Tha Sports Junkies 101

Giving Up The Big Play Can Cost Birds The Game

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The Birds Have To Be Wary Of The Big Play Against The Cards

The Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) will be playing to secure their first 4-1 start since 2014. They will be facing the Arizona Cardinals at home after playing three road games in four games. During this span of games, it is fair to say the Eagles defense have had their share good and bad moments. The Cardinals are a team that thrives on the big play through the air, and they are going to need lots of them because of their 32nd ranked rushing attack. Philadelphia’s secondary will have their hands full on Sunday with wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Jaron Brown.

Arizona’s Aerial Attack Can Open Up Their Running Game

The Cardinals started off the regular season with high hopes of having a top running game. Running back David Johnson will be forced to miss the regular season after dislocating his wrist against the Detroit Lions (3-1) in Week 1. As a result, Andre Ellington will be the back leading the Arizona rushing attack on Sunday, and that should be good news for Philadelphia fans. However, even with a pedestrian running attack, the Cards know winning on the road is going to require a good performance from all their running backs.

The Eagles Offense Have To Choose Touchdowns Over Field Goals

Philadelphia won a close game in Los Angeles. Some Philly fans believe the Eagles had trouble putting away the Chargers and it almost cost them the game. The Eagles kicked four field goals, and that helped the Bolts stay in the game. The inability to put away a team could come back to haunt Philadelphia in a close game. A shaky defense can help opposing teams stay in games. The Eagles have to strive to score more touchdowns than field goals so that they can avoid a meltdown in tight games. Arizona has an unpredictable offensive attack, and Philadelphia cannot afford to leave points on the field.

Torrey Smith Tweets About “Worst Stretch” Of His Career

The receiving corps for the Philadelphia Eagles have been respectable this season. What about wide receiver Torrey Smith? He has been a disappointment. Smith was acquired by Philadelphia in the offseason to give the offense that deep ball threat. The former San Francisco 49er has struggled to make plays, and he admitted to his shortcomings when he tweeted last Sunday after the Chargers game. He called it the “worst stretch” of his career and hoped to bounce back this season. It has only been four games, and Smith arguably deserves the benefit of the doubt from his teammates and fans. The Arizona game will be another chance for Smith to make a big play and prove his worth. Otherwise, rookie wide receiver Mack Hollins would not mind getting some of Smith’s reps.

A Combination Of Blount-Clement Should Do The Trick

The decision to keep five running backs on the final 53-man roster received plenty of criticism from some fans. It is evident that the Eagles knew what they were doing after all. With the position being ambushed by injuries, other backs will have to step up. What actually helps Blount be productive against opposing teams are the rotations that head coach Doug Pederson and running backs coach Duce Staley have been using to baffle opponents. Running back Wendell Smallwood is in danger of missing the Cards game, which means running back Corey Clement will have to step up in his absence.

Expect The Unexpected In This Game

Philly is currently in a crucial stretch of games that can potentially define their season. Can they win the scrappy games? Last season, they lost the games that required them to put that extra effort. This Week 5 matchup is one of those games where Philly will be forced to get scrappy against their opponent. The Birds have to get their running game going and wear the Arizona defense out by keeping them on the field. Keeping the Cardinals defense on the field also helps Philadelphia’s defense get rest and avoid the Arizona’s chances of producing a big play. The Eagles’ home-field advantage gives them an edge and the team will feed off the home crowd’s energy. For this reason, it is going to be another close game, but the Eagles will do just enough to win. My prediction, 24-17 Eagles.