Well, it looked like the Philadelphia Eagles might pull out a second straight win! But, alas, it wasn’t in the cards.
See what I did there?
Seriously, though, the Eagles put up a good effort on Sunday evening. Jalen Hurts impressed again but it ultimately wasn’t enough to beat the Arizona Cardinals.
Final score: 33 to 26.
The Eagles are now 4-9-1 on the season. But, thanks to Washington losing earlier today, still alive in the NFC East.
Read on for observations and postgame thoughts.
- The Eagles won the coin toss and deferred. The Cardinals received first. Kevon Seymour and Michael Jacquet were the outside cornerbacks with Nickell Robey-Coleman in the nickel and Jalen Mills staying at safety. Kyler Murray’s first pass was a completion to who else but notorious Eagles killer Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals moved past midfield but got set back with an offensive pass interference penalty. The Eagles got a fourth down stop but Seymour’s unnecessary roughness penalty ruined it. It looked like Javon Hargrave stripped Murray on a quarterback run but the refs ruled him down and there was no challenge from Doug Pederson. The ball didn’t lie, however, with Jacquet (!) punching a catch out of DeAndre Hopkins’ hands for a red zone fumble and Eagles recovery! Looked like Peanut Tillman on that one. Great play by the undrafted rookie free agent cornerback.
- Jalen Hurts threw wayyyyy high of Greg Ward and should’ve been picked off by Isaiah Simmons, who dropped the ball, to bring up 3rd-and-8. Then Hurts threw the ball away from the pocket and got called for intentional grounding, resulting in a safety. Offense still bad! EAGLES 0, CARDINALS 2.
- Jacquet had a pass breakup to force 3rd-and-11. The Cardinals went three-and-out with Derek Barnett getting good pressure on Murray’s third down incompletion.
- Sanders bounced around too much on what easily could’ve been a first down conversion to instead bring up 3rd-and-1. Then the Eagles were stopped for a 3-yard loss on a shotgun run where the exchange by Hurts didn’t look clean. Punt.
- Barnett hit Hopkins after he went out of bounds for no gain to bring up a 15-yard penalty. Just a really dumb and totally unnecessary hit. Jalen Mills missed a tackle to allow a 42-yard catch-and-run by ... Maxx Williams. Then Marcus Epps missed a tackle on Murray to allow a Cardinals touchdown. EAGLES 0, CARDINALS 9.
- The Eagles actually ran a successful screen (GASP) to Sanders for a 26-yard gain. Hurts had another bad high throw that dropped Jalen Reagor for a loss. Hurts got sacked on 3rd-and-15 to bring up a punt. Cameron Johnston’s punt was blocked. I don’t think Dave Fipp will or should be returning as special teams coordinator in 2021.
- The Cards took over at the 6-yard line. Jacquet broke up an off-target throw to Hopkins but the Eagles gave up a touchdown one play later. The rout was on. EAGLES 0, CARDINALS 16.
- Alshon Jeffery pushed Patrick Peterson in the head to make a nice 24-yard catch on a touch throw into Cardinals territory. Howie Roseman should now guarantee his contract for 2021! Hurts completed another throw to Dallas Goedert to move the Eagles just outside of the red zone.
- The Eagles tried a trick play to Reagor and the rookie wide receiver was tackled for a 10-yard loss. Great. Hurts was late on a throw to Reagor in the end zone and it was broken up by Peterson. Should’ve been a touchdown. The Eagles called another screen on 3rd-and-20 and QUEZ WATKINS tricked the defense with a sick spin move for a catch-and-run for a 32-yard touchdown! Lol. Unexpected! Crazy how the Eagles pulled off a second successful screen after previously being able to execute one all season long. Interesting that the Eagles didn’t go for two to potentially make it a one-possession game. EAGLES 7, CARDINALS 16.
- The Eagles gave up a 45-yard gain on a contested deep catch by Hopkins and Seymour got hurt on the play. The Cardinals had to settle for a 40-yard field goal attempt by Mike Nugent, which they made. Could’ve been worse!. EAGLES 7, CARDINALS 19.
Kevon Seymour hurt leaves the Eagles with the following healthy CBs:— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 20, 2020
Michael Jacquet (UDFA)
Jameson Houston (UDFA)
Jalen Mills can obviously play CB. And the Eagles are officially listing Blake Countess at CB despite him mostly playing safety in the NFL.
- Hurts ran for two first downs, including one where he fortunately fumbled out of bounds. Very lucky. Hurts overshot Reagor to bring up a punt on 4th-and-8 from the 50-yard line. Looks like the rookie receiver may have slowed up.
Lol yeah Pederson with the eyes. Reagor needs to keep his head down for another 5 yards and keep his foot on the gas.— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) December 20, 2020
Reagor makes so many little mistakes across the course of a game. And they add up.
Jefferson was as polished a college prospect as there was last season.— ben natanukah (@TheBenNatan) December 20, 2020
There’s no “using him right” when a guy just gets open and catches the ball on his own.
The Eagles having to create touches for Reagor is an indictment of his development.
- Jacquet wrapped up Murray for a would-be sack as NRC knocked the ball out of Murray’s hand for a strip and recovery! What an awesome game by Jacquet.
- The Eagles took over at Arizona’s 21-yard line. Sanders ran for a first down. The Eagles ran Sanders three times to bring up 4th-and-3. On fourth down, Hurts rolled left and found Greg Ward for a TOUCHDOWN! The return of Big Balls Doug! EAGLES 14, CARDINALS 19.
Jalen Hurts has 4 passing TDs this year and they are on:— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) December 20, 2020
3rd and 22
4th and 3
4th and 2
4th and 18
- Neutral zone infraction by Hargrave on 3rd-and-5 gave the Cardinals a free first down. Murray hit a wide open Dan Arnold to move past midfield. Murray to Arnold again got the Cards in the red zone. The Cards fumbled an exchange and were very fortunate to recover. Fitzgerald made a really tough touchdown grab despite being face-guarded by NRC. Fitz just kills the Eagles, man. EAGLES 14, CARDINALS 26.
- Hurts stepped up and rolled right to find a wide open Zach Ertz for a 42-yard gain into the red zone. Legitimately forgot Ertz was playing! Reagor drew a pass interference penalty Dre Kirkpatrick to bring up 1st-and-goal from the 8-yard line. On 3rd-and-goal, Hurts floated a ball to Ward, who caught it for his second TOUCHDOWN! Or not? One ref ruled a score, another said it was incomplete. The official ruling was incomplete and the booth reviewed it. There was clearly some green area between Ward’s foot and the sideline and it was correctly overturned into a TOUCHDOWN. The Eagles went for two and a Sanders run up the gut was stopped short. EAGLES 20, CARDINALS 26.
Two straight weeks of Hurts being particularly good in 2 minute and it looking like 2017-quality play calling there.— Noah Becker (@Noah_Becker) December 20, 2020
- The Cardinals failed to get a field goal attempt on their final drive of the first half.
Jalen Hurts' 177 passing yards are the most by an Eagles quarterback in the first half of a game this season.— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) December 20, 2020
The Eagles' 20 first-half points are also a season-high.
- Hurts hit a wide open Ertz for a 27-yard gain. Who said Doug can never scheme guys open? The Eagles got to 3rd-and-6 and Hurts’ screen throw to Goedert was tipped/almost picked. The Eagles punted from Arizona’s 42-yard line for a touchback. So, only a net gain of 22 yards. Don’t like that conservative decision from Doug.
PHI decided to punt to ARI from the ARI 42 on 4th & 6 with 13:04 remaining in the 3rd while losing 20 to 26.— Surrender Index 90 (@surrender_idx90) December 20, 2020
With a Surrender Index of 26.81, this punt ranks at the 99.6th percentile of cowardly punts of the 2020 season, and the 98th percentile of all punts since 2009.
- The Cardinals quickly moved to Philly’s 48-yard line, thus confirming the Eagles’ punt decision to be an unwise one. Fortunately, Mills came up with a really nice pass breakup to force a Cardinals punt.
- The Eagles went three-and-out after Hurts fumbled while getting hit. Slow to get the ball out and Matt Pryor beat by Haason Reddick. Great hustle by Travis Fulgham (oh, there he is!) to bring up a punt instead of a Cardinals recovery at the 14-yard line. With Cameron Johnston hurt, Jake Elliott (!) had to come in to punt. His punt only went for 34 yards.
- The Cardinals drove into goal-to-go territory but then Murray threw an absolute duck right to Marcus Epps for an interception! Really bad throw.
- The Eagles got to 3rd-and-1 and Hurts dodged a defender in the backfield to throw a first down pass to a slipping Goedert. Pretty impressive play! Hurts chucked it down the field and Jeffery drew pass interference on Peterson. Hurts got sacked for a 14-yard loss with interior pressure right in his face. Then a false start by Jason Kelce to bring up 2nd-and-29. Then an incompletion to bring up 3rd-and-29. A screen to Reagor brought up 4th-and-6 from the Cardinals’ 49-yard line. Doug went for it ... and Hurts ran up the middle for the conversion! Loved Big Balls Doug showing back up in this one. Probably didn’t hurt that the Eagles’ punter was hurt, either. Hurts aired it out to Jeffery again and it was incomplete again but it was another defensive pass interference to bring up 1st-and-goal. Alshon’s most useful game in forever! Jordan Mailata false started to bring up 1st-and-goal from the 7-yard line. Hurts stepped up and ran in for the score! Hurts, baby! Ertz replaced Johnston on the hold and he couldn’t salvage a low snap from Rick Lovato to ruin the Eagles’ extra point attempt. Should have just went for two. EAGLES 26, CARDINALS 26.
- The Cardinals got to 3rd-and-2 and Murray overthrew Fitzgerald to bring up a punt. Defense with another stop. Or not. Because Cardinals punter Andy Lee completed a pass for 26 yards. Get Dave Fipp out of here, man.
Alex Singleton came up with a tackle for loss to bring up 4th-and-2. The Cards went for it and Murray threw high and out of bounds. Turnover on downs!
- The Eagles got to 3rd-and-4 and Hurts threw over the head of Ertz. The Eagles brought in Elliott for another punt and Goedert had good coverage to force the Cards to take over at their own 14-yard line. A nice job by special teams, for change! 42-yard punt by Elliott.
- Another penalty by Hargrave brought up 3rd-and-3 instead of 3rd-and-8. But then the Cards false started to bring it back to 3rd-and-8. But then Hopkins got away with offensive pass interference to beat Jacquet and pick up 44 yards. Murray connected with Hopkins again for a contested touchdown. Not much else Jacquet could do there. EAGLES 26, CARDINALS 33.
- On a big 3rd-and-7, Hurts found Ward over the middle for a first down. The rookie has ice in his veins. On 3rd-and-12, Jeffery was WIDE OPEN (thanks to an uncalled push-off!) for a 39-yard gain. On 3rd-and-2, Hurts hit Watkins for yet another first down. Hurts got sacked twice to bring up the 3rd-and-21 at the 2-minute warning. On third down, Hurts hit Goedert right in the hands in the end zone and the tight end dropped it. Ugh. Goedert then couldn’t bring in a jump ball that was in his hands on fourth down. Pretty fnfortunate end to that drive. Eagles obviously couldn’t attempt a field goal there with no holder.
Looking for chunk plays? Jalen Hurts has seven completions of 20+ yards.— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) December 21, 2020
Last time that happened? Nick Foles vs. Houston on Dec. 23, 2018.
- The Cardinals took over at their own 22-yard line with 1:55 left. The Eagles took their first timeout. Then their second timeout to bring up 3rd-and-5 with 1:42 to go. On third down, Murray ran it to bring up 4th-and-1. Crucial play by Mills to trip him up. Kliff Kingsbury had the Cardinals punt.
- The Eagles took over at their own 22-yard line with 1:28 on the clock and zero timeouts. Hurts overthrew a pass way high over the middle and then Jeffery had to play defensive back to knock a pass down. Hurts was tackled for a 2-yard gain to bring up fourth down with the clock running. Until Kingsbury called a timeout for some reason. On 4th-and-8 with the game on the line, Hurts found an OPEN TRAVIS FULGHAM (!) for a first down! Then Hurts fumbled, picked it up, and completed to Goedert, who got out of bounds for another first! Another completion to Fulgham moved the Eagles to the 31-yard line with 0:15 on the clock. Hurts threw it away to leave 0:10 on the clock. Hurts aired it out for an unsuccessful Hail Mary try that left 0:02 on the clock. On the final play, Hurts’ lob into the end zone was knocked down. Dang. Fulgham got his hands on it but the Cardinals knocked it out.
FINAL SCORE: 33 to 26, Eagles LOSE
- Most entertaining Eagles game to watch this season! That was thrilling.
- This result was perfect for those on #TeamTank. The Eagles lost and yet the game was fun to watch.
- Jalen Hurts is QB1. It was a rough start for the rookie quarterback and he still has a lot of room to grow (too many fumbles, better accuracy). On the whole, though, Hurts impressed once again. He improved upon last week’s performance as a passer and still contributed as a rushing weapon. Came up huge in high leverage situations. He’s clearly looked way better than Carson Wentz this year.
- Pretty unfortunate that Goedert dropped a potential game-winning touchdown throw from Hurts.
- We’re clearly seeing that Wentz was a bigger issue with the offense than Doug Pederson.
- Remember when Howie Roseman didn’t trade for DeAndre Hopkins? Oh, no reason.
- This was Alshon Jeffery’s most useful game in forever. Hats off to him!
- Thought the defense turned in a pretty respectable performance for being so undermanned in the secondary. Came up with three takeaways (plus one turnover on downs). Allowed 31 offensive points and 7 came from a short field after a blocked punt.
- Nice to see Quez Watkins doing good things and contributing!
- Josh Sweat (wrist) got banged up on the Cardinals’ first drive. He had to go to the locker room.
- Richard Rodgers (shin) was carted to the locker room in the first quarter. He was ruled out.
- Kevon Seymour got hurt in the second quarter.
- Cameron Johnston was evaluated for a head injury in the third quarter. He was ruled out.
- Fletcher Cox (head) got hurt early in the fourth quarter. He was cleared to return.
- Jalen Reagor (ankle) got hurt late in the fourth quarter.