Instant analysis: Eagles move to 4-1 after dominant victory over Arizona

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The Eagles are soaring high above the rest of the NFC East after sending the Cardinals back to the West Coast with a loss. A stunning offensive performance saw the home-team rise to the occasion and muster up a 34-7 victory. Here’s all you need to know.

 

That’s my quarterback:
Carson Wentz had the best game of his career against the Cardinals, throwing for four touchdowns for the first time since being drafted by the Eagles, to go with a 304 yard game in which he completed 21/30 passes. Wentz was phenomenal. Inside the pocket, outside the pocket, everywhere. This was a coming of age game for a quarterback who has done nothing but improve each and every week.

The deep ball was staggeringly accurate today, taking an even bigger step than it did one week ago. A 59-yard reception to Torrey Smith saw the bond between the pair finally ignite, while Nelson Agholor’s  72-yard reception was enough to turn heads. Wentz was electric…and the best part is that the shocks are only just beginning to surge.

 

Third down:
Where Wentz and the Eagles really shined however was on third down. Three of the quarterbacks four touchdowns came in third down situations, and in fact one of the only third down passes he failed to complete was the pass into the dirt, missing a wide open Zach Ertz.

Going 9-14 on third down helped the Eagles dominate possession again, keeping the ball for over 35 minutes and putting up a total of 419 yards. It was an area that stung the Eagles in years past, but it’s undoubtedly an area of strength this season.

 

No Cox, no Darby, no problem:
The Eagles Defense is banged up they said. They’ll miss their franchise defensive tackle we said. The absence of Ronald Darby is hurting the secondary we all said. The Eagles Defense would hold Arizona to ONE touchdown they never said.

The Eagles brought the fire on Sunday, hitting Carson Palmer seven times and bringing him down twice. It wasn’t just the defensive pressure in the pocket however, it was the ability to completely snuff out the run and marginalize the offense. It was the impact from Beau Allen and Elijah Qualls that sent waves to the likes of Vinny Curry and the Defensive ends who flourished as a result. It was the dominance of Jernigan that once again dictated the tone in the trenches against a sub-par offensive line.

On the outside? Two words. Patrick Robinson. It almost felt like Carson Palmer was purposely trying to give him the ball at one stage, with the nickel corner batting away attempt after attempt but never coming down with the ball for the interception. Either way, Robinson was easily one of the Eagles strongest players on Sunday, ensuring nothing went past him…until a missed tackle on that final play. Apart from that however, he was as impressive as he has been all year long.

 

Running and gunning:
No team had put up 100 rushing yards against Arizona this year…until they travelled to Philadelphia. A career day for Kenjon Barner saw his offensive role spike in ways that many unpredicted. The former Oregon Duck had a huge impact against the Cardinals, taking the load off of the shoulders of Blount and Clement, amassing 23 yards on 5 carries.

An average of 5.3 yards per carry for the barrelling Blount helped the Eagles move the chains consistently, but more importantly ensured that their running game does not dwindle. It was an impressive effort by every running back in the fold, but Pederson’s continued trust in his depleted backfield HAS to be applauded.

 

What’s wrong with being confident?
This team dominated and it had fun doing it. Torrey Smith’s baseball celebration injected a sense of fun into the Eagles that has been missing for a while. Carson Wentz approached the game with a little swagger, his receivers were eccentric from the off and the Defense were pumping up the crowd consistently, making play…after play…after play. This is an Eagles team who are very much beginning to believe in the potential they have and that their coach sees in them…and that’s an incredibly promising sign.

 

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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