By Hamish Girvan
Arizona Cardinals v Philadelphia Eagles – Monday 2.30pm
A key game for both teams in terms of playoffs the Arizona Cardinals have one of more understated head coaches in Bruce Arians – a long time assistant Arians finally got his break last year as a head coach when he took over the Cardinals – and although they had a number of injuries he made then competitive, which has set the platform for this season. More or less guaranteed a playoff spot they will be wanting home ground advantage and a bye so cannot afford to drop games. Led by veteran QB Carson Palmer they have a ferocious running game and an all-around solid defence. Arians has two NFL coach of the year awards already (one as an interim head coach) and the Cardinals have the potential to get him another award this year
The Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly came into the NFL with all the aura to be a coach of the year however he has struggled to adapt on a number of fronts. The NFL is a different beast from the college system Kelly came from. His theory of a spread offence has also not really clicked and he has certainly tried to pull together a team of those that understand and can play to his system at the expense of those who are solid NFL playmakers at other teams – LeSean McCoy now of the Buffalo Bills being a classic case. The NFC East is one of the worst division this season and everyone still has a shot, even though they all have losing records – three teams are on a 6 win 7 loss record and any of them could make it. Kelly will want to prove he can coach in the NFL so will be highly motivated
The Cardinals come into Philly as a road favourite however this game is more important for the Eagles than the birds from Arizona – expect a close one – Kelly could get closer than the 3.5 point start that they are giving.
Follow Hamish on Twitter