The Philadelphia Eagles are hosting the Arizona Cardinals in Jonathan Gannon’s return to Lincoln Financial Field. In order to preview this Week 17 matchup, I reached out to our enemies over at at Revenge Of The Birds The sincere Seth Cox took the time to answer my questions about this upcoming battle. Let’s take a look at the answers. [For my answers to Seth’s questions about the Eagles, check out ROTB.]
1) If you had to give out a letter grade for the job Jonathan Gannon has done as the Cardinals’ head coach, what would it be and why?
B-. He has the team prepared, he has them schemed fairly well, but the lack of talent is appalling on this team and it shows up weekly.
One thing he has done this season is get players in position to make plays, but the problem has been that the players are not making any plays.
So, I think from a preparedness and scheme standpoint, I would give him a B+, I think from a result standpoint it is a D so with knowing what they are playing with in terms of talent, I weight the former a little more and give him that B- knowing it probably is a rounded up from a 79.7 and I am giving him a pass for the first year with one of the worst roster in the NFL.
2) To what extent has Kyler Murray’s return made a difference
They don’t turn the ball over as much, they are playing similar in terms of passing game, while being better running the ball.
It is almost like they are not playing to their personnel, but instead getting Murray comfortable with the reads and offense heading into next year where they may and should have better options at the wide receiver position.
We will see how the final two games go, but it has been average thus far, which is not ideal for what Murray is making, but if there is a plan and understanding in place, then maybe it will be for a purpose heading into 2024.
3) What’s one matchup that you think favors the Cardinals in this game?
Maybe the Cardinals can throw on the Eagles defense, but it seems like even with the Eagles struggles the Cardinals receiving corps has not been up to the task much lately.
Hollywood Brown is the only true vertical threat and he’s been out with a heel injury.
Trey McBride is a blossoming star.
Greg Dortch is a fantastic slot receiver if he’s staying on short routes and using his speed and change of direction but he can’t win against big defensive backs in vertical scenarios.
Rondale Moore is basically a gadget player at this point.
Michael Wilson has not looked the same since his injury put him out for five weeks. Since his return he has seven targets and no catches.
So, I don’t know where the Cardinals are going to be able to take advantage outside of McBride and then the Eagles just need to bracket him and it’s basically done.
Maybe Matt Prater because he basically is having an otherworldly season no one is going to talk about because the Cardinals stink, but even then Jake Elliot is having another great season for the Eagles.
4) What’s one matchup that you think favors the Eagles in this game?
All of them.
No, seriously we were just doing our preview podcast and the thing that scares me the most about taking Philly player props is that outside of Swift, the Eagles may not need to do much.
Swift is going to go for 100+ yards, but from there will they need to keep A.J. Brown in long enough?
Will Jalen Hurts need to run at all?
How many times will they drop him back and if they are up by enough after two quarters how much do they pull back or play Mariota?
The Eagles talent is so superior it’s going to be hard to see the Cardinals do anything to stop them.
5) Who wins this game and why? With DraftKings Sportsbook listing the Eagles as 11-point home favorites, what’s your score prediction?
Eagles by 14+. I think the Cardinals may be able to have their best passing game of the season in terms of bulk yards, but I don’t think it is going to be particularly close or even competitive.
I am going Eagles 35, Cardinals 21.
Good luck and good health to the Eagles in this one.
RELATED PODCAST: John Stolnis talked to ROTB’s Walter Mitchell to preview Eagles vs. Cardinals for this week’s edition of Eye On The Enemy.