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Eagles defense vs. Cardinals offense preview by the numbers

Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Another week, another stats preview using Sports Info Solutions as always. I am going to slightly change it up this week and look at both Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona CArdinals tendencies first with a bit of analysis, then look at the advanced stats of both teams and finally look at a few specific matchups that interest me. Let me know if you prefer the layout!

Cardinals Offense Tendencies

The Kliff Kingsbury 4 wide receiver sets are dead! The Cardinals are a 11 personnel team but they do run a lot more 12 personnel than they used to, especially when running the ball.

The Cardinals are an interesting offense. They pretty much exclusively use the shotgun and use a lot of no huddle. The no huddle thing is interesting but they aren’t exactly a good offense which means their drives often end very quickly. The lack of motion and play-action is quite striking considering the mobility of their quarterback. It feels a pretty basic offense that isn’t trying to confuse the defense a great deal.

Why would you bother using any designed rollouts with a pocket statue like Kyler Murray, am I right?! What a strange offense. They run a lot of screens (especially on 3rd down) which is something to watch out for. It seems pretty easy to predict when they will run too. If the box is light, they will run. If you stack the box, expect them to throw it.

Eagles Defense Tendencies

The Eagles remain a nickel team and are very happy to stay with 5 defensive backs on the field even against base personnel from an offense. It hasn’t hurt them recently so I see no reason this won’t continue this week.

No surprises here, we know the Eagles still run a light box quite frequently and want to be a 2-high defense. Still, I am happy to see those numbers more equal than some teams and they are not an easy defense to predict on the backend anymore.

I really like the balance in these numbers. Look at that man coverage!! The Eagles run more zone and man but so does basically everyone, so the Eagles are currently running man coverage more than the average team and less zone coverage than the average team. Who would have thought it! I really like the blitz numbers too. I never expected the Eagles to be a heavy blitz team (and they shouldn’t need it with their pass rushers) but I think the 15th highest blitz rate feels about perfect.

Cardinals Offense Stats

  • 4.8 yards per play (28th)
  • -0.011 EPA per play (15th)
  • 22 points per game (14th)
  • 112 rushing yards per game (16th)
  • 4.1 yards per rush (20th)
  • -0.004 EPA per rush attempt (11th)
  • 237 passing yards per game (15th)
  • 5.7 yards per attempt (32nd - wow!)
  • -0.014 EPA per pass attempt (20th)
  • 3.8% sack rate (5th)
  • 0.5 giveaways per game (1st)

Eagles Defense Stats

  • 277 yards per game (3rd)
  • -0.153 EPA per play (1st)
  • 4.5 yards per play (3rd)
  • 100 rushing yards per game (9th)
  • 5 yards per rush (25th)
  • -0.028 EPA per rush (22nd)
  • 177 passing yards per game (7th)
  • 4.8 yards per pass attempt (1st)
  • -0.19 EPA per pass attempt (19th)
  • 2.5 turnovers per game (1st)
  • 9.7% sack rate (3rd)

The Blitz and pressure

As mentioned above, the Eagles are blitzing more and have the 3rd highest sack rate currently in the NFL. Kyler Murray is being blitzed at the 4th highest rate in the league this year, and is 103/161 (4th highest attempts) for 911 yards (17th) for 5 TDs and 2 INTs. That’s 5.6 yards per attempt against the blitz which isn’t great.

However, it is under pressure when the Cardinals offense is really bad. I mean, REALLY bad. I couldn’t quite believe Kyler Murray’s numbers under pressure when I looked them up. Kyler is 9/36 when under pressure for 80 (!!) yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs. 80 yards on 36 attempts seems almost impossibly bad. His numbers week 3 against the Rams when under pressure are hilariously bad.

3rd and Long

The Cardinals offense hasn’t been any better when faced with 3rd and 7+ situations. Kyler Murray has 15 attempts on 3rd and 7+ and only 2 of these have resulted in 1st downs. He only has 89 yards on all these attempts which is pretty poor. In comparison, the Eagles defense has been really strong on 3rd and 7+. They have only allowed 94 yards on 16 attempts for 0 TDs and 2 INTs. If the Eagles win on early downs it seems they will have a great chance to stop the Cardinals offense.

Can they run the ball?

The Cardinals will try to establish the run on Sunday. Despite falling behind in a lot of games, they have the 12th highest amount of carries for 448 yards (15th highest) and 33 first downs (6th). They also have 4 TDs which ranks 8th. Their offense has not been good but their run game has not been awful at all. The Eagles will have to look out for the Cardinals run game but they will be confident they can stop it. Since week 1, the Eagles have faced 52 carries and have only allowed 220 yards (3rd lowest) and only 1 touchdown.

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