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Arizona Cardinals @ Philadelphia Eagles: What to watch

A look at the matchups between the Cardinals and Eagles heading into this Sunday’s game.

Arizona Cardinals v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals take on the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday, early in the day.

Here are the stats, what are the matchups and keys to the game?

Let’s take a look

Team Stats: Offense

PTS: AZ (18.5--22nd); PHI (25.8--7th)
YDS: AZ (349.2--11th); PHI (392.5--3rd)
PASS: AZ (292.2--2nd); PHI (249.5--11th)
RUSH: AZ (57.0--32nd); PHI: (143.0--3rd)

Team Stats: Defense

PTS: AZ (22.8-20th); PHI: 23.0--21st)
YDS: AZ 302.8--7th); PHI (355.8--24th)
PASS: AZ (214.8--12th); PHI (285.0--30th)
RUSH: AZ (88.0--10th); PHI (70.8--2nd)


  • Eagles are more balanced on offense. 11th in passing and 3rd in rushing (Blount and Wentz).
  • Cardinals' passing game (2nd) could feast on Eagles' pass defense (30th).

PFF Player Grades Comparisons (through 4 games):

QB: AZ Palmer (74.1); PHI Wentz (77.7)

RB: AZ Ellington (62.4); PHI Blount (82.2)

WR: AZ Fitzgerald (78.9); PHI Jeffery (68.4)

WR: AZ Jaron Brown (75.3); PHI T. Smith (42.1)

WR: AZ John Brown (74.4); PHI Agholor (77.4)

TE: AZ Gresham (36.0); PHI Ertz (77.5)

TE: AZ Niklas (44.2); PHI B. Celek (44.9)

LT: AZ Wetzel (38.9); PHI Peters (86.4)

LG: AZ Boone (54.2); PHI: Seumalo (34.1)

C: AZ Shipley (50.3); PHI Kelce (92.0)

RG: AZ Boehm (44.9): PHI Brooks (82.3)

RT: AZ Veldheer (41.1); PHI Johnson (85.4)


DT: AZ Peters (81.4); PHI Jernigan (86.3)

DT: AZ Rucker (45.8); PHI Allen (77.5)

DE: AZ Jones (80.1); PHI Graham (87.4)

DE: AZ Mauro (49.7); PHI Barnett (63.4)

LB: AZ Dansby (42.1); PHI Hicks (35.2)

LB: AZ Bucannon (38.2); PHI Kendricks (83.0)

LB: AZ Reddick (56.7); PHI Bradham (40.4)

CB: AZ Peterson (77.3); PHI Mills (44.1)

CB: AZ Bethel (61.2); PHI: Robinson (87.0)

S: AZ: Mathieu (41.7); PHI McCloud (37.1)

S: AZ: Branch (91.8); PHI Jenkins (61.7)


  • Eagles: both lines are considerably stronger.
  • Cardinals: have a considerably stronger secondary.

Special Teams:

K AZ Dawson (9/12 FG, 5/5 XPT); PHI Elliott (8/10 FG, 7/7 XPT)

P AZ Lee (46.7 ave., 39.3 net); PHI Jones (44.0 ave., 40.1 net)

KR AZ Williams (20.2 ave.); PHI Smallwood (23.3 ave.)

PR AZ Williams (2.8 ave.); PHI Barner (5.0 ave.)


  • Eagles have a very slight edge. Elliott kicked GW 61 yard FG versus Giants.
  • Cardinals need boost in return game and field position. Must win the net punt average.

What the Cardinals Need To Do:

  • Slow down Blount and Wentz (good scrambler) in the running game. Disengage blocks, swarm and finish tackles.
  • Win coverage matches: Peterson on Jeffery; Bethel on Smith; Badger on Agholor; Branch on Ertz (key matchup).
  • Spy or blitz A gaps on Wentz. Get hands up in the passing lanes.
  • Protect Palmer long enough for him to exploit Eagles' secondary. Chip on Brandon Graham. Impede inside rushers Jernigan and Allen to allow Palmer room to step into his throws. Handle rookie DE Derek Barnett.
  • Keep Eagles' pass rush off-balance with hard counts.
  • Might be tough to run the ball, but draws, screens and flares could be very effective.
  • Prevail on special teams. It's very close this week.