Each week I try to sit down with a blogger from the opposing team and take a closer look at the upcoming matchup for the week. This time around, I was lucky enough to speak with Scott Allen of RaisingZona.com about the upcoming game with the Cardinals.
Right off the bat I have to ask him about his thoughts on Kevin Kolb. I also ask him about how rookie Patrick Peterson has played so far this year, a player a lot of Eagles fans were very high on. After looking at some individual players, we look more at the matchup and we find out that Scott doesn’t have a whole lot of confidence in his Cardinals. In the end, his final score prediction reflects this.
BirdsFan: I have to ask you about Kevin Kolb. Were you supportive of the Cardinals making the move for him? What are your thoughts about Kolb now?
RaisingZona: Absolutely supportive and still am. He’s better than what we had last season and needs to be given time to get it right. I keep preaching patience. I’ve always said that it could take a full season or more before he gets completely comfortable here.
BF: I haven’t seen much of Patrick Peterson this season. How would you evaluate his play so far this season? Has he lived up to the hype?
RZ: I would say as a cornerback, he plays like a rookie most of the time. Gets burned a lot. He will improve. He got an interception this past week against the Rams. As for Patrick Peterson the punt returner, he’s better than advertised. So much speed, so much agility. Great vertical balance. Team’s had better learn to stop punting to him. Then again, teams still punt to Devin Hester too. Enough said.
BF: Win or loss, just about every single game the Cardinals have played has finished close. Keeping that in mind, do you think the Cardinals are better than their 2-6 record or do you believe it fits them pretty well?
RZ: They are a 2-6 team, but not a bad 2-6 team. They are a 2-6 team that could easily be 6-2, 7-1, or 0-8. They lost to Washington by 1 point after leading by 8 in the fourth quarter. Lost by 4 to the Giants 31-27 after leading by 10 with five minutes left in the game. Lost to the Seahawks by 3 after having a 10-3 lead. Lost to Baltimore by 3 after leading by 21. That’s a team that doesn’t know how to close it out. On the flip side, they could have easily lost both the games they won, so if just a couple of those losses swing the other way, I think people look at these Cards in a much different light, even with the same stats.
BF: Michael Vick has been very much up and down this season. What are your thoughts about Vick and where do you rank him among other quarterbacks in the NFL?
RZ: I thought Vick surprised me last season and thought maybe he had turned a corner and becoming a premier QB in the NFL. He is still a premier athlete, however I think he’s not as good as he was last year and not as bad as he was in Atlanta as far as quarterbacks go. He somewhere in between. I think I would rank him in the middle of the pack right now.
BF: On Sunday, where will the Cardinals have an advantage on offense? On defense?
RZ: Cards will have an advantage only if the Eagles get locked in their locker room and can’t come out to the field for the game. Seriously, I think the Cards really have no advantages. Despite the 3-5 record I still think the Eagles are the far superior team overall. With the exception of Larry Fitzgerald, I think the Eagles are better at every position, although their secondary isn’t as strong as I believed. Still better than Arizona’s right now.
BF: Where will the Eagles have an advantage on offense? On defense?
RZ: Everywhere. Quarterback, running back, their defensive line vs the Cards offensive line.
BF: What player could be a potential x-factor for the Cardinals on Sunday?
RZ: The punter, Dave Zastudil. Maybe the Cards can play a game of field position? That strategy might work for about a quarter.
BF: Give me a score prediction.
RZ: Eagles 37 Cards 14