You may have needed tums, but you survived another Philadelphia Eagles win. It was a nailbiter in the desert, as Philadelphia let a 14-point lead slip between their fingers. They regained their composure, kicking the game-winning field goal and benefitting from a Cardinals missed field goal that could have sent the game to overtime.
The Eagles are 5-0, and the only undefeated team in the NFL. Let’s look at the hungry dog (player/coach of the game) and doghouse dud (worst player/coach of the game). I’ll also predict the best and worst performers in the Eagles’ upcoming matchup with the Dallas Cowboys in week 6.
Week 5 Hungry Dog, Eagles @ Cardinals
Today I have two hungry dogs that were major contributors to the Eagles’ win over the Cardinals. Let’s start with Jalen Hurts. Today was a character game that showed his leadership and ability to lead the team regardless of adversity.
In a game where penalties killed drives, and playcalling was inconsistent, Jalen kept his composure.
- He was the Eagles leading rusher today, with 61 yards and two touchdowns.
- He averaged 4.1 yards per carry and did an overall solid job avoiding defenders down multiple offensive linemen.
- He faced adversity twice and did not panic. He remained calm after his early interception, and after the Cardinals tied the game late he led the Eagles offense down the field for the game-winning field goal.
- He spread the ball around to Devonta Smith and Dallas Goedert, and his rushing opened things up for a solid day for Miles Sanders.
I have to do this, but my second hungry dog is… Kyler Murray!
He’s not an Eagles player, but I make the rules here, and he contributed to the Eagles’ win!
Down 3, the Cardinals were driving. With 36 seconds remaining, Kyler ran for 9 yards to the Philadelphia 25-yard line. Kyler thought he had gotten the first down, but he was 1 yard short.
The ball was spiked on 3rd and 1, making it 4th and 1 with 22 seconds remaining. The Cardinals could have had a shot at a closer field goal, or maybe even a possible shot or two at the endzone.
The Cardinals had no choice but to kick, and Ammendola’s 43-yard field goal was wide right, sealing the win for the Eagles. The game likely goes to overtime if Kyler had been more aware, so thanks, Kyler!
Week 5 Bird in the Doghouse, Eagles @ Cardinals
I’m choosing two Birds in the Doghouse as well, and both are Eagles coaches.
Shane Steichen has done a wonderful job with the Eagles’ offense this season, mixing the run and pass in plays that suit Jalen’s style.
- This game was not the case. The offense was a mix of badly executed screen passes that Arizona’s defense sniffed out almost immediately, and an unwillingness to run the football down multiple offensive linemen.
- Had the Eagles’ offense committed to the run earlier, it’s likely they could have put the game away much earlier and sustained fewer holding penalties that stalled key drives.
- The Eagles offense is averaging 26 points per game through 5 weeks which is a pretty solid offense, but they can do much better with the firepower that they have.
This team could be top 5 in points scored and passing if they play up to their full potential.
My second doghouse dud is Jonathan Gannon.
I would like to preface this by saying that 17 points per game are not a lot, but this game was made much harder than it should have been due to questionable defensive decisions.
The Cardinals’ offensive line had an injury and hasn’t been cohesive, and Kyler Murray was rarely blitzed. He had too much time to throw, and his pass catchers were given too much space.
As a result, the Cardinals could exploit the middle of the Eagles’ defense. Through 5 games, the Eagles’ defense averages 17 points per game altogether, but we need to see more aggression!
This unit cannot let up or play soft against tougher opponents, especially come playoff time!
Week 6 Hungry Dog Prediction, Cowboys @ Eagles
This feels like a big game for the Eagles running game, my hungry dog prediction for week 6.
Although this Dallas Cowboys defense rushes the passer very well, they’ve shown a liability against the run in multiple games.
- In week 1, they allowed Leonard Fournette to rush for 127 yards.
- In week 3, Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones rushed for 81 and 79 yards, respectively.
- In week 4, Washington’s running backs collectively rushed for 140 yards.
There’s an area of opportunity here, one that Sanders, Gainwell, and Sermon can capitalize on. If the running game can get going, the Eagles can control the game and neutralize the Cowboys’ defensive line. If they can do that, they win. The running game can take the pressure off Jalen Hurts with a dinged-up offensive line, minimizing mistakes. The defense will also be kept fresh against Cooper Rush or Dak Prescott.
Week 6 Bird in the Doghouse Prediction, Cowboys @ Eagles
My doghouse dud prediction going into the Cowboys @ Eagles matchup is the Eagles’ offensive line, specifically in pass protection.
- Jordan Mailata should be ready for this game, but there’s a chance he may not be 100%.
- Landon Dickerson got, and Jason Kelce both got banged up for the Cardinals. Although they returned, we don’t know the full details of their injuries or if they’ll even be ready for the game.
- If the Eagles get too pass-happy with Micah Parsons waiting on the other side, they could be in trouble, and Jalen Hurts could make some mistakes. 3 offensive line starters facing injury against one of the sack-leading teams is worrisome.
The Eagles should focus on pounding the ball to avoid this.
- Do you agree or disagree?
- Who would be your hungry dog and doghouse dud picks for the Eagles game against the Cardinals?
- Who would you pick going into the week six matchup against the Cowboys?