All season long, many have dismissed the Cardinals, labeling their hot start as a fluke and waiting for their inevitable downfall. However, even with the passing of 11 weeks, Arizona is still on top. No one has a better record than the Cardinals, who sit at 9-1 and have a record of 16-3 dating back to week 8 of last season. Let’s take a closer look at how the team from the desert has been so dominant this season.
After a terrible year in 2013-2014, the Knicks made some big changes this offseason, all stemming from the hire of Phil “Zen Master” Jackson as team president. Jackson is considered by many to be the greatest basketball genius on the planet, with 13 championship rings – 2 as a Knicks player, 6 as coach of the Bulls, and 5 as coach of the Lakers – to his name. One of Jackson’s self-proclaimed biggest reasons for success is the triangle offense, a system that has taken on a sort of legendary aura over the years. The Zen Master brought his protege Derek Fisher on board to become Knicks head coach and teach the team this art, which is assumed to be the offensive philosophy New York will employ for as long as Jackson remains team president. However, the Knicks haven’t started so hot this season – they’re currently 2-6 and already falling well behind divisional rivals like 7-1 Toronto. Is the slow start due to slow chemistry building and system learning among players, or could New York have a real long-term problem?
Through the first half of the NFL season, the Philadelphia Eagles were one of the best teams in the league. After eight games, the Eagles find themselves atop the NFC East with a record of 6-2 and legitimate hopes of making a playoff run. Their high-powered offense, orchestrated by Chip Kelly, is largely responsible for their hot start: Philadelphia’s fast-paced offense, which runs the 2nd-most plays per game in the NFL, ranks 4th in points per game (29.2), yards per game (409.2), and first downs per game (23). Nick Foles has carried the workload for the Eagles’ offense, as he ranks 3rd in pass attempts per game (38.9). However, Foles suffered a broken collarbone this past Sunday and is expected to miss anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks. In steps Mark Sanchez – yes, the same Mark Sanchez that we last saw sliding into his own o’lineman’s butt. Sanchez came in mid game last Sunday and actually performed fairly well, going 15-22 for 202 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions with one of those interceptions taking an unlucky bounce off an Eagles receiver. With eight games left on Philadelphia’s regular season schedule, the question is how much trouble the Eagles are in with the man formerly known as The Sanchize at quarterback.