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Arizona Cardinals Face Huge Test Vs. Philadelphia Eagles

October 25th, 2014 at 7:23 AM
By Steve Smith

The 5-1 Arizona Cardinals will face their sternest test of the 2014 NFL campaign when they host the 5-1 Philadelphia Eagles Sunday afternoon at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

The Cardinals are listed as 2.5 point favorites.

The Red Birds have had some nice wins against quality opponents this season – at home vs. the 49ers and Chargers – but a victory on Sunday against Philly would show the world that the Cards are for real.

The Eagles lead the NFC in scoring (30.5 PPG) and have a plethora of weapons in LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin and Darren Sproles. However, the key to their fine start has been their special teams – they rank first in kickoff and punt returns, having returned one of each for a TD this season. This is where Sproles in especially dangerous.

Philadelphia will try and gain control behind McCoy, Sproles and quarterback Nick Foles. Foles (10 TD passes, seven interceptions) has been a little shaky this season but he does have a premier receiver to throw to in Maclin (28 receptions for 456 yards and four touchdowns).

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Arizona Cardinals Hope Calais Campbell Can Play Sunday Vs. Philadelphia Eagles

October 23rd, 2014 at 4:49 PM
By Steve Smith

The Arizona Cardinals have a huge game on Sunday in Glendale against the Philadelphia Eagles, and they'd like to have Calais Campbell back in their lineup.

The defensive end is recovering from a strained right MCL that he suffered on Oct. 5 against the Denver Broncos. Campbell will need to participate in a practice before playing against the Eagles is a possibility.

“I’ve got my fingers crossed,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said via espn.com about Campbell practicing later this week. “But he’s making good progress. “There’s a big difference between jogging and running around a hoop, and taking on guys 300 pounds and pushing on him.”

That's for sure.

Campbell has recorded 16 tackles with a sack and an interception so far this season.

**Elsewhere, halfback Andre Ellington (foot), wide receiver John Brown (ankle), and safety Rashad Johnson (knee) were all limited in practice but expected to play on Sunday.

Ellington has been dealing with his injury all season long and will start after his 24-carry performance against the Raiders last Sunday. Expect Stepfan Taylor to get a minor share of the carries – he scored two touchdowns against the Raiders.

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Kareem Martin Aiding Arizona Cardinals’ Defensive Corps

October 23rd, 2014 at 5:26 AM
By Steve Smith

The Arizona Cardinals like what they see in rookie defensive end Kareem Martin so far.

The University of North Carolina product has a world of potential and should bolster Arizona's pass rush as the 2014 regular season moves along. The talent is apparent, but he needs some more seasoning, much like most rookies do.

So far, Martin has seven tackles on the season, including two in Arizona's 24-13 victory over Oakland last Sunday. He also has a pass defended to his name.

Let's take an updated look at his overall profile via nfl.com:

Strengths Strong and has very long arms. Good eyes and recognition — senses screens, locates the ball, and understands contain. Strong-handed to punch and extend. Good short-area burst. Uses his length to force his way into gaps. Flashes power potential. Nice closing speed. Wrap tackler. Football smart. Durable three-year starter. Solid personal and football character with leadership traits. Showed explosion at the combine, recording a 10-foot, 9-inch broad jump (best among defensive linemen) and a 35 1/2-inch vertical jump.

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The Arizona Cardinals Love Rookie Quarterback Logan Thomas’ Strong Arm

October 22nd, 2014 at 4:48 AM
By Steve Smith

Rookie signal-caller Logan Thomas of the Arizona Cardinals is currently third on the Arizona Cardinals' depth chart behind Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton. That makes sense – as a rookie, he needs to learn the ropes in the NFL.

The Virginia Tech product has completed just one pass in his NFL career, just one, but it was a thing of beauty – an 81-yard scoring strike to halfback Andre Ellington against the Broncos.

The Red Birds love his potential and cannon of a right arm.

Let's take a look at his updated scouting profile via our friends at nfl.com:

Strengths Outstanding size, stature and strength — towers over the line, has natural throwing lanes from the pocket and is able to make plays in the grasp. Athletic — can climb the pocket, escape and run for the sticks. Load to bring down. Generates easy velocity with a quick, compact release and can make all the throws. Is very competitive and will sell out to make a play. Has upside. Tough and durable — started 40 consecutive games. Vocal leader. Was the only quarterback to crack a ball speed of 60 mph on the radar gun at the combine and can flat-out rip it.

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Takeaways from Arizona Cardinals’ Triumph Over Oakland Raiders

October 21st, 2014 at 6:30 AM
By Steve Smith

It was not a thing of beauty, but the Arizona Cardinals don't care.

The Red Birds recorded a 24-13 victory over the winless Oakland Raiders on Sunday and although it was not a game for the time capsule, a win is a win is a win in the NFL. All that counts is that you claim victory and move on.

Ask any coach.

Here are some takeaways from the game that lifted Arizona's slate to 5-1 and maintained the Cardinals' sole possession of first place in the NFC West.

1. Workhorse Andre - The question that always surrounds talented halfback Andre Ellington is whether he is durable enough to carry a large workload. Well, on Sunday he had his most carries (24) of the season to date and the University of Clemson product responded with 88 rushing yards. He also tacked on six receptions for 72 yards.

While Ellington was doing most of the work, Stepfan Taylor grabbed a pair of touchdowns in the red zone. Ellington has been playing through a foot injury all season and now has sore ribs following the Raiders contest. He is still the number one running back, but don't be surprised if Taylor exceeds his 12 carries this week against Philadelphia.

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