The Arizona Cardinals offense turned in an outstanding effort for their head coach in his return to the "City of Brotherly Love"
Last Tuesday, Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon referred to the Week 17 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles as merely the "next game on the schedule". Being that "J.G." would be returning to the place that turned on him, not many were buying it. The Redbirds offense, for their part, played like a triumph over his former team would be the most important thing in the world for their 40-year-old leader.
Quarterback Kyler Murray and the rest of the scoring attack turned in an almost flawless performance during Arizona's shocking 35-31 triumph over Philadelphia. Any doubts about Murray returning as the squad's starting signal-caller next season were likely put to rest during the improbable victory over the 11-5 Eagles. Murray overcame an ugly 99-yard pick-six in the second quarter, and ended up completing 80.6% of his throws for 232 yards and three touchdowns versus an overmatched Philly defense.
As good as Murray played, it was running back James Conner who was the Cards' MVP on Sunday afternoon. The 6 foot 1, 231 pounder racked up 128 yards on 26 carries, averaging almost five yards a tote. If that wasn't enough, Conner's one-handed scoring reception from five yards out late in the third quarter was absolutely a thing of beauty.
Arizona Cardinals scoring attack had Jonathan Gannon's back in Week 17
The Cardinals offensive line showed up in a big way as well. Murray had plenty of time to throw, thanks to the unit allowing just one sack during the contest. The run blocking was just as impressive, with both Conner and Michael Carter (61 rushing yards on just seven carries) being handed gigantic holes to take advantage of throughout the afternoon.
Not to be left out of the party, Arizona's receiving corps also made significant contributions to the win. Michael Wilson, the highly-touted rookie who had gone missing for awhile, hauled in a clutch touchdown pass with 5:26 left, and was also on the receiving end of a two-point conversion toss from Murray late in the third quarter. The ever-reliable Greg Dortch was a key contributor as well, tallying 82 yards on a season-high seven receptions for "Big Red".
Gannon's proclamation last week that the clash with the Eagles had no special meaning was total hogwash. Rest assured, Philly's former defensive coordinator wanted this one badly. Wins have been scarce for Gannon and his staff in 2023, but the offensive unit made sure that their head coach left the "City of Brotherly Love" with the victory he desired the most.
(Statistics provided by ESPN.com)