The Eagles head into halftime with a solid 21-7 lead over the Arizona Cardinals. It didn’t take long for the points to start flowing or the chains to start moving. Here’s everything you need to know from the first half of action at Lincoln Financial Field.
Wentz on the money:
Carson Wentz was simply outstanding in the first half of play. Completing 12/18 passes for 158 yards and 3 scores, the Eagles quarterback was simply surgical on third down, completing 4/4 for 98 yards and two touchdowns in the early stages of the matchup.
A strange decision to sling it downfield as the second half drew to a close cost the Eagles possession, but not points and it was likely a play-call from Doug Pederson to begin with. Either way, Wentz is winning the battle of the Carson’s.
Patrick Robinson is doing Patrick Robinson things:
Robinson may have dropped a pair of interceptions, but his coverage has been brilliant once again in the first half, keeping everything in front of him and even moving outside at one point. Not only that, but he BLOCKED A FIELD GOAL. What more could you want from your veteran nickel cornerback?!
The pass rush:
The Eagles front seven have set the tone once again. Carson Palmer has been brought down 19 times this season now, with two of those coming in the first half at the hands of Philly’s pass rush. Vinny Curry has arguably had his most complete game of the year so far and racked up his first sack, while Derek Barnett and company continue too flourish and take the weight off of the interior tandems missing Fletcher Cox.
Beau Allen has had a strong game alongside Jernigan, but the NASCAR packages, the 4 QB hits, the constant pressure in the backfield and an allowed rushing total of just 32 yards have all pointed towards a dominant pass rush.
After being re-signed by the Eagles last week, Barner’s return to Lincoln Financial Field has been explosive to say the least. He leads the team in rushing going into halftime and burst through a hole for a 76-yard punt return. Barner’s problem was never that he wasn’t good enough to make the roster, it was that the Eagles had an abundance of backs who all specialized in different areas. Barner proved that he can be a jack-of-all trades back in the first half, and a reliable option too.
The offense is balanced once again, despite the lack of depth in the backfield. Carson Wentz has thrown four more times than the Birds have rushed, but 57 yards of ground yards have helped extend some crucial Eagles drives. Apart from a couple of stray play calls, Pederson’s decision to stick to the run has been nothing short of impressive.
Torrey Smith finally bucked the trend of what he called the “worst stint of his career”, receiving for a huge 59 yard score and displaying a truly unique celebration. It’s great to see the veteran back at his best.
Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports