Michael Vick and the 2-0 Philadelphia Eagles will have their talons out when they arrive in Glendale, Arizona, to do battle with the similarly undefeated Arizona Cardinals and former Vick understudy Kevin Kolb. Where do we place this game in our NFL picks portfolio?
Vick-led Philadelphia Eagles have jumped out to a 2-0 record after a dismal
2011 season, but have had to come from behind in both wins over the rebuilding
Cleveland Browns and the always stout Baltimore Ravens.
erratic and mistake-prone against Cleveland, but despite his throwing four picks,
the Eagles were able to salvage a 17-16 victory in the waning moments. Last week Vick launched early and often once
again, but the results were better as he tossed two interceptions but lit up the
Ravens for 371 yards passing with one TD strike and a goal line jaunt into the
endzone. While Vick has been shaky,
running back LeSean McCoy has come out of the gates ready to rumble, averaging
4.2 yards per carry with a touchdown and eight receptions. The receiving corps has been sound with tight
end Brent Celek leading the way with twelve catches followed by DeSean Jackson
(11), and Jeremy Maclin with eight catches and two TD’s.
Eagles are second in the league in passing yards, their aerial assault
has been riddled with indecision and turnovers. Their defense, however, has contained the pass and been solid stopping
the run. Philadelphia has five
interceptions and four sacks on the young season; defense is a big reason
why this undefeated squad is not 0-2 headed into Arizona.
NFL odds makers currently have the Eagles listed as -4 road favorites. The total has dropped slightly to 43.5.
their 2-0 record and a monumental win over the Patriots last week as 14 point
underdogs, most NFL fans - except, that is, for those in the greater Phoenix area - don't believe this team is for real. There are few, however, who wouldn't concede that this year's team is vastly improved over last season's.
has taken the reins after opening day starter John Skelton got injured, and he
has been serviceable if unspectacular. Most importantly, he's played error-free football,
completing 60% of his passes and throwing no interceptions. Although the offense has been underwhelming - the
Cards rank 30th in passing and 28th on the
ground - the defense has risen to the occasion. Paris Lenon, Daryl Washington
and Calais Campbell have been making it happen down low while Adrian Wilson and
Patrick Peterson have been solid in the secondary.
selection boils down to what you believe the Cardinals are all about and
whether or not the Philadelphia Eagles are just a very good team getting off to
a sluggish start despite their two victories or perhaps they have simply gotten
If you match
up the offenses, then the logical choice would be the potentially explosive
juggernaut that is Philadelphia. An offense comprised of Michael
Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin is undoubtedly a force
to be reckoned with - that is, when Vick is playing up to his potential. Factor in tight end Brent Celek, who leads all
receivers with twelve catches, and the Cardinals will have their hands
full. Kevin Kolb just does not have an arsenal at his disposal to compete, but what he does have is an offense that
does not turn the ball over, which is perhaps the only facet on the offensive
side of the ball where the Cardinals have a decided edge.
Defensively, the Eagles match up favorably with Arizona. Furthermore, having defended against the pass well so far this season may force the Cards to run the
ball. How are
Beanie Wells and his a 2.8 yards per carry average and Ryan
Williams (1.2 yards/ carry) supposed to chew up ground and clock at the same
time? The bottom line is they won’t, which
is why Kolb is going to have to take to the air.
The Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last five road
games against teams with a winning record; however, the home team has covered in
four of the last five meetings between these two teams.
Pick: If Vick limits his mistakes, this
could get ugly early as the Eagles -4 is the play here.