Instant analysis: Eagles surge to 5-0 despite a sloppy performance in the sun

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Eagles a.j brown
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) and quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) celebrating their touchdown against the Washington Commanders during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Philadelphia Eagles are officially 5-0. The last time they hit this milestone was back in 2004. While the win itself is definitely one of the uglier ones the team will amass, all that counts is that the Train rolls on. However, there’s absolutely some work to be done.

Mismanagement central

I’m not sure the Eagles really won this game as much as the Cardinals lost it. The defense lacked any kind of designed pressure all game and it allowed Kyler Murray to run around sporadically while throwing 42 pass attempts and completing 28. On offense, there were 284 screen plays (approximate guess) and despite a clearly dominant rushing arsenal, a desire to pass the ball more prominently.

The final few minutes encompassed everything that this game was about. Nick Sirianni deviated away from the run when it mattered most and with a little over a minute remaining on the clock, in a 3rd & goal scenario, he called a passing play that was very nearly intercepted.

The Cardinals then rallied down the field, only to miss the field goal attempt with 17 seconds remaining, gifting the Eagles that all-important win and keeping the undefeated streak alive. Sirianni and co. can swipe their foreheads of sweat after that one, knowing that another day and another team may have yielded a different result.

The Eagles are battle tested

After the opening few weeks of the season, the main concern with this Eagles team was one of adversity or lack thereof. But after grinding out a win against the Jags, the Birds flew into the Desert and hit turbulence. Injuries hit the Eagles early, and losing someone like Landon Dickerson to a temporary injury is less than ideal when wanting to establish the run.

The Eagles still led at the half, but the Cardinals were able to quickly push themselves back into the game as missed tackles and an uncharacteristically disappointing day for this young linebacker corps handed them the keys,

Missed tackles on defense, rug-pulling flags on offense, and two units both held back by poor play-calling. The Eagles should’ve had more than 17 points on this weakened Cards secondary going into the final two minutes, and the defense should’ve been much sterner.

When all is said and done

The fact is, they won. They’re 5-0. While cracks are beginning to show, it’s better to get punched in the face early so you know how to respond when the heavy hitters start swinging in the playoffs.

The Eagles now turn their attention to a primetime matchup against their arch rivals, the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas week is always an intense one and it’s not like Philly fans have had much to get excited about in recent times when it comes to this game. If that’s to change this time around, the coaching staff is going to have to pull their socks up and get to work the second the plane lands.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon