GLENDALE, Ariz. — It wasn’t pretty, but the Eagles remain undefeated.
The Eagles defeated the Cardinals 20-17 at State Farm Stadium on Sunday and improved to 5-0. But the nature of this game made it quite difficult to rate.
There’s plenty to improve on, but a win is a win, right?
Jalen hurts: 26/36, 239 meters; 15 rush attempt, 61 yards, 2 TDs
This was not Hurts’ best game. The whole pass game was a bit disjointed on Sunday and really struggled to get much going. The INT was a bad throw. Most of their passing game was horizontal against the Cardinals. They ran a lot of screens and I kept waiting for the deep shot to come and it never came. Still, Hurts did enough for the Eagles to win. And he added two more hasty touchdowns; he is up to six through five games, matching an Eagles record.
Miles Sanders: 15 carries, 58 yards
For much of Sunday’s game, the Eagles didn’t really get going with their running attack. But on that 7:58 drive in the fourth quarter, they really started grinding out some tricky yards on the ground. Sanders’ numbers won’t blow your mind, but he played a nice game. And his ball safety in these situations is no longer questioned, which is a big problem.
DeVonta Smith: 10 catches on 11 goals, 87 yards
Not sure why the Eagles went into this game plan without seeing AJ Brown heavily. Smith eventually picked up a career-high 10 passes, but he did have a pretty big drop in the second half. Quez Watkins had 3 for 19, his first catches since the Vikings game.
Dallas Goedert: 8 catches on 9 goals, 95 yards
Goedert proves every week that he is not only a true TE1 in the NFL, but that he is one of the absolute best in his position. Another dynamic performance from Goedert, one with a big catch on a crucial 3rd and 12th in the fourth quarter.
At one point in this game, the Eagles had no starting left tackle, left guard and center, but they still managed to play pretty well — Credit Jeff Stoutland for that — so we score on a curve. And that last ride in the fourth quarter happened because the Eagles had their guys working up front. And all those QB sneaks? Big wins for the OL.
Haason Reddick: 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit
The Eagles seemed too leaky to the point in this game and failed to put constant pressure on Kyler Murray. The Eagles went into Week 5 with the most sacks in the NFL (16), but only recorded one in this game. Admittedly, it was a big loss in third place for Reddick, who now has 4 1/2 in his last three games.
Kyzir White: 6 tackles
Give credit to White for spying on Murray for much of this game. Murray finished with four carries for 42 yards, but didn’t destroy the Eagles with his legs. TJ Edwards led the Eagles linebackers with 8 tackles, but it wasn’t his best game. He missed a few tackles and it looked like the Cardinals were happy to have him in cover. The Cardinals really took advantage of that.
CJ Gardner-Johnson: 10 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 1 PBU
Murray threw only 250 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. CJ Gardner-Johnson picked up that INT, his first as a member of the team. The Eagles secondary was fine in this game; it felt like some of their completions were more due to the schedule.
Cameron Dicker: 2/2 on FGs, 2/2 on PATs
Sure, the Cardinals turned a desperate try in this game and that’s a loss to the Eagles special teams and, yes, Britain Covey muffled another point. But Dicker the Kicker came through in his NFL debut, drilling a 42-yarder in the third quarter and then hitting the game-winning 23-yarder in the fourth. Those are high-pressure kicks and he delivered, unlike the Cardinals’
The Eagles won the game and they are undefeated… but I didn’t like their attack or defense game plans in this one. On offense, we knew the Cardinals were going to blitz and it still looked like the Eagles weren’t ready. They found out in the fourth quarter that they could just run over the Cardinals. They really tried to attack the flats in this one and it seemed like the Cards were happy to let them do that.
And in defense, it felt like the Eagles were again too conservative with a lead. I’m not saying you should run zero blitzes up and down the pitch, but they were a little too soft and it showed in their failure to come off the pitch on third downs in the second half.
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