A month ago, the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles weren't exactly in the NFC playoff picture.
After a 15-7 loss to the New York Giants, Chip Kelly's team had fallen to 3-5 and 0-4 on their home turf at Lincoln Financial Field. Since then, the Eagles have been resurgent behind the play of quarterback Nick Foles. The former University of Arizona standout has completed 73 percent of his passes for 932 yards with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions as Philadelphia has reeled off three straight wins to put itself into the postseason discussion.
Similarly, the Cardinals were floundering at 3-4 after a 34-22 Thursday night loss to Seattle at University of Phoenix Stadium. Since then, Arizona has strung together four straight victories behind a stout defense and improved play from quarterback Carson Palmer. The 10th-year pro has completed 69 percent of his passes for 1,146 yards and eight touchdowns during the Cardinals' winning streak. At 7-4, Arizona is a true playoff contender in the NFC.
So Sunday's game in the City of Brotherly Love has a lot on the line as these longtime rivals meet.
Leading up to the game, we'll keep you updated on everything that's going on Behind Enemy Lines in Philly.
Saturday, November 30
Good health a good sign for Eagles (ESPN.com)
As expected, the Eagles will go into Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals with only one notable injury. Safety Earl Wolff, who hyperextended his right knee in Green Bay Nov. 10, was listed as out on the team's Friday injury report.
Chip Kelly was the hot college head coach of the moment, hired by Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to replace the institution that was Andy Reid. Bruce Arians was a college head coach, too, at Temple back in the 1980s. He got his job with the Arizona Cardinals, though, based upon years as an often-overlooked NFL assistant.
Larry Fitzgerald Has Plenty Of Respect For Eagles' Bill Davis (PhiladelphiaEagles.com)
Larry Fitzgerald is one of the NFL's most accomplished and feared wide receivers, with a resume that already ensures first-ballot Hall of Fame status in Canton someday.However, as the Cardinals have struggled over the past few seasons with injuries and subpar play at the quarterback position, his transcendent talent has been stifled by being stuck in ineffective, downright putrid offenses.
Eagles' O-Line Must Win In Trenches (PhiladelphiaEagles.com)
Arizona's defense is an attacking one, designed to confuse quarterbacks and confound offensive lines. With depth in talent and some creative schemes from coordinator Todd Bowles, Arizona's defense is as legitimately hot as any in the NFL right now. This is something the Eagles have learned very intensely during the week of preparation for Sunday's game.
Eagles Ready For Intensity To Pick Up (PhiladelphiaEagles.com)
When the Eagles take the field on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, the calendar will have turned to December, the final month of the NFL's regular season. For the first time in the past three seasons, the Eagles find themselves in a position of playing meaningful games with playoff implications down the home stretch.
Will Carson Palmer Meet Trent Cole Sunday? (PhiladelphiaEagles.com)
In the Week 11 win over Washington, linebacker Trent Cole registered his first multi-sack game since December 2011. Cole made the transition from 4-3 defensive end to 3-4 outside linebacker and had been very successful against the run and creating pressure on the quarterback.
The Inquirer's Eagles-Cardinals Predictions (Philly.com)
The Cardinals are a good, not great, team. They've won four in a row, but against teams with a combined 13-31 record. Sunday's 40-11 win over the 7-4 Colts was impressive, however.
Enemy Weakness: The Cardinals Offensive Line (Philly.com)
The Arizona Cardinals feature a weak offensive line. It's up the Eagles' front seven to take advantage of that match-up. In previewing an enemy opponent, a fun place to start is with their weaknesses. The Arizona Cardinals are known for having a bad offensive line.
Foles showing he's a true leader (Philly.com)
When he found out he had been traded to the Eagles, one of the first people Emmanuel Acho reached out to was Nick Foles. He needed a place to crash, and while they had only a casual acquaintance, Acho said he knew enough of Foles to know that (a) the Eagles quarterback would take him in, and (b) living with him wouldn't be difficult.
Eagles confident they can handle Cardinals' blitz (Philly.com)
The Arizona Cardinals of former Eagles defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who visit Lincoln Financial Field Sunday, use it more than most. In fact, the Cards are the blitzingest defense in the NFL, bringing extra pass rushers on 48.9 percent of their defensive snaps this season.
Friday, November 29
Chip Kelly not bothered by critique (ESPN.com)
If Bruce Arians thinks the read-option is a "great college offense" unsuited to the NFL game, that's fine with Chip Kelly.
Kelly, the architect of the NFL's fourth-ranked offense in his first year as the Philadelphia Eagles' head coach, did take a moment to correct Arians' terminology. The read-option is a play, Kelly said, not an offensive system.
Foles to test his Luck against Cardinals (ESPN.com)
Nick Foles was drafted 87 spots after Andrew Luck. On Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback gets a chance to prove he's better -- against the Arizona Cardinals defense, at least.
Last week, the Cardinals held Luck to 163 yards and a late, meaningless touchdown. Luck completed 20 of 39 passes and threw one interception. He was sacked only once, but his passer rating was an abysmal 44.6 when the Cardinals pressured him, which was often.
Will Fitzgerald continue his dominance over the Eagles? (CSNPhilly.com)
Bill Davis coached in Arizona. He was the Cardinals' defensive coordinator for a time. He saw Larry Fitzgerald in practice and in games.
Did being around Fitzgerald for so long, someone wondered, give Davis any insight that might be helpful as the Eagles prepare to face the dynamic Cardinals receiver?
Harmony key for Chip Kelly's staff (ESPN.com)
They came from big-time colleges, from around the NFL and even from a high school athletic director's office. They range in age from 25 to 70. Some have worked for years with Chip Kelly, others had never met him.
There are 23 of them in all, and they comprise Kelly's first Eagles coaching staff.
Sunday's Must-See Matchup: Fitzgerald vs. Jackson (PhiladelphiaEagles.com)
For the fourth time in his career, DeSean Jackson will go head-to-head against Larry Fitzgerald in a matchup of two of the NFL's most dynamic wide receivers. Though they are polar opposites in terms of body type, natural ability and style of play, both strike fear into opposing defenses and can shift the momentum of a game in one snap.
It turns out Jackson has been a fan of Fitzgerald dating back to his high school days at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly.
Thursday, November 28
Game against Cardinals big test for Eagles (ESPN.com)
In the spring, Sunday's matchup with the Arizona Cardinals didn't exactly jump out at fans of the Philadelphia Eagles. The opener at Washington did. That game in Green Bay was daunting. And of course the season finale at Dallas loomed large. But the Cardinals at Lincoln Financial Field in Week 13?
Now that Week 13 is here, this game is a big one in every sense for the Eagles.
For Roc Carmichael, it's about more than football (CSNPhilly.com)
There's football. Yes, there's definitely football. The Eagles think a lot of the 25-year-old Carmichael, who joined the Eagles a few weeks into the season and played well starting in wins over the Packers and Redskins in place of injured Bradley Fletcher.
But there's something else. Something even more important than football to Carmichael.
Eagles to face one of the hottest QBs in Palmer (CSNPhilly.com)
The Eagles' improving defense will draw its toughest challenge since Week 4 against Peyton Manning on Sunday, when it faces the Arizona Cardinals and Carson Palmer, who has been no less than brilliant during the Cards' four-game winning streak.
Fitzgerald leads lethal Cardinals' receiving corps (Philly.com)
In four seasons as an assistant coach in Arizona, Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis spent enough time around Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to glean insight into the seven-time Pro Bowler.
But it's not necessarily the type of information that will create an advantage when Arizona visits on Sunday.
Eagle Eye In The Sky: Cardinals Preview (PhiladelphiaEagles.com)
What head coach Bruce Arians is great at, however, is his ability to create favorable matchups with his skill players on linebackers and safeties in space. This is the biggest challenge for the Eagles defense this week.
This offense doesn't just place Fitzgerald and Floyd outside the numbers and say, "go play," they move them around the formation with "minus splits" (inside the numbers on the field) to get them matched up against less-athletic linebackers and safeties, a mismatch for Palmer to exploit.
Wednesday, November 27
Vick's 'selfless act' smooths QB transition (ESPN.com)
If this is the final act of Vick's tenure in Philadelphia, as seems likely, the veteran quarterback will exit the stage with uncommon grace.
Vick understands, supports switch to Foles (CSNPhilly.com)
"You can't be naοve," Vick said. "You've got to understand the situation. You've got to just know the most important thing for you to do is try to be there to support your team.
As starter, Foles won't have to look over shoulder (CSNPhilly.com)
In describing the anticipated Tuesday meeting in which Chip Kelly informed both of his quarterbacks that the Eagles would be marching forward with Foles, the second-year quarterback promised the media that Kleenexes weren't necessary during the behind-closed-doors summit.
Five Things to Know: November 27 (PhiladelphiaEagles.com)
The Eagles' big announcement on Tuesday was that quarterback Nick Foles will be the starter moving forward. On Wednesday, the coordinators will meet the media beginning at 10:25 a.m. We will broadcast those here on PhiladelphiaEagles.com before Eagles Live! at Noon. Here are the 5 Things You Need To Know for the day before Thanksgiving ...
Cardinals-Eagles Game Preview (PhiladelphiaEagles.com)
Yes, it was great for the players to get their week off to reenergize for the five-game stretch run leading up to the playoff. But come on, a week without watching the Eagles, especially in the midst of a three-game winning streak, is an interminable one. So thankfully, the Eagles are back in action on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field as they welcome in one of the hottest teams in the football, the 7-4 Arizona Cardinals, who have won four consecutive games. Led by a ferocious defense, an impressive pair of receivers, a reliable quarterback and an impressive head coach, the Cardinals are very much in the thick of the NFC playoff race.
Eagles expect tough challenge from Cardinals defense (Philly.com)
Arizona's defense, led by its dynamic defensive line duo of Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett, is ranked eighth in both points and yards allowed. The Cardinals are second against the run, fourth in yards allowed per pass attempt and fourth in takeaways.
We'll find out if Foles is a franchise QB (Philly.com)
Over his last three games, Foles has completed 71 percent of his passes and thrown for 932 yards and 10 touchdowns without an interception. He leads the league in passer rating, at 128.0, ahead of Brady and Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers and a host of quarterbacks with more experience and better pedigrees than the third-round draft pick in his second NFL season.
Tuesday, November 26
"Nick (Foles) will be our starter," Kelly said. "Hopefully we get Mike (Vick) back for a full week of practice, and he'll be the No. 2 guy this week." Kelly said Foles will be the starter for the rest of the season, barring injury.
Foles, not Kelly, made Eagles' QB decision (ESPN.com)
Chip Kelly postponed making a quarterback decision long enough for the decision to make itself.
Nick Foles has put up historic numbers while leading the Eagles into contention in the NFC East. He has the highest passer rating in the NFL, has tied the NFL record with seven touchdown passes in a game.
Chip Kelly Previews Tough Cardinals Matchup (PhiladelphiaEagles.com)
The Arizona Cardinals come to Philadelphia at 7-4, having won their last four games. Like the Eagles, the Cardinals find themselves getting hot at the right time under their first-year head coach Bruce Arians.
Michael Vick Embraces No. 2 Role Behind Foles (PhiladelphiaEagles.com)
The 2013 season has been a rollercoaster one for Michael Vick. The quarterback remained with the Eagles after an offseason of uncertainty, and in August, he played his way into the starting quarterback position.
Coach expects Earl Wolff to miss another game Week 13 (CBSSports.com)
Eagles coach Chip Kelly said Tuesday he anticipates safety Earl Wolff missing a second straight game Week 13 vs. Arizona due to a knee injury. The Eagles are coming off a bye Week 12.
Eagles' playoff odds have fallen (Philadelphia Inquirer)
The Eagles' chances of making the playoffs have fallen without them even playing a game, according to MakeNFLPlayoffs.com. They do, however, remain in control of their own destiny - winning their last five games would guarantee a playoff berth.
Young defensive line growing into a force for the Eagles (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Whether the Eagles planned it or not, the strength of the defense is also their youngest unit. In fact, their defensive line is the youngest in the NFL with an average age of 24.
Monday, November 25
For Eagles, wild card now possible (ESPN.com)
But the Eagles host the Cardinals Sunday. A win would give them the same 7-5 record and the tie-breaker advantage over Arizona. The Eagles then play three consecutive games against NFC North opponents: Detroit at home, at Minnesota and Chicago at home.
Philadelphia Eagles to wear black jerseys vs. Cardinals in Week 13 (Fansided.com)
The Philadelphia Eagles are set up for a tough match up on Sunday against the surging Arizona Cardinals and they will be looking to liven things up with a different choice of uniform to give the fans a new look.
When the Eagles take the field on Sunday afternoon in Week 13 at Lincoln Financial Field, they will be rocking their black jerseys.
The setback that inspired McCoy (PhiladelphiaEagles.com)
All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy was on the ground grabbing his lower right leg. He had used his world-class cutting ability to gain 18 yards on the stout Kansas City Chiefs defense, but the leg got caught under a defender. McCoy immediately recalled a painful memory and thought he was re-living it all over again.
Philadelphia Eagles: All Roads To NFC East Title Likely Lead To Dallas (CBS Philadelphia)
With a head-to-head victory against the Eagles earlier this season, the Cowboys have the edge as owners of the tiebreaker. With five games to play, the Eagles and Cowboys will now be in a heated race to the top spot in the division that will see a finish line in Arlington, Texas in the regular season finale. Let the fun begin.