That’s the question to be answered as the Eagles travel out west this weekend to face the Arizona Cardinals. The red Birds are 6.5-point favorites against the midnight green Birds.
On one hand, the win over the Saints hardly means the Eagles are suddenly a good football team. They’re probably going to need a bit more from Jalen Hurts as a passer after he really relied on his legs in his first NFL start. The Eagles also might not be able to count on their defense as much considering the injuries to Rodney McLeod, Darius Slay, and Avonte Maddox in the secondary. This could be a big game for Kyler Murray and crew.
On the other hand, the Cardinals aren’t some juggernaut. If not for an amazing DeAndre Hopkins Hail Mary catch, Arizona would’ve been 0-5 in their last five games heading into Week 14. The Cards are coming off a quality win over the New York Giants, sure, but the G-Men were playing a hobbled Daniel Jones who clearly shouldn’t have been in the game. Jones’ inability to protect himself behind some shaky Giants protection contributed to Haason Reddick having a career day with five total sacks.
It’s a little scary, then, to think that Reddick could feast on Matt Pryor in this week’s matchup. Beyond him, though, the Cardinals’ defense is pretty solid. Vance Joseph is overseeing a unit that ranks eight in opponent yards per play and ninth in defensive DVOA. The Saints obviously ranked better in those categories and they couldn’t shut down the Eagles’ offense. But Philly also had the element of surprise working in their favor and now the Cards have some tape on Hurts.
It’ll be pretty interesting to see how the Eagles’ rookie quarterback fares in start No. 2. That the offense looked functional (read: not broken) with him offers reason for encouragement. It’s just the matter of sustainability.
Maybe the Eagles’ win over the Saints was a short-lived hurrah in an otherwise pretty miserable season. Maybe the Cards are going to come out and crush the Eagles to remind us how bad this team is regardless of who’s playing quarterback.
The feeling here is that Hurts gives the Eagles a chance to at least keep it competitive. I’m tempted by taking the points in this one.
What say you?
Which bet do you like more?
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