THE CARDINALS looked a bit sluggish and self-satisfied in their 23-20 victory over Minnesota on Dec. 10, but having last weekend off ought to have restored their fire. They have won seven in a row, and they've also won their last four road games. They've scored more points in road games (222) than any other team in the league.

The Eagles won at New England a couple of weeks ago, and if you can do that, theoretically you can do anything, but they just might need a couple of special-teams touchdowns and a pick-six, as they had against the Pats, to stay close to the Cards.

Carson Palmer doesn't get the ball out all that quickly; he likes to take long shots downfield, so maybe the pass rush can get something going for the Eagles. But this is a deep, balanced team that has a chance to set the franchise record for wins and lock up its first NFC West title since 2009.

Oh, and the Cards are 4-0 in prime time this season.

If the Eagles can find a way to win - wouldn't it be nice to see another big step forward for Sam Bradford? - they might force us to reevaluate who they are, but I'm pretty sure we already know who they are - a deeply flawed, middling team that hopes to limp to the finish line ahead of a couple of other deeply flawed, middling teams in a really dreadful division.

Prediction:

Cardinals 30, Eagles 20

- Les Bowen