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Our staff predictions for Eagles vs. Cardinals

Philly.com Staff

Updated: Thursday, October 5, 2017, 5:44 PM

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has plenty of weapons he can turn to against the Arizona Cardinals, particularly red-hot tight end Zach Ertz.

Les Bowen: The only way I see this being an Eagles loss is if the Birds are a little too pleased with themselves after battling through crippling injuries to win a pair of tough, close games. Bruce Arians is a wily old coot who can find a lot of ways to beat a defense, but his offensive line shouldn’t be able to match up with the Eagles’ defensive front, even without Fletcher Cox.

Yes, Larry Fitzgerald. Yes, Patrick Peterson. Yes, Carson Palmer, though he’s 37 and he usually throws off a full, five-step drop. Yes, the Cards will be tougher to run against than the Giants or Chargers were.

But franchise running back David Johnson and top-tier pass rusher Markus Golden are sidelined by long-term injuries. Even with those guys in their lineup, the Cards were a decent, middle-of-the-pack team. Winning might not be a breeze, but I think the Eagles are going to have to beat themselves to turn this into a loss.

Prediction: Eagles 29, Cardinals 24

Paul Domowitch: The Eagles have rushed for 407 yards in the last two games. They’ve piled up 25 rushing first downs and 14 double-digit runs against the Giants and Chargers.

But it’s not going to be quite as easy to run the ball against the Cardinals, who have allowed just 3.2 yards per carry.

The Eagles are going to have to win this one through the air. Patrick Peterson probably will take Alshon Jeffery out of the game. But Carson Wentz has plenty of other weapons he can turn to, particularly red-hot tight end Zach Ertz.

Carson Palmer is the most sacked quarterback in the league. But the question is, without Fletcher Cox, will they be able to get enough pressure on him to protect their corners? They’re going to give up some more big passing plays, but not enough to cost them the game.

Prediction: Eagles 34, Cardinals 27

Jeff McLane: Arizona’s run game has been negligent since David Johnson’s wrist injury. The Cardinals rank last in the NFL in rushing yards per play (2.65 average) and rushing yards per game (57 average). The Eagles have surrendered only a second-best in the league 70.8 yards per game on the ground, but they’ve also allowed 4.29 yards per rush, which is 22nd overall. The loss of defensive tackle Fletcher Cox over the last game and a half has hindered the defense and he is expected to be out for another week. But the Eagles have apparently found their mojo on offense with a balanced attack. There’s no reason to turn back unless, of course, Arizona’s defense can stifle LeGarrette Blount and company. It’s possible. The Cardinals’ 3-4 under front can clog lanes and is led by nose tackle Corey Peters. Could the 3-1 Eagles suffer a setback here? Absolutely. But unless Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald go off – always a distinct possibility against this secondary – I think the Eagles win another close one.

Prediction: Eagles 24, Cardinals 20.

Zach Berman: This is a favorable matchup for the Eagles. David Johnson’s absence has affected the Cardinals offense, and their offensive line is vulnerable. They have weapons at wide receiver, but the Eagles will focus their attention on Larry Fitzgerald in the slot and make sure the outside cornerbacks are not beat over the top by Arizona’s speed. That could create opportunities for Andre Ellington catching the ball out of the backfield, but my guess is the Eagles will take their chances against an offense surviving on dump-offs to a running back. On offense, this could be more of a Carson Wentz game than the past two weeks. The Cardinals have talented safeties, so I’m curious to see if Zach Ertz can keep his hot streak going. The loss of Markus Golden should hurt Arizona’s pass rush, and Wentz has enough weapons to use if given time. The Eagles have their own injuries to deal with, but they’re more talented than Indianapolis and San Francisco — the two teams Arizona has beaten. The home crowd also helps. There’s a reason Vegas made the Eagles heavy favorites.

Prediction: Eagles 27, Cardinals 19

Philly.com Staff

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