NFL: Arizona at Philadelphia (8:15 PM ET, NFL Network)

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NFL: Arizona at Philadelphia (8:15 PM ET, NFL Network)


2008-11-27

Limping into Thanksgiving after losing by 29 points in Baltimore and enduring the embarrassment of tying lowly Cincinnati, Philadelphia now has to pull itself together and slow down a former NFC East rival in Arizona. Coming up on the losing end would finish off any playoff hopes for the second straight season. The Eagles may have to lean on their defense, or hope QB Donovan McNabb, benched for the second half at Baltimore, returns to his earlier form. With all of the issues in Philly, bettors may be surprised to see HC Andy Reid's team as a 3-point favorite.

It's a shame most folks do not have the NFL Network, since the Cardinals possess a high-flying offense that boasts an MVP candidate in Kurt Warner, who's on pace to throw for more than 5,000 yards. Warner's already at 3,506 yards and has thrown 21 touchdowns, including 11 to Anquan Boldin and six to Larry Fitzgerald. He has recorded seven 300-yard passing games, including five in a row. This group is #3 in the NFL in scoring at 28.9 points per game. Despite the offense, the Redbirds have to overcome being 9-20 ATS as road dogs after SU and cover defeat.

Although he has struggled to get going since taking over the starting job in Week 9, running back Tim Hightower has been punishing in short-yardage and goal-line situations. He scored twice in last week's 37-29 loss to the New York Giants and has nine touchdowns in 106 attempts.

For all the acclaim the offense receives, Arizona has been effective in slowing down the run. Led by linebackers Karlos Dansby and Gerald Hayes, the squad has allowed fewer than 90 yards rushing per game and eight rushing touchdowns. The Cardinals are in potentially tough spot against a burdened opponent off a loss and they scored less than 22 points, with 6-20 ATS record.

The aforementioned 13-13 tie put the Eagles in a corner and has forced head coach Andy Reid's team to win in hostile environments like New York and Washington. The last time Philadelphia was at Lincoln Financial Field it allowed an astounding 401 total yards to the Giants, 219 of which were on the ground.

McNabb may lead one of the league's top passing attacks (255 yards per game) but he was benched last week after coughing up the ball three times in the first half. McNabb completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes against the Giants, Bengals and Ravens and has cooled off since the Week 7 bye. Coach Andy Reid has said McNabb would start, yet one has to wonder if that is byproduct of short week rather than preference. Philadelphia is 8-3 ATS since 2003 after scoring 10 or less points.

Rookie wideout DeSean Jackson has been a nice addition with a team-leading 47 receptions for 699 yards but has only one touchdown catch. Throw in the fact that no other receiver has more than 30 receptions, and you see why the team has been in a rut. Even Brian Westbrook (34 grabs) has been stymied, for a team that is 0-7 ATS off consecutive road games.

The NFL Network will have this NFC contest for everyone who is stuffed and had their nap starting at 8:15 Eastern.

Thanksgiving Desert Angle- If both teams were underdogs in last game, the home teams is 7-3 ATS and the UNDER is 7-3.


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