Philadelphia Eagles versus Cardinals: 3 Under-the-radar matchups to watch

Kyler Murray #1, Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
Kyler Murray #1, Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /

Can you feel the emotion? Is the adrenaline pumping yet? This Sunday, October 9th at 4:25 p.m. EST, the Philadelphia Eagles are scheduled for an exciting matchup coming this week in Glendale at State Farm Stadium.

The Arizona Cardinals are not a great team, on paper or when you see them in person. They’re ranked in the bottom half of the league in most sports outlets’ NFL Power Rankings, but they could be dangerous in light of a few matchups that we will review.

Make no mistake about it. This won’t be a walkthrough for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Three under-the-radar matchups could help decide the Philadelphia Eagles/Cardinals game.

The Birds raid the Cardinals’ nest in Week 5. Jalen Hurts will be needed to be at his best. The Eagles defense has its hands full with the best dual-threat quarterback in the NFL who is not named Jalen Hurts or Lamar Jackson.

Those are some major topics of discussion that we’ll ponder until kickoff. Here are three sub-radar matchups that are equally important.

Kyler Murray versus T.J. Edwards

Kyler Murray isn’t a great QB versus pressure, but he’s among the game’s best when forced to escape the pocket. He’s dangerous with his arms and his legs while making plays outside of the called play’s structure.

While it will be up to Haason Reddick and the Eagles’ defense to collapse the pocket and keep Murray contained, big plays occur when that doesn’t happen. That puts pressure on middle linebacker T.J. Edwards, the quarterback of Philly’s defense, and Marcus Epps. The latter is a great post safety with the speed and physicality to engage Murray early and limit his explosive plays.

light. Related Story. Must-see QB duels on the Eagles 2022 NFL schedule

Josiah Scott versus Greg Dortch

While Marquise Brown is a weapon, he can likely be held in check by James Bradberry with help over the top by CJ Gardner-Johnson. Arizona is likely to attack Josiah Scott in the slot which means he’ll see a ton of Greg Dortch duty.

Dortch has been aligned in the slot over 87 percent of the time. Providing help over the top for both Brown and Dortch will be difficult with the Philadelphia Eagles playing more single-high safety after the snap. In those instances, Epps, as the post safety, will have more downhill responsibility.

Scott is decent in man coverage. We’ll see how he handles the responsibility.

Miles Sanders versus Budda Baker

Jalen Hurts is a confident pocket passer, but Arizona’s largest weakness is their inability to stop the run. Miles Sanders is likely to have another explosive game (and hopefully a few explosive runs), but Budda Baker is the Cardinals’ best run-stopper by far.

The Philadelphia Eagles are likely to play with some 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends, and two receivers). Dare we say that they may even employ some 13 personnel (one running back, three tight ends, and one wide receiver)? We don’t see them do it often, but doing so could neutralize Zaven Collins and Isaiah Simmons, neither of whom are particularly good against the run.

In addition, the Eagles run a lot of run-pass options (RPOs) in their offense. This means presenting the look of the running play at the snap, either play action or a basic handoff, but there are always passing routes baked in. The quarterback makes one read typically before making the decision to hand the ball off or run/pass based on the play call.

Trending. 10 Cardinals to watch (besides Kyler Murray). light

Look for Hurts to make a lot of reads based on the actions of the apex defender reacting to the mesh point. Arizona’s best defense may be to align Budda Baker as a slot corner. Simmons, Baker, and Jalen Thompson are most often aligned in the slot, and these defenders will be read by Jalen as part of the RPO game (and perhaps a read option game), that is if the Philadelphia Eagles feel so inclined to try it.