Eagles vs. Cardinals Week 5 Observations and Reaction with Videos

Philadelphia Eagles - Hunter Martin

Nelson Agholor checked in for the sign from Alshon Jeffery and threw a hanger to Torrey Smith, who smacked a long blast to left field as Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz, Jeffery and Agholor all watched in awe.

Best touchdown celebration ever!

But Smith wasn’t the only Eagle who knocked one out of the park on Sunday.

Carson Wentz had never thrown three touchdowns in an NFL game before Sunday, but had a trio of them after the opening quarter and tossed four in all during Philadelphia’s 34-7 rout of the Arizona Cardinals at Lincoln Financial Field. The surgical Wentz continued his success on third down, going 11-of-12 for 225 yards and three scores. Four of those conversions came on 3rd-and-11 plus. He was 21-of-30 for 304 yards in all.

Wentz’s deep ball accuracy continues to improve as well. Wentz came in just 6-of-22 on passes attempted 20 yards or more downfield, but I thought he made some positive strides in the Los Angeles Chargers game and looked the most confident I’ve ever seen him Sunday throwing that deep pass.

One of those longballs went to Nelson Agholor for a 72-yard touchdown. Agholor caught four passes for 93 yards, while Zach Ertz added six receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown. It was a thorough beatdown against a team that had won five of the previous six meetings between the teams.

The Eagles jumped all over the Cardinals right from the opening kickoff. The Birds scored 21 points in the first quarter, while the Cardinals mustered just 21 yards, but I thought the key series was the 11-play, 57-yard field goal march to start the second half, which took 5:42 off the clock. With the Cardinals trailing 21-7, momentum had begun to sway a big in Arizona’s favor following Wentz’s interception in the red zone late in the first half. Carson Palmer tossed completions of 13, 15 and 19 yards to set up Phil Dawson for a 51-yard field goal, but his kick was blocked by Patrick Robinson.

Agholor had a key 17-yard catch on a 3rd-and-11 to move the sticks when he spotted up in an open vacancy in Arizona’s zone defense. This came right after Agholor had just dropped and 2nd-and-11 pass. Wentz’s lone incompletion on third down came on a 3rd-and-5 when he threw it behind Ertz on a quick slant and the Eagles had to settle for a 36-yard Jake Elliott field goal and a 24-7 advantage.

Following a Cardinals three-and-out, the Eagles put the game away on Agholor’s 72-yard bomb.

Earlier, first defensive series belonged to Jalen Mills, who had a tackle in run defense to limit Chris Johnson to a yard and followed that up with consecutive pass breakups to force the three-and-out.

Then the Eagles’ offense went to work. A pair of those 3rd-and-11 conversions came on Philadelphia’s opening series, with Wentz firing a 12-yard completion to Ertz and a 16-yard toss to Jeffery. The second-yard quarterback then capped the sequence with his 15-yard TD pass to Trey Burton on the slot fade, which might be Wentz’s favorite route to throw.

Another Arizona punt followed and Kenjon Barner showed why he was brought in following the injury to Darren Sproles, returning this punt for 76 yards.

That electric return set up this 11-yard touchdown for Ertz and a 14-0 Eagles lead.

Following yet another Cardinals three-and-out, it was Smith’s turn to join the party. Despite five drops already on the young season, Smith didn’t drop this 59-yard score.

John Brown’s touchdown on Arizona’s ensuing possession trimmed the gap to 21-7.

Larry Fitzgerald, who came in with 50 receptions for 845 yards and 11 touchdowns in eight career games against the Eagles, was limited to six catches for 51 yards and was shutdown again by Malcolm Jenkins. Jenkins was also on Fitzgerald in 2015, the only other time Fitz didn’t record a touchdown against the Birds. Jenkins held the star Cardinals receiver to 43 yards on three balls caught in 2015.

Patrick Robinson was very impressive again, he just needs to get some work in on the jugs machine this week because he dropped a couple of would-be interceptions.

The run and pass ratio was great again. Wentz threw the ball 30 times and Pederson called 28 designed runs, including 26 for the running backs, who totaled 114 yards. LeGarrette Blount carried the ball just twice for six yards in the first half, but turned it on in the second with 12 totes for 68 yards.

The Eagles’ rotation continues at left guard, but Stefen Wisniewski should see all of the snaps. I’m just simply not seeing enough out of Chance Warmack. Philly scored on each of its first three possessions with Wiz out on the field and punted on its next two with Warmack out there. Wisniewski has done a phenomenal job so far in the screen game.

Fletcher Cox missed his second straight game with a calf injury, but Timmy Jernigan stepped it up once again in his absence. Here he is splitting the gap and getting into the backfield for a tackle for loss.

Vinny Curry recorded his first sack of the season, one of two the Eagles registered. He’s never going to live up to his contract, but he’s definitely playing better football than last year.

You can follow Adrian Fedkiw on Twitter (@AdrianFedkiw) and e-mail him at amfedkiw@yahoo.com. Subscribe to The Bitter Birds on YouTube here. Follow Philly Influencer on Twitter (@PHL_Influencer), Facebook and Instagram.

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