Eagles Escape Desert With Another Win

Eagles Escape Desert With Another Win Oct 9, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) scores a touchdown with the help of tight end Dallas Goedert (88) and running back Kenneth Gainwell (14) against the Arizona Cardinals in the first half at State Farm Stadium.

With a win over the Jaguars last week, the Eagles entered this week as the only team in the NFL with an undefeated, 4-0 record. This week, they were looking to follow the same path as the Phillies did over the last two days by beating the Cardinals, though the Eagles target is of course in Arizona rather than St. Louis.

This was far from the Birds best game and the Eagles really seemed like they were just off in almost every department. It really seemed like no part of anything they were doing could really get humming. The offense would start for a drive (or half a drive) and the defense would do the same. Hurts would make poor decisions and the defense would suddenly forget to tackle. Play calls on both side would suddenly lead to no pressure on Murray or loss of yards on screens the Cardinals defense was sitting on.

There were at least 4 occasions where it really seemed like the Eagles should have put the game away. Instead, they seemed to shoot themselves in the foot over and over – in a different way each time.

In the end, Kyler Murray making a premature slide and a missed kick left the Cardinals 3 points shy of matching the Eagles and sending this one to overtime, allowing the Eagles to remain undefeated despite an ugly game.

Offensive MVP: Dallas Goedert

There’s something to say about the success of the run game late to control the clock and keep the ball moving, but even on the Eagles final drive it was Goedert who came through when the run game (or in this case the unrelenting screen game) fell behind the chains, converting a third and 12 by getting half of the needed yards after the catch. He ended with eight catches for 95 yards and much of that was after the catch – Goedert was the only Eagles player seemingly unaffected by the Cardinals defense being keyed into that aspect all game.

Defensive MVP: Marcus Epps

While Epps didn’t show up much in the statistics of the game (4 tackles, one for loss, and a PBU), but he certainly appeared to be the rock of an defense that just disappeared at times. Epps made some hard hits, got in the way of passes, and made the tackles he needed to. In a game where the secondary was a sore spot, Epps stood out as the one player filling his role.

Game Notes

  • Chauncey Gardner-Johnson made his first splash play as an Eagle in this one, with an interception on the defense’s second drive. If Gardner-Johnson didn’t make the play, Slay appeared in place to do that just behind him.
  • During the Eagles fourth offensive drive, Hurts looked about as bad as he ever had, throwing the ball to a defender for what would have been an interception had he not juggled the ball and then scrambled for what seemed like 20 seconds with four guys chasing him around, losing 11 yards. It was some of the worst decision making we’ve seen out of the third-year quarterback.
  • A notable change in this one was Sua Opeta being called for a hold on the opening drive of the second-half. The penalty resulted in what would have been first and goal from about the three-yard line into a first and 20 from the 25. That not only swung momentum but likely turned 7 points into only 3.
  • The only player who had success with screens in this one was Dallas Goedert. Every other player who had screens designed for them was blown up by one or more defenders in the backfield before the catch was made. For some reason, the coaches on this team could not figure this out and refused to remove this as their primary air game throughout the entire game.
  • Had Jalen Hurts thrown the ball to AJ Brown in front of Quez Watkins on third and goal with less than two minutes left, Brown can likely stroll in to the corner of the end zone for a touchdown as the defenders would have to run through Dallas Goedert and outrun Brown in order to stop him.
  • Practice squad kicker Cameron Dicker came in and did everything he could in relief of Jake Elliott. Unfortunately, the Hurts and the rest of the Eagles offense really didn’t give him the chance to contribute much as they stalled far too much.
  • With Kelce and Dickerson each missing snaps at the same time and Mailata out this week, the Eagles operated with three of their five offensive linemen being backups at times this week; hopefully this isn’t something that continues.

Injury Notes

  • Landon Dickerson went down early and headed into the locker room. That brought Sua Opeta back into the game. Dickerson returned in the third quarter, but exited again in the fourth.
  • Jason Kelce also left this game, so rookie second-round pick Cam Jurgens made his debut. He did return at the half.

Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals – October 9, 2022

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