Eagles Sneak Past the Cards, 20-17

Posted: October 10th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Eagles Sneak Past the Cards, 20-17

Today’s hero wasn’t Jalen Hurts or AJ Brown or Haason Reddick or Big Play Slay. The hero was Cameron Dicker, aka Dicker the Kicker. He hit the game-winning field goal with 1:45 left after just being signed a few days ago. Dicker hit both of his field goals and both extra points in his NFL debut. He was clutch.

Aesthetics matter to fans and critics. The standings only care about wins and losses. This wasn’t the prettiest win in the world, but it got the Eagles to 5-0 and ended 21 years of futility in the desert. I’ll gladly take it.

The Eagles got out to a 14-0 start and life was good. Unfortunately, Kyler Murray remembered he’s a talented QB and Hollywood Brown and Rondale Moore decided to be playmakers this week. The Arizona offense has struggled a lot this year. We knew it was only a matter of time before they started to get better. Still, the Eagles defense held them to 17 points. It isn’t like they had a shuttle bus going to the end zone.

Eagles coaches knew the Cardinals would blitz a lot. They countered that with a lot of quick screens to TEs and WRs. A lot.

That was effective for a while, but the Eagles went to it too much. I thought for sure they would try to stretch the field more than they did. Give the receivers a chance to make plays. The Eagles had Jack Driscoll making his first start at LT. Landon Dickerson and Jason Kelce both got hurt and missed part of the game. That meant a lot of shuffling with the OL. Maybe that is what had the coaches focusing on the short game and not looking downfield.

It’s also possible that the Cards covered well on the back end. You don’t know that watching on TV. We’ll have to wait for the All-22. DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert did combine for 18 catches for 182 yards.

This wasn’t Jalen Hurts best game, but he played well enough to win. He played smart football, especially late. He was cognizant of the clock and the overall situation. That wasn’t the case for the Cards.

The run game was a non-factor until the final drive. The Eagles had a drive that covered 70 yards and 7:58 on the game clock. 56 of those yards came on the ground and the Eagles marched down inside the 10. The line did a great job and the Eagles runners fought for every yard they could. It was important to not leave Arizona much time (1:45) so that they would have added pressure on their final possession.

The Cardinals worked the ball down to the Eagles 34-yard line with 36 seconds left. Kyler Murray took off running and then slid, thinking he had secured the first down. But the ball is marked where the slide starts, not finishes. Murray was ruled short. Arizona didn’t see this at the time and spiked the ball on third-and-one. That meant they had to kick on fourth down from the 25.

That is a very makeable field goal to be sure, but the Cardinals (like the Eagles) were using a backup kicker. Matt Ammendola had struggled in warmups while kicking in this direction so the Cards didn’t feel great, but because of the screw-up, they had no choice but to kick from that spot.



Too close for comfort, but if you watched the early games you saw all kinds of crazy things. The Giants upset the Packers. The Texans upset the Jaguars. The Jets scored 40 points and beat the Dolphins. Crazy things happen in the NFL. The key is finding a way to win the crazy games so they don’t hurt you in the standings. The Eagles did just that.

The Eagle chose the better backup kicker.

Give Howie Roseman and his staff a lot of credit for signing Dicker. Give Michael Clay and the STs unit credit for getting him ready to go.

The Eagles defense was up and down. They gave up 363 yards, but only 17 points. They only gave up two plays of more than 17 yards and none went for more than 28. At the same time, they played soft coverage and made things too easy for Murray at times. The Cardinals were 5 for 7 on third downs in the second half (and one of those failures came on the spike).

Poor tackling was the big issue. It looked like the Eagles had players in place a lot of the time. Guys just failed to get down Arizona skill players like they should have. TJ Edwards has been terrific this year, but struggled on Sunday. He wasn’t alone.

Give the Cardinals credit for making plays. The Eagles weren’t getting beat by scrubs. Hollywood Brown is a talented playmaker. Rondale Moore is a talented young receiver with big potential. James Conner is a talented RB. And Murray is a freak when he starts running.

It was interesting to see the atmosphere of this game. Dave Spardaro was told by Cardinals personnel that there were about 30,000 Eagles fans in attendance, almost half the stadium. That is nuts. Crowd noise was a factor for both teams.

If there was ever a time to struggle a bit, this was it. Dallas comes to town next Sunday. The coaches can be hard on the players this week to get them fired up and ready to go for Dallas. The Eagles won and still left plenty of things to correct. That’s a good combination before a huge game.

The Cowboys beat the Rams so next week’s meeting will be for first place in the NFC East, as the Football Gods intended Dallas-Philly games to be.

The Eagles went on the road without some key players and battled their way to a tough win. That says a lot about the quality of the team’s culture and roster. There are a lot of good players and they stay focused, even when things aren’t perfect. That’s a good sign for a team with big expectations.

Hopefully the Eagles will have some guys get healthy and the team will be in better shape for the Dallas game.


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