There’s winners and losers in every game. And this week, it was the Arizona Cardinals who notched their fourth victory in the win column in Jonathan Gannon’s Philly homecoming game.
Who were others who won and lost?
Let’s take a look, starting with the obvious:
#1. WINNER - Jonathan Gannon
Is there anyone who expected this outside of the Cardinals? There were several but when looking at an 11 win Eagles team and Arizona’s paltry run defense very few people were willing to pick Arizona.
One thing DID matter today.
The coaching. Arizona played hard for Gannon and his late-game gamble to onside kick ended up giving Arizona enough time to travel down the field and get the game winning score.
He had the guys playing hard and despite some subpar moments from Arizona on offense, the defense held the Eagles enough, especially in their own territory to a FG, and stole a win on the road.
#1. LOSER - Nick Sirianni and Matt Patricia
Man...The Eagles really have self-destructed.
They’ve lost 4 of their last 5, changed to a defensive coordinator who can’t stop anyone and the only team they’ve managed to beat is the New York Giants who benched their QB part-way through this season for Tyrod Taylor.
Sirianni in the Super Bowl chose to punt on 4th down in the Super Bowl rather than be aggressive and lost the Super Bowl to the Chiefs last year.
We saw that decision...may not have been as much on Gannon’s defense as it was on Sirianni just not respecting his opponent and trying to win it himself.
#2. WINNER - Kyler Murray
Was there ever a doubt?
Okay, there’s been a lot of doubters but with this win Kyler Murray might have finally put to bed all of the questions about if Arizona was going to draft a replacement and deal Muray or not.
Not just because they’re now picking outside of the top 2...but because of his play. That’s an encouraging sign for Cardinals fans who’ve seen a long streak of losing ever since that 7-0 start in 2021 and it certainly seems to provide clarity for the franchise AND its fans.
#2. LOSER - Matt Patricia & GM Howie Roseman
Patricia took over for Sean Desai and...has arguably done worse than his predecessor in the defensive coordinator role.
The Eagles’ secondary dealt with issues stopping the passing connection of Greg Dortch and their defensive front struggled against the run as Arizona did not punt a single time in this game.
I don’t think that Sirianni’s job is in danger, but the collapse doesn’t just make it seem like they miss Jonathan Gannon and OC Shane Steichen (now with the Colts) but you wonder if they were the real parts of Philly’s success
#3. WINNER - Michael Wilson
Was going to say that Wilson was on track to be in the “loser” category with how Arizona saw him miss a read and lead to a pick-6 that wasn’t on the quarterback.
He bounced back and not only connected but got Arizona the typing 2-point conversion and seemed to get the better of Kelee Ringo as the game went on.
He might not live up to the hopes but he’s a rookie—you are going to take hits and struggle in your first year in the league. What matters is if you can bounce back. He did late today with the game tying score
HONORABLE MENTION: Greg Dortch
He just keeps deserving a multi-year deal.
#3. LOSER - The Cardinals’ draft position
Arizona fell from 2 to 4 given the strength of schedule and with Commanders and Patriots’ losses they might be on the outside looking in at a top 3 draft pick.
What that means is possibly no talk of a top quarterback but...also a chance that the Bears/Commanders or Pats take Marvin Harrison Junior, the top consensus WR in the 2024 NFL draft.
The Texans’ also winning today shows that while the team was never a bottom 3 team in the league, there’s wins and losses that either are or aren’t affected in the draft.
Personally? I think the goal for Arizona this year was to prove that they had coaches and a QB.
Next year we’ll see if they can address the need for defensive playmakers and a wide receiver regardless of if they pick 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or even nab another win next week.
For now, though, they’re winners.