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ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio: Eagles have game against Cardinals circled

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown (12) scores a touchdown as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cary Williams (26) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
LISTEN: Sal Paolantonio, ESPN NFL reporter

The Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles have had a competitive seven-year stretch of games where the two teams have met six times, including the last four years.

It all started Thanksgiving night in 2008, when the Eagles thrashed the Cardinals 48-20 at Lincoln Financial Field.

Since that embarrassing night, the teams have played a memorable game each time out, including the 2009 NFC Championship game that the Cardinals won 32-25 to go on to the Super Bowl.

In the last four years, the Cardinals have had the Eagles number by beating them in three of those games, including last year’s miracle win on Carson Palmer’s 75-yard touchdown pass to John Brown late in the fourth quarter.

ESPN NFL insider Sal Paolantonio, who used to cover the Eagles and has a weekly radio show in the Philadelphia area, was on the Bickley & Marotta show of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday and noted a game the Eagles are looking forward to.

“I know one game they have circled on their calendar and that’s the Arizona Cardinals,” he said. “They want to get that win against the Cardinals after losing the way they lost last year when Nate Allen got burned. When the Cardinals came into Philly (in 2013) they got robbed that game if you remember. That has developed into quite a little rivalry.”

This year, the team’s go against each other on Dec. 20 in Philadelphia, a game that could have big playoff implications.

It will be the Cardinals first time back in Philadelphia since that game Paolantonio referenced to in his quote above.

In 2013, the Eagles defeated the Cardinals 24-21 for their only win of the teams past five match-ups, which some argue was stolen from the Cards thanks to a questionable penalty that took away a late interception.

The Cardinals blew out the Eagles 27-6 in 2012, which was the game the Cards scored on a 93-yard fumble recovery on the last play of the first half. They defeated the Eagles 21-17 the year prior thanks to a fourth-quarter comeback led by quarterback John Skelton.

Another factor that has made the Cardinals and Eagles contest so compelling of late is the coaching matchup between Bruce Arians and Chip Kelly.

Arians was a candidate for the Eagles coaching job before they decided to hire Kelly away from the college game, which led Arians to the desert.

It was a move that Paolantonio thinks the Eagles made a mistake on.

“I call it the decision bowl,” he said. “I was all in favor of the Eagles signing Arians from the beginning. I think the world of him and if the Eagles signed Arians, the team would look a lot different and the success of the team would be much different than under Chip Kelly.”


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