NFL Nation: first look eagles-cardinals
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
The Eagles and Cardinals won nine games apiece in the regular-season, but that doesn't matter anymore. They were at their best when they had to be.
The Eagles have to be feeling a ton of confidence, in part, because they destroyed the Cardinals at home on Thanksgiving. Defensive coordinator Jim Johnson will not let Larry Fitzgerald beat him. You will see him get jammed at the line of scrimmage and he'll be shaded over the top by Brian Dawkins or Quintin Mikell.
The Panthers allowed Kurt Warner too much time in the pocket. The Eagles will use safety blitzes to throw Warner off rhythm. The Eagles beat the Giants with a sub par game from Brian Westbrook. Donovan McNabb made clutch throws -- especially the one on third-and-20. Going 7 of 14 on third down was a big part of why the Eagles won.
The Cardinals have been a nice story, but the Eagles seem to be a team of destiny.
As Mikell told me after the game, "we're playing with house money."
The Cardinals aren't going to slow down the Eagles at this point. The Eagles will have to make a cross-country flight, but I think that angle is overrated. The Eagles can beat any team, anywhere right now. They've already beaten the Steelers and Cardinals. And they'd love a rematch with the Ravens.