 55 yards per attempt in Week 1, then had two dud punts last week. Opponents have returned nine of his 11 kicks. The Eagles' coverage teams have been inconsistent. They are 24th in punt coverage and 27th in kickoff coverage.

Cardinals: Cardinals have two very good returners. PR Patrick Peterson returned four punts for TDs last year and KR LaRod Stephens-Howling has three career TD returns. Cardinals had five blocks last year and already have two this year. The kickoff-coverage (32nd) and punt-coverage (25th) teams have been poor.

Pick: Cardinals

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KEY MATCHUPS

1. Eagles RDE Trent Cole vs. Cardinals LT D'Anthony Batiste: Cole should have his way with Batiste, a journeyman with just six career starts and only two at tackle. Advantage: Eagles

2. Eagles RCB Nnamdi Asomugha vs. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald: Asomugha and Fitzgerald are two of the best at their respective positions. Fitzgerald had 146 receiving yards and two touchdowns against the Eagles last year. Advantage: Cardinals

3. Eagles Gs Evan Mathis and Danny Watkins vs. Cardinals DEs Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett: Campbell and Dockett are a formidable 3-4 d-end pair. Watkins has not played particularly well in the first two games. Advantage: Cardinals

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HOT AND NOT

Hot

Eagles: TE Brent Celek. Had eight catches for a career-high 157 yards against Baltimore.

Cardinals: DE Calais Campbell. Had 10 tackles, two sacks, two tackles for losses and three hurries in Cards' upset of the Patriots.

Not

Eagles: RB LeSean McCoy. Had his second lost fumble in as many games and averaged just 2.6 yards per carry in the second half vs. Ravens.

Cardinals: RB Beanie Wells. Has rushed for just 58 yards in the first two games and is averaging 2.8 yards per carry.

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DOMO'S PREDICTION: CARDINALS 13, EAGLES 10