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Eagles vs. Cardinals stats preview

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Philadelphia Eagles v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Another week, another Eagles stats preview. As always, I’m working with the wonderful Shane Haff who podcasts for BGN and has some great designs to make this article easier to follow. As always, I’ll give you my analysis based on film study and the stats. All stats are from Sports Info Solution, FTN Fantasy, and ESPN. Here is an explainer by PFF for many of the stats used in this article.

Eagles Tendencies

The Eagles ran 12 personnel 46% of the time this past week against the Giants, which is significantly higher than they have all season. This is definitely something to keep an eye on. The Eagles' use of gap scheme runs continues to rise, which makes me very happy. I’ve seen a lot of comments about the Eagles using more motion of late, but they still rank dead last in the league, and they only used 32% of the time this past week.

I spoke about this at length in my film piece, but the Eagles finally stopped running so much man coverage this past week. The Eagles also increased their use of MOFO (2-high) coverage which excited me too. I would expect this to continue against a Cardinals’ passing attack that can win vertically.

Cardinals Tendencies

The Cardinals’ offense is very difficult to break down because Kyler Murray has only played the past 6 weeks. However, even with Murray back, it’s not been a very good offense. They use a lot of 13 personnel which is something to look out for and they can run the ball pretty well.

Jonathan Gannon, yikes. This defense isn’t very good. Even when you consider the lack of talent the Cardinals have, the numbers aren’t great for a defensive head coach. The most shocking statistic of all is that the Cardinals rank 32nd in zone coverage, which is really surprising because I thought Gannon’s zone match was a huge strength of his when he was with Philly. The rest of the numbers are not too surprising, although Gannon does play a lot more one-high shells than people seem to think considering he comes from the Fangio tree. This was the same in Philly. The Cardinals have one of the lowest blitz rates in the league, which is probably a good thing for the Eagles.

Matchups

The Cardinals can run the ball well, but they can’t do a lot else effectively. They rank as the worst defense in the league and they can’t stop the run or pass. This should be a team that the Eagles can dominate as long as they don’t make any silly mistakes. The Eagles dominated the Giants but allowed them back into the game by making errors. I am hoping they have learned their lesson, as this should be a game that they can control.

The Cardinals’ offensive line isn’t terrible, and they are pretty effective at running the ball. The defensive line has struggled, so I expect a big game for D’Andre Swift and Jalen Hurts throwing the football. I imagine the Eagles think they can throw on this team, but I would like them to commit to the run again and get Swift and Kenny Gainwell going.

No surprises here. The Cardinals have struggled on both sides of the ball on late downs.

I didn’t expect the Cardinals to rank 4th in red zone scoring, so fair play to them. If the Eagles do struggle to get the Cardinals’ offense off the field, then they could give up some points. The numbers suggest that if the Cardinals can get into the red zone, so they will have a good chance at putting up some points against the Eagles' 29th-ranked red zone defense.

Just like last week, the Eagles are heavy favorites for obvious reasons in this one. However, the Cardinals’ offense does have a quarterback capable of making big plays, a really good young tight end in Trey McBride, and a talented back in James Conner. Nothing is ever easy in the NFL, so I hope the Eagles don’t take this game lightly, and start playing as we know they are capable of.

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