Arizona Cardinals vs. Eagles – Analyzing Philadelphia: Week 5
By Sion Fawkes
The Arizona Cardinals have an opportunity to knock off the NFL’s last undefeated team in the Philadelphia Eagles. Here is an inside look at the opponent.
The Arizona Cardinals evened their record at 2-2 after they exorcised their demons against the Carolina Panthers in Week 4. But the Panthers are nothing compared to the 4-0 Eagles, who continue to operate as the Class of the NFL. But there are a few flaws in their football team.
The Eagles have a weaker run defense, and their offense has played well in spurts, while looking next to non-existent most of the time. If the Cardinals improving defense can keep the Eagles streaky offense at bay in this one, they have a good chance to emerge the victor.
Inside look at the Arizona Cardinals Week 5 opponent: Passing offense
The Philadelphia Eagles passing offense ranked sixth overall before the Thursday night game between the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos. They also lead the league in net yards per pass attempt at 8.2. Even more amazing? The Eagles have just 123 pass attempts all season, making them among the league’s more dangerous teams.
Three of the four defenses they faced, however, rank among the NFL’s bottom ten in passing defense. The Arizona Cardinals are the 11th-worst, but given their better performances in recent weeks, they could provide a legitimate test for the Eagles.
The Eagles rushing offense is also one of the NFL’s best, and they have 10 rushing touchdowns this season. However, they rank in the middle of the league with just 4.3 yards per carry, and coincidentally, this is what the Cardinals have allowed through four games.
Overall, the Cardinals rank fifth in the NFL in rushing defense while the Eagles rushing offense is also fifth in the category. If there is one place the two teams are evenly matched, it is in the running game.
The Eagles rank sixth in passing defense and have picked off opposing quarterbacks five times. They are also second in the league with 16 sacks, tied for first with 55 quarterback pressures, and third in pressure percentage at 32.2%.
However, they have played some of the league’s most immobile quarterbacks in Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Trevor Lawrence, and Kirk Cousins. If Kyler Murray can scramble and extend plays, the Eagles passing defense may just be in for an unpleasant surprise. Murray’s mobility, if anything else, will surely test them.
While the Eagles rank eighth in rushing defense, they also sit in the bottom ten with 5.0 yards per carry allowed. Once again, Murray’s mobility can fool them, and if Kliff Kingsbury keeps fresh legs in the game at running back via committee, the Arizona Cardinals have a clear advantage in this category.
Overall, expect the Cardinals to dominate the Eagles in the trenches while on offense if Kingsbury commits to the run early and often. This will allow the Cardinals to control the game and perhaps even sneak by with the W.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)