NFL: Eagles after first 5-0 start since 2004 vs. Cardinals
The Philadelphia Eagles (4-0) will look to continue their fastest start since 2004 when they visit an inconsistent Arizona Cardinals team on Sunday.
Those Eagles also started 4-0 and made it to 7-0 before going all the way to Super Bowl XXXIX that season, where they lost to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
The Cardinals (2-2) are 0-2 at home and have alternated wins and losses entering Week 5, including last Sunday’s 26-16 victory at the Carolina Panthers.
Philadelphia pounded former quarterback Carson Wentz and the Washington Commanders in Week 3 and rallied to defeat former head coach Doug Pederson and the Jacksonville Jaguars, 29-21, last Sunday.
Another reunion is on tap in Glendale, Ariz., with Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz. Ertz was traded from Philadelphia to Arizona during the 2021 season after playing in 123 games and making three Pro Bowls with the Eagles.
“The team was so close when I was there. I still talk to a lot of those guys,” said Ertz, who has 22 catches for 181 yards and two touchdowns this season.
Ertz said he is not surprised by the strong start for Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, an early MVP candidate with 1,120 passing yards and four touchdown passes plus 205 yards and four more scores on the ground.
“I know Jalen is one of the hardest-working players I’ve ever been around,” Ertz said. “Even though we didn’t play together for a long time, we were able to have fun throwing after practice … just working on our craft together for that short amount of time. And so, I’m not surprised by the success he’s having.”
Cardinals counterpart Kyler Murray leads the NFL through four games in pass completions (113) and attempts (173).
In his only previous start against Philadelphia, Murray completed 27 of 36 passes for 406 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in a 33-26 win at home on Dec. 20, 2020.
Murray is facing a formidable defense that has produced the last three NFC Defensive Players of the Week, with linebacker Haason Reddick the latest after recording two strip-sacks and recovering both fumbles against Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Reddick was a first-round pick by Arizona in 2017 and played his first four seasons with the Cardinals.
“He can play right and left. He can stack. He can do it all,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said of Reddick on Tuesday. “I’m really pleased with where he’s at. But that’s what I mean by the unique skill set. He’s not just a one-trick pony. He can do it all.”
Philadelphia’s last road win against Arizona was in 2001.
Eagles kicker Jake Elliott (ankle), offensive tackle Jordan Mailata (shoulder), cornerback Avonte Maddox (ankle) and linebackers Kyron Johnson (concussion) and Patrick Johnson (concussion) did not practice Wednesday. Guard Isaac Seumalo (ankle) and running back Boston Scott (rib) were listed as limited participants.
Leading receiver Marquise Brown (foot) did not practice Wednesday for the Cardinals. Also out were offensive linemen Rodney Hudson (knee), Justin Pugh (elbow) and Max Garcia (toe), as well as kicker Matt Prater (hip), linebacker Nick Vigil (hamstring) and defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence (hand). Defensive lineman J.J. Watt (calf) and wide receiver A.J. Green (knee) were limited.
–Field Level Media